1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Cabriolet Coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi Chassis no. 90111. Part of the Art of the Automobile sale 21 November 2013. Estimate $7,000,000–9,000,000.
NEW YORK - The pinnacle achievement in French pre-war automotive design, this Talbot-Lago is a highlight of the 21 November Art of the Automobile sale in association with RM Auctions. One of only two short-chassis examples ever built, of which this is the prototype, its sporting competition-bred mechanicals paired with goutte d’eau (teardrop) cabriolet coachwork by the Parisian firm Figoni et Falaschi, have rendered it one of the most exquisite French automotive sculptures ever conceived. Fully restored and period correct in every respect, it is considered one of the most desirable motorcars in the world. Alain Squindo and Ian Kelleher of RM Auctions reveal what makes this car so exceptional.
Few straight lines may be found on French coachwork of the period, and such lovely detail refinements speak to the designer’s flair, as well as the pervading aeronautical influences automotive artists enjoyed in the late 1930s.
Spear and Handle
Both the shape and mechanical complexity of the door handle, as well as the elegant,
yet flamboyant chrome spear along the side of the body are trademark design elements of this coachbuilder.
Low and slightly raked, the windscreen is especially sporting but complements the flowing coachwork perfectly, while offering the option of being fully folded and positioned parallel to the bonnet.
A perfect marriage of extravagant coachwork with the highest mechanical specification offered by Talbot-Lago – a sporting short chassis combined with a triple-carbureted, high compression and high-horsepower competition engine.
The distinguishing flowing teardrop shape is best enjoyed in profile and speaks both to the characteristic elegance of French automotive design and to Figoni et Falaschi’s coachwork, crafted by hand on a fully bespoke basis.