The new T26 ‘Lago-Record’ was the world’s most powerful production car when it was launched in 1946, with a 4.5-liter engine derived from the company’s robust Grand Prix power unit.
The engine had twin Stromberg EX 32 carburetors, hemispherical combustion chambers with a compression ratio of 7.0:1 (as high as poor quality postwar fuel could cope with), and produced 170bhp at 4200rpm. The T26 had twin camshafts mounted high in the cylinder block on either side of the crankshaft centerline. Compared with the previous single-cam design, this configuration lightened the valve gear to give more dependable high-rpm operation.
Working from the pre-war 23 CV Lago Spécial, the chassis was lengthened from 295 to 312 and fitted with independent front suspension.
Our Feature Car
With a long length, art-deco appointments and classic lines our feature T26 has striking bodywork. Giuseppe Figoni penned the design and manufactured it with his business partner Ovidio Falaschi. As early as the 1930s, the two were manufacturing disappearing tops for Delahaye cabriolets. While these were typically two seat roadster affairs, this four seat cabriolet must have been one of their largest projects.
Unique details that set this cabriolet apart from any other Talbot are its unusual grill and three-piece bumpers. While these elements are uneasy, the grace of the fender lines, particularly at the rear with chrome accents and center fin are particularly elegant.
Underneath the steel skin, a Talbot-Lago T26 Record chassis number 100109 was used to support the massive body. When built, this prewar chassis was highly modern and its engine was tuned by Anthony Lago to achieve 170 bhp with a hemispherical cylinder head design. At some point, the original engine and drive train belonging to 100109 were replaced by Cadillac units, while the originals were crated and stored.
In 2003 this car was subject to a frame-off restoration by RM Coachworks in Canada. They reunited the car with its original engine, and refurbished every part. The completed car debuted at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours where it looked just as striking as it was in 1947. It has since won numerous awards at every major concours across America and is seen above at the 2006 Palm Beach Concours.