1956 Talbot-Lago 2500 Sport Coupe

In 1935, Major A E ‘Tony’ Lago established the Talbot-Lago marque by acquiring the French branch of the bankrupted STD combine. As the head of Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq’s French operations, Lago introduced a new line of six-cylinder models with innovative overhead-valve engines, designed by Walter Becchia. The hemispherical combustion chambers with pushrod-operated valves became a distinctive Talbot feature. The T150C, known as the ‘Lago Special,’ gained public acclaim, featuring a Grand Prix engine designed for the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix.

During World War II, a 4.5-liter twin-camshaft ‘2AC’ engine was developed, later powering Talbot-Lago’s successful Grand Prix monoposto and the 1950 Le Mans winner. Despite post-war success, Talbot faced financial challenges due to high taxation on larger cars. The short-chassis Grand Sport, featuring the powerful ‘2AC’ engine, marked a pinnacle in performance but couldn’t reverse the company’s fortunes.

In 1954, Talbot-Lago introduced the T14LS or 2500 Sport Coupé, representing both the marque’s swansong and a culmination of two decades of road and sports racing car expertise. The 2500 Sport featured a well-engineered pushrod overhead valve four-cylinder engine with hemispherical heads, delivering 120 brake horsepower through twin Zenith carburetors. Opting for a manual transmission over the pre-selector of its predecessors, the car showcased technical refinement.

Production figures vary, with records suggesting 54 or 45 examples, reflecting ordered versus completed units, with speculation about cancellations. The Talbot-Lago 2500 Sport Coupé stands as a testament to the brand’s legacy, combining technical excellence with the challenges of the automotive industry during its time.

Source: Bonhams Cars