Arcurial 2013 auction to Retromobile 8 févr. 2013
1936 TALBOT LAGO T150C
14h : Automobilia Lot 1-169
18h : Motocyclettes et automobiles de collection Lot 200-Fin
Lieu de la vente
Salon Rétromobile Hall 4.3
Porte de Versailles - Paris
More details :
Estimation 1 200 000 - 1 600 000 €
- A legendary sporting career
- The limpid history of a mythical model
- The archetypal French pre-war racing car
German Grand Prix Hegemony
On 10 October 1933 the International Federation approved a new Grand Prix formula, initially valid for a three years starting with the 1934 season (although finally extended until 1938). The main innovation allowed single-seater cars with unlimited capacity to take part in races of over 500km, providing they respected a 'dry' maximum weight (not including water, oil or fuel) of 750kg.
Ever since his rise to power Adolf Hitler had set out to control all aspects of German life and, at the same time, exploit international events for propaganda purposes - naturally including Grand Prix races, as showcases of technical prowess. Helped by government backing, the German firms Mercedes and Auto Union dominated the Grand Prix scene to such an extent that starting grids became smaller and smaller, and effective competition from other nations disappeared: Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Bugatti, with its Type 59, were little more than also-rans.
Reaction of ACF Directors
The heads of the Automobile Club de France, keen to see prestigious national firms return to racing, decided to introduce new rules for the 1936 ACF Grand Prix. Bugatti agreed in principal from the outset, and were soon joined by Delage, Delahaye, Amilcar and Talbot. The new regulations, adopted on 13 October 1935, opened the event to sports cars; the declared goal was, of course, to encourage the involvement of French firms and, if possible, facilitate their success; but also to openly encourage 'reasonable' racing cars whose development could be directly applied to series cars (the Le Mans 24 Hours had been launched in much the same spirit).
Models were therefore to be produced in minimum numbers, and conform to a model available to the public - with a catalogue of basic requirements concerning wheelbase, dimensions of the chassis, exterior dimensions of the engine block, number of cylinders, number and positioning of valves and spark-plugs, type of clutch and axle, number of gears, steering system, type of suspension, dimension of the drum brakes, etc. Additionally, cars without a hood had to have at least two seats, wings, headlights, windscreen, horn, rear-view mirror, silencer and full lighting system, plus starter.
The new rules also called for minimum production of 20 chassis/engine ensembles. The obligatory parallel between racing cars defending their marque on the track, and cars offered by catalogue to sporting clients, would lead to the design of some magnificent GTs, individually fitted by France's master-coachbuilders, in the years before World War II.
The 150C & Its Goals: To Win the ACF Grand Prix & the Le Mans 24 Hours - and Help Promote the Marque
In early 1934 Anthony Lago arrived from England to take charge at Talbot and ensure its return to economic health. After a convalescent period of modifications and modernization, he decided to go into track racing for two main reasons: to generate vital publicity, and - above all - as the perfect testing ground for the firm's new models. So he naturally responded favourably to the ACF's new rules, and tasked Walter Becchia to design a new sports car at the end of 1935.
The result was the T150C. Four cars were produced for the 1936 season (the 'series' would be completed by two further cars in 1937). To ensure Talbot could start racing, and to pay for his new team of René Dreyfus and André Morel, Lago had no option but to sell two of the four cars - although they were still assembled at the factory. One was acquired by Pierre Louis-Dreyfus who, for reasons of discretion, competed under the pseudonym Heldé; the other was sold to Francique Cadot, a little-known car enthusiast from Lyon.
Grand prix de l'ACF 1936 sur l'Autodrome
The T150C to be Offered for Sale
The car offered here is the one bought by Francique Cadot in 1936. For the ACF Grand Prix, the only race he took part in, he teamed up with the volatile Henry Stoffel from Alsace. They abandoned after a fuel leak after just 10 laps. Cadot, busy with his work and aware of his limitations, soon gave up thoughts of a racing career. Before the end of the season the car was lent to Raph for the Comminges Grand Prix, then shown by Talbot at the Paris Motor Show in October. During the close season Luigi Chinetti, hitherto Talbot's chief mechanic, quit the firm following a spate of disagreements with Becchia, and set up independently. His garage in Auteuil would be tasked with servicing the two privately-owned Talbots - which, so to speak, had formed the firm's B team. Problems with preparing the official cars at the start of the 1937 season meant it was Chinetti who ensured Talbot's presence at the Mille Miglia and Le Mans. Chassis n° 82930, driven by the talented young René Le Begue, crashed out of the Mille Miglia; at Le Mans, where it was driven by Chiron & Chinetti and considered a serious outsider, it dropped out after less than 100km.
The car was acquired soon afterwards by René Le Bègue, who used it during end-of-season events in the first half of 1938. Promising results saw him join the official Talbot team during the year, so he sold his T150C to Pierre Bouillin, who raced under the pseudonym Levegh, and needed a car to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours (with Jean Trévoux). The team were 2nd going into the 16th hour, but had to abandon due to a problem with a cylinder-head gasket. Less than a month later their participation in the Spa 24 Hours - something of a compensatory event for unlucky Le Mans competitors - ended when they careered off the track. Levegh suffered the same mishap during the Liège-Rome-Liège rally. But a series of high-placed finishes made 1939 a good year for Talbot and its driver - although there was further disappointment at Le Mans, where the 82930 again dropped out during the 24 Hours.
After a lengthy hiatus due to World War II, racing resumed with existing vehicles in Grand Prix races staged mostly according to Formula Libre rules to help attract as many participants as possible - naturally including Levegh at the wheel of his Talbot. He took part in the first major post-war race in the Bois de Boulogne in September 1945, and posted some fine performances in 1946 - finishing 2nd in the Belgian Grand Prix, Nantes Grand Prix and the Grand Prix des Trois Villes du Nord.
At the end of 1946 plans for a new single-seater Talbot were announced. Encouraged by his 1946 season Levegh was one of the first to pay a deposit for one of these T26Cs (n° 110004) and - slightly optimistic about the date of delivery - sold his T150C to Edmond Mouche. Like many others at the time, Mouche chose to modernize the car's appearance ahead of the new season. Making new things out of old was all that car enthusiasts could do, given the strict limitations imposed by the Pons five-year plan banning new models in France so as to ensure raw materials were reserved for national reconstruction. The T150C had new aluminium coachwork fitted at the Lecanu workshops in Levallois, then headed to Talbot in Suresnes for a serious overhaul - with Lockheed hydraulic brakes replacing the Bendix cable brakes. But Mouche was not really a Grand Prix driver and the Talbot, now ten years old and showing its sports car origins, could hardly compete with the Maseratis and supercharged ERAs which, along with the Talbot single-seaters from 1939, took part in the Grand Prix series of 1947 (which saw the official birth of Formula One at the Pau Grand Prix). The new Delage and Delahaye models were also superior. In this context Mouche - often with José Scaron as team-mate - was making up the numbers rather than challenging for honours. Even so, the reliable Talbot managed seven finishes out of eight - the exception being the Albi Grand Prix.
Mouche retired from track racing at the end of the season and sold the car to Louis Rosier from Clermont, who had just spent two seasons driving a T150C (90115) that had begun life as a Figoni cabriolet before being rendered more or less raceworthy by Rosier himself in 1946, then having new bodywork fitted (also by Lecanu) for the 1947 season. Rosier only bought the T150C n° 82930 from Mouche because he needed a car for the start of the season - so he could remain active while awaiting his Talbot T26C (n° 110001). Louis Rosier used the car in the early season Grand Prix before exchanging it for his new single-seater. The 82930 became his back-up car - used for occasional sports car events, or offered for hire. This is how John Claes first sat at its wheel, with 3rd place at the Grand Prix des Frontières, and also how Louis Rosier Junior made his racing debut. Rosier Senior drove it himself at the Pescara Grand Prix (open to sports cars), finishing 3rd. In 1949 Rosier and his son shared the 82930 when the Le Mans 24 Hours started up again. The car's bad luck at Le Mans persisted, with a fourth abandonment in as many participations - a fate it would also endure at the ACF Grand Prix, held exceptionally at St-Gaudens in Formula Sport. Rosier and his son did, however, enjoy success at Le Mans in 1950, at the wheel of the T26GS (110055).
Also in 1950 - its last year of active motor racing - our now obsolete and superfluous 82930 was lent to Jean Estager, a Clermont friend of Rosier's, before being mothballed in Auvergne until 1956, when it was bought by Ecurie Les Lévriers of Paris. But there was no return to track racing and, after remaining in storage for over a decade, the car was bought by Paul Bignon in August 1967. During this period, when this type of car was of interest to hardly anyone, he often acted as an intermediary, and sold the 82930 in October 1967 to Jacques Baillon, a haulage operator from Niort who had long specialized in collecting prestigious French cars - amassing so many, in fact, that he had no time to look after them properly, or even drive them. The unused Talbot would remain his property for over a decade until 1979, when cash-flow problems prompted an auction where most of Baillon's cars were sold. It was bought by Lucien Mette Senior - who already had another buyer lined up: Edouard Bittel, who sold it on to René Mauries in 1982. Mauries, in turn, sold it to Michel Seydoux that same year.
None of these French car enthusiasts did any work on the car, which was still in its unrestored condition of 1967 when it arrived in England in 1983, as the property of Charles Howard of 16 Queen's Gate, Place Mews in London - an area of the city popular with vintage car dealers. His neighbour Dan Margulies, of 12 Queen's Gate, acquired it soon afterwards, and had it restored with a view to making a tidy profit. But his attempts to sell it by placing advertisements in the specialist British press (complete with photograph) in July 1983 were doomed to failure. In its state at the time no one was interested, especially as no documents were available to chart its history - not even to prove it had taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1949. But the pragmatic Margulies, who remembered racing against Guy Gale's T150C (n° 82934) in 1954 at the wheel of his own Delahaye 135S (ex-Rob Walker), decided to re-fit the 82930 as a Type T150C racing car - little suspecting that this was its original raison d'être !
Sur l'Autodrome fin des années 30, à remarquer sur cette photo
la publicité pour la souscription pour la voiture de course Française.
He hired the renowned specialist Paul Grist to removed the Lecanu bodywork (later sold in Italy, then seen at Retromobile a few years ago before departing for the United States to equip a replica chassis). Grist based his replica bodywork on two T150Cs then in England. Work was finished by the start of 1984, finally enabling the car to return to the track after an absence of nearly 35 years - at Silverstone in July. It was driven, still unpainted, by Richard Bond. One month later - now painted - it was driven by David Cohen, who had bought it in the interim.
The Talbot was soon back with Margulies, but he wasted no time in finding another buyer: Peter Hannen, who drove it in the Historic Mille Miglia, in which the car took part on several occasions - notably in 1987, 1988 and 1989 with its next owner, Jeffrey Pattinson, dynamic director of Coys of Kensington, one of the most prominent dealers in historic automobiles.
Five years later Pattinson sold it to Erich Trabber then, before it had been transported to Switzerland, to Peter Groh in Germany, where it underwent fresh restoration at Feierabend - before at last finding its way to Erich Trabber in 2000. The 82930 was carefully prepared and maintained by Markus Scharnost until, in 2002, it entered the garage of the automobile connoisseur who still owns it today.
A large-capacity French sports car made in line with 'ACF 1936' regulations, and therefore with the goal of victory at Le Mans, is a rare animal: we are basically talking about 6 Talbot T150Cs, 4 Bugatti 57Gs, 15 Delahaye 135Ss, four 145 V12s and 2 Delages. If we narrow it down to cars that have survived in reasonable condition, we are talking about less than 20 vehicles.
A Talbot T150C won the ACF Grand Prix and Tourist Trophy in 1937, took part in the 1937 Mille Miglia, then in the first post-war Grand Prix races in 1946 and 1947 - making our car highly historic, with a fully charted career. It is eligible for any major event in the vintage racing calendar. As such it represents a prime target for any connoisseur keen to take part in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic or even, in certain conditions, the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco.
Our car took part in the Le Man 24 Hours on four occasions. It was owned by Levegh - whose epic drive behind the wheel of a T26GS at Le Mans in 1952, when he spent 23 hours out in front, led to his joining Mercedes for the tragic race of 1955. In 1949 our car was driven by Rosier at Le Mans, before he won the 1950 race in a post-war Talbot T26GS. in other words, this is a car with profound links to the stellar event of endurance racing.
Even if competitive racing is not a priority for its future owner, this car's classically simple design means it can be driven on long trips without a care in the world, alone or with Madame - or in any vintage car rally.
Text by Pierre Abeillon for Artcurial
- side-frames with interior openwork renforts
- wheelbase: 2650mm (104in)
- track (front & back): 1320mm (52in)
- straight 6 cylinders, longitudinally mounted at front
- bore/stroke: 90 x 104.5mm = 3988cc
- power in 1936: 170 bhp at 4700 rpm
- hemispherical combustion chambers
- overhead valves operated by pushrods & rocker-arms from lateral camshaft
- Wilson pre-selector 4-speed, plus reverse
- front: independent wheels
- back: rigid axle
- drums all round
- weight: 1000-1100kg (980kg in racing version)
- top speed: 210km/h (131mph)
TALBOT T150C 82930 : COMPETITION RECORD
28/06/1936 GP de l'ACF 62 Cadot/Stoffel Ab
05/07/1936 GP de la Marne 54 Bradley Forfait
09/08/1936 GP du Comminges 38 Raph 3e
04/04/1937 Mille Milles 139 Le Begue/Cattanéo Ab
06/06/1937 3 H de Marseille 22 Morel 5e
19-20/6/1937 24 H du Mans 21 Chiron/Chinetti Ab
18/07/1937 GP de la Marne 4 Le Bègue 3e
04/09/1937 Tourist Trophy 9 Le Bègue 2e
19/09/1937 Journée de l'AGACI : coupe d'Automne 72 Le Bègue Ab
19/09/1937 Journée de l'AGACI : coupe de Vitesse 72 Le Bègue 1er
15-20/2/1938 Rallye Paris-St Raphael 72 Lamberjack 7e
10/04/1938 GP de Pau 16 Le Bègue Forfait
08/05/1938 Journée de l'AGACI 70 Le Bègue
18-19/6/1938 24 heures du Mans 7 Levegh/Trevoux Ab
9-10/7/1938 24 heures de Spa 16 Levegh/Trevoux Ab
17-21/8/1938 Liege-Rome-Liege 23 Levegh/Carriere Ab
11/09/1938 12 heures de Paris 14 Levegh Forfait
07/05/1939 Coupe de Paris 49 Levegh
21/05/1939 GP d'Anvers 22 Levegh 4e
04/06/1939 GP du Luxembourg 2 Levegh 3e
17-18/6/1939 24 heures du Mans 9 Levegh/Le Begue Ab
06/08/1939 GP du Comminges 24 Levegh 5e
27/08/1939 GP de Liege Levegh annulée
03/09/1939 GP de La Baule 18 Levegh annulée
09/09/1945 Coupe des Prisonniers 6 Levegh Ab
22/04/1946 GP de Nice 22 Levegh Ab
30/05/1946 GP du Bois de Boulogne 8 Levegh 5e
16/06/1946 GP de Belgique 55 Levegh 2e
07/07/1946 GP de Bourgogne 12 Levegh Ab
28/07/1946 GP de Nantes 8 Levegh 2e
25/08/1946 Circuit des 3 villes du nord8 Levegh 2e
06/10/1946 Coupe du Salon 12 Levegh 3e
Nouvelle carrosserie réalisée chez LECANU à PARIS
18/05/1947 GP de Marseilles 38 Jose Scaron/Edmond Mouche 8e
01/06/1947 GP de Nimes 47 Jose Scaron/Edmond Mouche 10e
08/06/1947 Coupes de l'AGACI Edmond Mouche 2e
06/07/1947 GP de la Marne 24 Jose Scaron/Edmond Mouche 5e
13/07/1947 GP d'Albi 24 Edmond Mouche/José Scaron Ab
03/08/1947 GP d'Alsace 28 Edmond Mouche 9e
10/08/1947 GP du Comminges 32 Edmond Mouche 8e
21/09/1947 GP de l'ACF 4 Gianfranco Comotti 6e
12/10/1947 Circuito del Valentino 10 Gianfranco Comotti 4e
29/03/1948 GP de Pau 28 Louis Rosier 4e
16/05/1948 GP des Frontieres 28 Johnny Claes 3e
30/05/1948 GP de Paris 6 Louis Rosier/Charles Huc 5e
15/08/1948 GP di Pescara 6 Louis Rosier 3
19/09/1948 12 heures de Paris 7 Louis Rosier Ab
19/09/1948 12 heures de Paris 7 Andre Morel Ab
26/06/1949 24 heures du Mans 7 Louis Rosier Ab
26/06/1949 24 heures du Mans 7 Jean Louis Rosier Ab
07/08/1949 GP de l'ACF 22 Louis Rosier Ab
07/08/1949 GP de l'ACF 22 Yves Giraud Cabantous Ab
15/08/1949 GP di Pescara 4 Louis Rosier Ab
09/10/1949 Coupes du Salon 25 Jean Estager 2
26/03/1950 Coupes de l'ACIF 3 Jean Estager Ab
30/07/1950 GP de Rouen 10 Jean Estager 8e
Nouvelle carrosserie réalisée chez Paul GRIST
14/07/1984 VSCC-Silverstone 51 Bond
18-19/8/1984 AvD-Nürburgring 114 Cohen
18-19/8/1984 AvD-Nürburgring 25 Cohen
24/08/1986 VSCC-Cadwell-Park Hannen
21/09/1986 VSCC-Donington Hannen
12/10/1986 Targa Florio historique 93 Hannen/Margulies
21 au 24/5/1987 Mille Milles historiques 77 Hannen/Pattinson
5 au 8/5/1988 Mille Milles historiques Pattinson/Hugi
29/05/1988 RAC-Norwich Union RAC run to Silverstone Pattinson/McCarty
25/06/1988 VSCC-Silverstone event 1 374 Pattinson
16-17/7/1988 VSCC-Silverstone Pattinson
15/04/1989 VSCC-Silverstone, event 2 96 Pattinson
28 au 30/4/1989 Mille Milles historiques 86 Pattinson/Lamplough
11/06/1989 ACAV-Avignon Pattinson
24/06/1989 VSCC-Silverstone, event 1 178 Pattinson
8-9/7/1989 VSCC-Oulton Park 32 Pattinson
17 au 19/5/1990 Mille Milles historiques 87 Pattinson/Saul
23-24/6/1990 ASAVE-Montlhéry Pattinson
28-29/7/1990 HGPCA-Silverstone Pattinson
11-12/8/1990 AvD-Nürburgring Pattinson
23/09/1990 ACRA-Angoulème 8 Sinkin
20/04/1991 VSCC-Silverstone 144 V.Linsay
13 au 16/8/1992 AvD-Nürburgring-Course 3 120 Pattinson
juin-01 Berne Scharnost
août-02 AvD-Nürburgring Valentin von Dziembowski
sept-04 Le Mans classique 6 Valentin von Dziembowski 13/08/2006 AvD-Oldtimer GP-Nurburgring 7 43 Valentin von Dziembowski
sept-06 Le Mans classique 18 Dziembowski/Scharnost
OWNERS OF TALBOT T150C 82930
1936 Francisque CADOT
1936 AUTOMOBILES TALBOT à Suresnes
1937 Luigi CHINETTI
1937 René LE BEGUE (imm.2717RL2)
1938 Pierre "LEVEGH" (imm.2717RL2)
1946 Edmond MOUCHE (11/1946) recarrossée chez LECANU et dotée de freins hydraulyques à l'usine
1948 Louis ROSIER (imm.8212NH6 le 23/3/1948)
1956 Ecurie Automobiles "Les Levriers" (imm.168FB75 le 23/3/1956)
1967 Paul BIGNON (imm. 168FB75 le 24/8/1967)
1967 Jacques BAILLON (le 17/10/1967)
1979 Lucien METTE Senior (24 juin 1979 ; vente aux enchères des autos de Baillon)
1979 Edouard BITTEL (juin 1979)
1981 René MAURIES
1982 Michel SEYDOUX
1983 Charles HOWARD
1983 Dan MARGULIES recarrossée en T150C par Paul GRIST pour le compte de Dan MARGULIES
1984 David COHEN
1984 Dan MARGULIES
1985 Peter HANNEN
1987 Jeffrey PATTINSON
1993 Erich TRABBER
1993 Jeffrey PATTINSON
1993 Peter GROH en Allemagne (la met en vente par l'intermédiaire de Klaus Werner)
2000 Erich TRABBER (vente de Monaco)