London | Lot 119

1937 Talbot Ten 'Airline' Sports Saloon

The Weird & Wonderful Collection



£12,650 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom

5 September 2018

Chassis No.
  • One of just 13 examples extant
  • Charming, unrestored and original condition throughout
Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

The car offered here is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a piece of British motoring history: a 1937 coachbuilt Talbot Ten ‘Airline’ Sports Saloon in excellent original condition. It features a distinctive streamlined bodyline enhanced by a pillarless side window. This is believed to be one of only 13 examples extant, and it appears to be in largely original condition. Like its siblings, it was built by the Clement-Talbot Works of North Kensington, London, before Rootes acquired Sunbeam and before the cars were renamed Sunbeam-Talbot.

Called ‘Britain’s most exclusive light car’ in a 1937 manufacturer’s brochure, it had a high cost of manufacture due to the exceptional quality of materials used. It featured an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox, disc wheels, large section tyres for better riding comfort, a very low and stable chassis, a three-bearing camshaft and a high-efficiency polished aluminium cylinder head and downdraught carburettor and with an advanced automatic ignition. It is said that the body had no less than 13 separate coats of paint applied, which certainly contributed to this example’s longevity and incredible original condition some 81 years later.

The interior, too, was designed to an extremely high standard with thick leather seats and door cards, illuminated control panel, a hand-operated wide-opening windscreen, winding-type swivel ventilators in the front windows, wool-trimmed headlining and sliding roof. It also featured a large luggage compartment, making this an ideal partner for long weekend motoring excursions. It is important to note that it is accompanied by a handful of old brochures and literature, as well as MOT certificates dating from 1975 to 2010 and its original buff log book.

Every inch of the car, including the classic cream, faced instrumentation to its classic chrome grille and tells tales of a period in history when even a commonplace saloon could be an Art Deco masterpiece.

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