18 Mar 2018, 14:00 GMT
1936 Talbot BG110 Alloy-bodied Tourer
Coachwork by Vanden Plas Limited
Registration no. DGW 581
Chassis no. 4536
* One of only 14 made
* Four owners from new
* Full matching numbers
* Maintained by marque specialist Ian Polson
The most successful division of the Anglo-French Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine, Talbot might well have escaped take-over by Rootes in 1935 had it not been shackled to its weaker partners. The company's healthy position had been achieved by a succession of well-engineered products penned by its designer, Swiss-born Georges Roesch, whose obsession with the pursuit of high performance through increased engine revolutions led to some of the most memorable cars of the 1930s. Talbot's Chief Engineer from 1916, Roesch rescued the company from the brink of failure with the launch of the 14/45. Introduced in 1926 as the basis of a one-model policy, the 14/45, like all Roesch's Talbot creations, was powered by a smooth and flexible six-cylinder overhead-valve engine endowed with a remarkably high output for its size.
Abandoning the one-model programme, Roesch developed the 14/45 to produce the 75 and 90 models, the latter setting Talbot on the path towards renewed sporting success. 1931 saw the arrival of the 3.0-litre 105 powered by a new 'six' featuring staggered valves, a Roesch stratagem allowing for improved breathing. There was more technical innovation for 1933 in the form of Luvax adjustable dampers and the Roesch-designed, Wilson pre-selector gearbox, the latter augmented for 1935 by Talbot's famous automatic 'traffic clutch' which permitted sequential upward gear changes. Also new for '35 were a dropped chassis frame and a 3½-litre model: the 110. The ultimate Roesch Talbot, the latter had 120bhp on tap and provided 95mph performance while offering class-leading refinement. The final top-of-the-range version was the BG110, which featured an improved and strengthened chassis: double skinned and with a cruciform cross-member. One of the great cars of the 1930s, the Talbot 110 was axed by new masters Rootes in 1937, the subsequent models progressively incorporating more and more standardised Rootes components.
The BG110 was the last of the 3½-litre Roesch Talbots, and this rare survivor is one of only 89 completed. Most of Talbot's 3½-litre tourers were bodied in house, quite often with steel panelling, but that offered here is one of a mere 14 featuring all-aluminium coachwork by Vanden Plas Limited. The latter's two-door body was much lighter, releasing more of the chassis' potential, as well as being both slimmer and considerably more stylish than Talbot's offerings.
Chassis number '4536' was delivered new to Mrs Claire Lovell of Glenhaven, Scotland, whose evident fondness for the Talbot saw her keep it until 1979. Offered at auction that same year at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, the car was purchased there by the highly regarded UK-based collector, Brian Fidler.
A former treasurer of the Vintage Sports-Car Club, Brian contributed an article to The VSCC Bulletin (August 2005 edition) entitled 'Cars I Have Enjoyed' in which he talks of his respect for Georges Roesch's designs. In this article he says 'I think Roesch's later products were quite the equal of those of Lagonda or Alvis and certainly so in comparison with the Type 57 Bugatti and probably the Derby Bentley'. Like Mrs Lovell, Brian Fidler was immensely fond of the Talbot, which was used regularly to attend VSCC events for over 25 years.
In 2005, the car changed hands for only the second time when Brian Fidler sold it to the third owner, David Clayton of Poole, Dorset. Mr Clayton then proceeded to have the Talbot overhauled by renowned marque specialist, Ian Polson, as evidenced by a detailed bill for some £15,000 on file. The current owner purchased the Talbot from Mr Clayton in 2007 and has used it extensively, successfully completing a number of long distance tours and rallies. Ian Polson has carried out further maintenance in recent years (see detailed invoices for circa £17,000 on file) and some re-chroming was undertaken by Derby Plating (see invoice for £1,520 on file). The history file also contains various expired tax discs and MOT certificates, some old V5 registration documents, and copies of the aforementioned VSCC Bulletin and Beaulieu auction catalogue. This car also benefits from a full set of well-designed weather gear, including side screens, tonneau cover and hood.
Beautifully proportioned, Vanden Plas Limited's alloy-bodied tourers are considered highly attractive and are among the most coveted of all Talbot 110 models. With only 13 known survivors out of the 14 built, they are only rarely offered for sale. An original, all matching numbers example with only four owners from new, '4536' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire an exceptional example of the ultimate Roesch Talbot road car.
For more information, please contact: www.bonhams.com