Lot 2181

The Elkhart Collection

1939 Talbot-Lago T23 Major Cabriolet


$173,600 USD | Sold

United States | Elkhart, Indiana



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Graceful, attractive, and streamlined factory bodywork
  • 140 bhp six-cylinder engine and Wilson pre-selector manual transmission
  • Older restoration in nice condition; ideal to drive and enjoy
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

The T23 was one of the first new models introduced after the French manufacturer Talbot of Suresnes was acquired by Major Anthony “Tony” Lago, thus giving rise to the appellation Talbot-Lago. Offered in several different lengths of chassis with X-braced independent front suspension, the longer 3,200-mm wheelbase Major was powered by an overhead valve pushrod six-cylinder engine with twin Solex carburetors that could produce 115 bhp at 4,000 rpm.

This striking T23 Major cabriolet is equipped with the competition-bred Wilson four-speed pre-selector gearbox, forerunner of the modern paddle-shifted transmission. It was restored some three decades ago by the noted White Post Restorations of Virginia in a gorgeous two-tone blue. The car then returned to Europe and was owned by a French collector living in Europe, who sold it to another enthusiast in the mid-2000s. It remained in that ownership until 2013 and was then acquired by the current collection.

More recently a beautiful off-white leather interior was fitted, but the remainder of the restoration remains the original White Post work, showing some age on the chassis and undercarriage, as well as around the panel gaps and top area, from regular use. At the time of cataloguing, the car recorded 9,229 kilometers. Small modern reflector taillights have been added for safe road enjoyment, and indeed the car would be well suited to CCCA CARavans or various road rallies for which this T23 Major would be eligible.