1933 Talbot AV
Year of manufacture1933
Chassis numberAV 35302
Number of seats2
The ex-Bryan Burton/Dan Margulies Brooklands and Goodwood Starring
1933 Talbot AV105 Two-Seater Sports Racing Car
Registration no. AGY 874
Chassis no. AV 35302
'AGY 874' has a most distinguished and remarkable history. It was delivered new in June 1933 to London dealers, Warwick Wright Ltd, at that time fitted with a Vanden Plas body (number '3004'). It was a sports-tourer to standard Talbot AV105 specification, powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine driving via a pre-selector gearbox and mounted in the short (9' 6") chassis.
By 1938 the car had been acquired by motor sports enthusiast, Bryan Burton, who lived off Baker Street in London. Burton was a competitive driver who had his sights firmly set on racing his Talbot at Brooklands, and who designed a lightweight two-seater body to replace the more formal Vanden Plas coachwork so that his Brooklands ambitions could be fulfilled. Burton campaigned the car actively in motor sports throughout 1938 and 1939, fielding it at Donington at a Cambridge University AC meeting to good effect, and in 1939 won his class at the VSCC Lewes Sprint driving this car. The faithful Talbot was campaigned actively at Brooklands in 1939 and perhaps its most famous race was the nail-biting Third August Outer-Circuit Handicap race held on 7th August that year. In that 12th race on the card, 'AGY 874' left the start on a 42-second handicap in company with Smith's Frazer-Nash and Baker's Graham Paige. Remarkably, the 3.0-litre Talbot proved a match for the 5.4-litre eight-cylinder Graham Paige, the duo completing the race in a photo finish with the Talbot just one-fifth of a second behind, lapping at one stage at 104.19mph. Minds were elsewhere that day, as this was to be the last race ever held at Brooklands prior to the outbreak of World War 2.
In September 1950, Burton's old car was bought by Dan Margulies for just £265 and its second period of international racing commenced, Margulies actively campaigning the Talbot through to the end of 1952 at such venues as Goodwood, Dundrod, Silverstone, Prescott, and Thruxton. The old warrior continued its successful ways and in 1951 achieved no fewer than three 1st, two 2nd, and four 3rd places. During 1951 Margulies frequently battled with Mike Hawthorn's Riley TT Sprite and came 2nd to Hawthorn in the first post-war Motor Sport Brooklands Trophy, the winning of which propelled Hawthorn into Grand Prix Racing for the 1952 season. Margulies finished 2nd in the Goodwood Championship in 1952 and later that same year part-exchanged the Talbot with Rob Walker for his competition Delahaye.
Race reports of this period are forever remarking on the surprising speed of what was then considered an obsolete old car. 'AGY 874', nicknamed 'The Invincible Lady', has always been a fast car. Autosport's report on the SUNBAC meeting held at Silverstone is September 1952 commented on "the astonishing combination of Margulies and his ever-willing Talbot 105, which he drove with tremendous élan". Pitted against Terence Moore's HWM-Jaguar, the elderly Talbot acquitted itself well. Reporting on the Dundrod meeting in 1952, Autosport declared: "Spectators were impressed by the train-like performance of Margulies' Talbot 105, which ran steadily through the handicap race without missing a beat". That day the Talbot had been timed at 101mph. This was also the last contemporary international race appearance for a Roesch Talbot.
'AGY 874' was then owned briefly by J Sowerbutts, who exchanged the car in 1953 with the next owner for a 3-Litre Bentley, the new custodian recognising the significantly more sporting capabilities of the Talbot. Following a major engine blow-up in 1953 at Silverstone, the engine was rebuilt using a replacement crankshaft obtained from Talbot specialist, John Bland. Following that rebuild the car covered approximately 10,000 road miles prior to changing hands again in 1955. 'AGY 874' was accident damaged in 1956 and subsequently laid up until 1971 when it was acquired for the second time by the aforementioned (1953-onwards) owner in whose hands it remained until 2004.
Recognising its important place in motor sport history, the Talbot was treated to a major restoration, commencing in 1999. The chassis was fully stripped and overhauled, both axles were rebuilt and the gearbox entrusted to Arthur Archer. The front part of the previously accident damaged chassis was replaced with the front part of an identical rear-damaged chassis, this work being meticulously carried out and the chassis plated inside. The lightweight coachwork was repaired where necessary.
Next owner, Gideon Hudson, purchased the Talbot in December 2004 and then spent a lot of money on the car with specialists Pace Products, having it rebuilt and race prepared. The car was then raced successfully by him and Josh Sadler at venues such as Le Mans Classic, Spa, Silverstone Classic, and Donington Park. Race results are on file for the period 2005 and 2009 together with numerous invoices for work done, including a gearbox rebuild by renowned specialist, Cecil Schumacher. The car then passed briefly to Adrian Van Der Kroft and then to Michael Mullman in Germany. It has been owned by the current vendor since 2014.
Whilst with the current owner a great deal of work has been carried out, addressing both mechanical and cosmetic issues including re-painting, rewiring, a top-end engine rebuild, and a front axle rebuild, as evidenced by invoices on file from Historic Competition Services. The current owner has successfully completed the 2015 Mille Miglia Storica driving the Talbot and in 2019, finishing 112th overall and 2nd place of all Belgian teams. He advises us 'The Invincible Lady' performed very well on both occasions leaving a lot of competitors behind in the Italian mountains. In 2018 'AGY 874' finished 2nd in the pre-war regularity class during the Zoute Grand Prix.
This historic sports-racing car is offered with FIVA papers, an old-style buff logbook, and a V5C registration document. It also comes with a most outstanding and carefully researched file of history, which includes correspondence from Dan Margulies and Bill Boddy confirming its distinguished record.
Rarely do sports cars with both successful pre-war Brooklands and post-war Goodwood racing history come to the market, making this wonderful old and fast Talbot an exciting opportunity for the discerning collector.