Before WW1 Clement Talbot enjoyed an outstanding international reputation for the quality of the cars it produced and their performance in competitive events particularly sprints and hill climbs.
After the war the company was absorbed into the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) combine, but Talbot received no investment and was on the verge of closure in 1926 when Georges Roesch, the brilliant Swiss engineer who had been with the company since 1916, produced an advanced new touring car, the 14/45, which immediately sold in larger numbers than any model the company had previously produced. For the next three years Clement Talbot pursued a one model policy with this car which made them the most successful arm of the group.
With commercial stability achieved it was decided to restore the company's image with a sporting development of the 14/45, the Talbot 90. For the 1930 season of international sports car races Fox and Nicholl ran a racing team for the works and the results were impressive, with 3 litre class wins in all the important international sports car races in1930, in addition to 3rd and 4th outright at LeMans and 3rd ,4th and 6th outright in the Brooklands 500 mile race.
Buoyed up by this success Roesch produced a new car for the next season, The Motor, April 28th, 1931 reported:-
"More gracefully streamlined than last year's cars, and painted a beautiful pale green, with dark green wings, the Talbot competition cars for this season contain many interesting features. The engine has been modified, the bore and stroke being 75mm and 112mm respectively, and the capacity 2970cc." " The power output of the engine has been increased, while the gross weight has been diminished. The chassis is much lower than before, and so are the radiator and bonnet line, so that the general appearance is distinctly pleasing."
Thus was born the immortal Talbot AV105.
The 4 new team cars, GO51 - GO 54, continued the successes through1931/32. Highlights included class wins in the major Brooklands races, twice 3rd overall at Le Mans, a 2nd and 3rd overall in the Brooklands 500 mile races, and a brilliant drive by Brian Lewis in the 1932 TT. There was also a one off entry in the Mille Miglia. In 1931 and 32 Talbot 105s had also competed in the Alpine Trial. In 1931 a solitary car entered and driven by Humfrey Symons lost no marks, winning a Coupe des Glaciers, while the following year a team of three team Vanden Plas cars sponsored by Warwick Wright finished without any penalties, winning the Coupe des Alpes outright.
The results achieved in 1930-33 had restored the image of the marque to its pre WW1 level, so the directors bowed to financial restraints and ceased international competitions at the end of 1932. By 1934 it was felt that more competition entries were required to maintain the image, so a team of 3 cars, similar in appearance to the GO cars but with preselector gearboxes (introduced for 1933) was prepared. These cars, registered BGH21, BGH22 and BGH23 were sponsored by Pass and Joyce. As in 1932 the team made a clean sweep and won the Coup des Alpes.
Given the model's amazing competition record, it is not surprising that many ordinary Talbot 105s have been converted into replicas of the works Alpine Rally team cars, that offered here being one such. 'AKM 481' was owned by the long term Talbot owning Dodd family of Manchester from 1953 and purchased from them in 1990 by renowned Roesch Talbot specialist Ian Polson. The original tourer body was missing when acquired and the car has been rebuilt by Ian to 'Alpine' tourer specification for the deceased owner, the gearbox overhaul being entrusted to the respected specialist Cecil Schumacher and construction of the body to Nick Jarvis. The total mechanical rebuild, which included fitting an aluminium cylinder head, was carried out between 2007 and 2010 at a cost of around £47,000 (bills on file). Although not yet finished, the car runs and drives. Works still to be carried out include making bonnet and windscreen, mounting wings and lamps, repainting the body and re-trimming the interior. Offered with an old-style logbook, 'AKM 481' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a Talbot 105, rebuilt to the desirable works team car specification and requiring relatively little work before it can be enjoyed.