1937 Talbot 105 Tourer
Year of manufacture1937
Number of seats2
From long term ownership
1937 Talbot 105 Speed Tourer Project
Registration no. DYY 789
Chassis no. 4095
'The international reputation achieved by Talbot products has gained an added lustre through racing successes, but is fundamentally based upon the good repute which these cars enjoy amongst Talbot owners in all countries. The make is definitely numbered in that select group of cars of distinction which endear themselves to the heart of the true enthusiast.' The Motor, May 1935.
The most successful division of the Anglo-French Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) combine, Talbot might well have escaped takeover 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 3.4-litre model - the 110 - that would turn out to be the ultimate Roesch Talbot. One of the great makes of the 1930s, Talbot was axed by new masters Rootes in 1937.
Talbot's reputation for producing highly effective competition cars owed a lot to the efforts of the Tolworth-based motor dealership and racing preparation specialist, Fox & Nicholl, which had looked after the works team since the beginning of 1930. The Fox & Nicholl Talbot 90s had dominated the 3-Litre class in prestigious international events such as the Le Mans 24-Hour race, despite displacing only 2.3 litres, and this run of success continued when the full 3-litre Talbot 105 became available. Famously registered 'GO 51' to 'GO 54' consecutively, the first four Fox & Nicholl Talbot 105s enjoyed an outstanding run of successes during the 1931 season, highlights of which included 1st, 2nd and 3rd in class at the Brooklands 'Double Twelve' and 3rd overall at Le Mans (1st un-supercharged car). When the 'GO' cars retired, their successors found a new role in long-distance rallying, dominating the Coupe des Alpes (Alpine Rally) in the early 1930s. In the 1931 event a solitary car entered and driven by Humfrey Symons lost no marks and won a Coupe des Glaciers, while the following year the three team cars finished without any penalties, winning the Coupe des Alpes outright. A team of 3½-litre cars repeated the feat in 1934.
The current vendor purchased 'DYY 789' in 1981 from well known Talbot enthusiast Rod King, who had owned the car since 1978. Prior to Rod King's ownership, 'DYY 789' had passed through various hands including those of Talbot specialist John Bland and Alexandra Garage, Earls Court in the 1950s. According to the old-style buff logbook, there were three owners between 1959 and 1978 when 'DYY 789' ended up in the hands of Rod King.
For the past 37 years, the Talbot has remained largely untouched. Presented in 'barn find' condition, it retains many important original features such as the factory coachwork and interior, dashboard instruments, Rotax lamps, and sprung bumpers, and has the benefit of the much-improved later flywheel and starter motor.
After a long period of hibernation, this now very rare Talbot is offered for sale as a potentially most rewarding restoration project. A very attractive high-performance 1930s touring car, it wants only for an enthusiastic new owner to return it to former glory. Offered for sale with a V5C document and the aforementioned logbook.