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The Talbot-Lagos of Philippe Etancelin and Eugene Martin are seen with the company’s transporters in the paddock before the 1950 European Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The French Talbot company had a long and confusing history. It had been founded in 1896 under the name Darracq by Alexandre Darracq and was based at Suresnes near Paris.

In 1920 it merged with the British Sunbeam and Talbot companies to form the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq Group who raced extensively. Until 1939 the French-built cars were known as Darracqs in the British Empire and Talbots elsewhere.

The company introduced the Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Prix car in 1948. It was comparatively low-powered and very heavy, but its unsupercharged 4.5-litre engine gave good fuel consumption and this coupled with low tyre wear reduced the need for pit stops and brought some unexpected successes.

Post-war Grand Prix racing was dominated until 1951 by Alfa Romeo, but in 1949 the Italian team withdrew from racing for a year.

In the absence of the Alfas the French cars won the Belgian and French Grand Prix, despite opposition from the latest supercharged Ferraris. In both 1950 and 1951 Louis Rosier driving a Talbot-Lago won the Dutch Grand Prix.


Silverstone British Grand Prix,
13th May 1950


Talbot-Lago T26 Specification (1950)
Engine: 6-cylinder 4482 cc (93 x 110 mm) push-rod overhead valve with two camshafts mounted high on the cylinder block and developing 280 bhp at 5000 rpm.
Gearbox: Wilson pre-selector 4-speed. Chassis: Box-section with independent front suspension by transverse leaf spring and wishbones and rigid rear axle suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs. Wheelbase: 8ft 2.5in. Front track: 4ft 6in. Rear track: 4ft 3.5in.
Unladen weight: 18 cwt.

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Guy Griffiths Collection, 82 Centurion Road, Brighton, BN1 3LN
Tel: 44 (0)1435 813961