Talbot Owners' Club

The Home of Pre-War London Talbots

Tossa de Mar or Bust 21st May 2024

On this rally report I am determined to fit in: a Mexican Sombrero, Castanets, a Borat style mankini and a Sancho Villa moustache. Also, I am practicing the Birdie Song. Next to master the lingo; ‘oye Manuel dos beers pronto’. So that should do it.

I am now a bit deflated; Martin Bryant has already removed my group chat contribution ‘for bad taste’. (Woke watch) And I haven’t even left Bucks yet. Between you and me it doesn’t bode well.

Everyone else is being nauseatingly upbeat about ‘Vuelta à España’, a lot of bother, just to avoid the TOC AGM.

Somehow or another we have got to Spain, in some posh Parador, and you have guessed it, more trouble with a Sunbeam, Rowland Grindell’s huge tourer. They are a young couple, first time on a rally and at this rate probably the last, a bit miserable for them. But on the other hand, Rupert and Annabelle are generous buying the drinks. Anyway, I gave them technical advice ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’.

My only saviour so far has been finding dodgy dives late at night, La Tertulia in San Domingo and in Sos del Rey Catolico, dancing the Argentine tango with a girl from Stuttgart, or was it Tower Hamlets? The youngsters joined in every night with lots of Mojitos and Moscow Mules, and really good loud music, Spain wakes up at night. The rest went to bed after dinner. (‘No sorry I don’t know what the Spanish for Ovaltine is!’)

Sadly, back to the rally,;some of the cars are suffering from lack of neglect. Just leave the blessed things alone. (I am not mentioning who overfilled his engine with oil, especially as he bought all my drinks last night). 


So just as it was all getting a bit boring; we had two cars broken down on the same day, being repatriated by lorries. So what does that mean? Next year your breakdown insurance will be double.

Sally in the Talbot 14, broken half shaft, and she and Guy had spent years sorting the engine before the rally, and also the Sunbeam 25 is now thankfully finally dead - I think problems with the air-con, and as we speak the 12/16 Sunbeam is acting up. Now, cast your mind back to the Irish bloke, wot had a broken Twin cam. Well his Talbot Lago replacement has now gone on strike. As we speak it’s going back to a Frog garage in Angoulême from whence it came.

Will any cars actually finish this fiasco???? Mind you, bloody good hotels, a sort of National Trust with rooms, castles, palaces, and monasteries. I have no idea how James and Martin have done it for the money - it costs me more to stay at home.

      The tally so far: two drivers didn’t make it; three Sunbeams didn’t make it and three Talbots didn’t make it. The other female driver was Elinor driving a 1913 Sunbeam 12/16, not an easy drive, and especially in a downpour in an open Edwardian on the motorway. After this rally she is dumping the car in Portsmouth and picking up a 1925 Bentley 3 litre that the chauffeur has delivered, and straight off to Brittany (like you do). No stopping for her. She is doing a BDC rally there, with a new set of clothes already packed in the WO, and not even going home first. The Sunbeam even has its own Instagram page!! (I am in awe.)

      A few final thoughts: A combined Talbot and Sunbeam rally starting from three ports, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Rosslare, a combined cost to the insurers, repatriating three vehicles hire cars and taxis in Spain, England, and Ireland. must be in the region of nineteen grand!!! and we had Martin and James as tag team, playing good cop bad cop.

     Ps. The castanets broke on the second night. Bugger!

Quentin Chases



The Talbot Owners Club magazine is published bi-monthly and contains news, updates and informative articles. It is edited by club secretary David Roxburgh.

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The essence of the Club is to ensure that members meet and enjoy themselves; the Club is open and democratic, dialogie is encouraged. It is for people of all ages who like Talbot cars and want to enjoy the company of like-minded people and also to support current Talbot involvement in historic competition.