London | Lot 120
1959 Talbot-Simca T14
£195,000 - £225,000 GBP | Not Sold
| London, United Kingdom
8 September 2014
- The final Talbot Lago model
- A sensual, deluxe, and very rare GT
- One of only 12 made
98 bhp, 2,351 cc side-valve Ford V-8 engine, four-speed manual transmission, transverse control arms and leaf-spring front suspension, solid axle rear suspension with semi-elliptic leaf-spring rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm
By the late 1950s, prominent French manufacturer Talbot Lago’s era of producing hand-built sports cars in limited quantity was at an end. The French taxation system of the time was heavily skewed against luxury cars and other, more advanced post-war competition was stealing sales. Accordingly, in 1959, Talbot Lago bid the world adieu and was absorbed by Simca.
The swan song of this glorious marque was the America, which was essentially the T14LS outfitted with an advanced overhead-valve V-8 engine. By this time, Talbot Lago could not afford to develop a new engine, so the unit chosen was actually built by BMW, and it was very similar to that used in the famous 507. It was the first Talbot-Lago to have the steering wheel placed on the left, moving to traditional modern practice and making the car purpose-built for the American market, which was full of prosperity and much sought-after dollars.
Unfortunately, the America was not the sales success that Talbot Lago needed, and it is believed that only a dozen examples were produced before the company was sold. Survivors are seldom found, particularly those in good condition, but they are a necessary component of any “complete” collection of French sporting cars of the coachbuilt era.
The America offered here was recently restored in rich red over tan leather upholstery, and it strongly resembles a road going Ferrari of the era. The interior is remarkably clean and simple and features comfortable and well-upholstered bucket seats, a leather-covered dashboard with a single large dial, and a Brooklands-style leaf-sprung steering wheel. The wheels are painted silver, including the full spare tucked under the boot mat, and they are wrapped in Excelsior blackwall tyres.
The America is one of the rarest French GTs of its era, and this example is the first to become available for sale in some time, marking an opportunity that will not soon be found again.