- 1936 Talbot BG110 3½ Litre for sale
- One of only two cars supplied with James Young drophead coupé bodywork
- Previous owners include Talbot authority Anthony Blight
- Recently recommissioned by marque specialists Polson at a cost of £130,000
This handsome Talbot BG110 is believed to be one of only two such cars to have been fitted from new with three-position drophead coupé coachwork by James Young, the other one having been ordered by Prince Abhas of Siam – brother of famous racing driver ‘B Bira’. It has been owned by a string of marque enthusiasts since the 1950s and is a superbly presented example of the last of the revered Georges Roesch Talbots.
Chassis number 4532 was first registered on 28 December 1936, with the same registration that it wears today – CPO 472. The Talbot sales ledger shows that it was ordered by supplying dealer Boorers Garage.
In July 1954, ‘CPO’ was bought by Maurice Oswald Jones of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Known within marque circles as ‘Jonah’, this arch-enthusiast once stated that he’d owned one of each type of Roesch Talbot built. ‘CPO’ joined a collection that included two other BG110s – a Vanden Plas tourer and a saloon – and he regarded that trio as being his ‘perfect stable’. The history file includes the receipt from when he bought the car for £275 from architect John Bickerdike.
In May 1967, the cars was acquired by Cornishman Anthony Blight, a noted marque authority who owned a number of significant Talbots – including, at one point during the 1960s, all of the 1931 works team cars. He also wrote the definitive book Georges Roesch and the Invincible Talbot.
Blight had ‘CPO’ restored by specialist John Bland before it passed to Arthur Wiggin of Sutton Coldfield. Subsequent owners included Dick Fuggle – a Hertfordshire-based engineer and Talbot dealer – then Neville Thompson.
In 1984, Belgian enthusiast Danny Van Audenaerde bought the car from the Beaulieu Autojumble in what he described as ‘reasonable condition’. He used it for ‘wonderful weekend trips with complete satisfaction’, but after a couple of years he decided to completely restore it – a process that took four years.
Van Audenaerde kept the Talbot for more than 30 years before eventually selling it to a UK-based owner. With the car having been using only sparingly until then, he went through it with a fine-tooth comb. Marque specialist IS Polson rebuilt the front axle, dampers, brakes and steering box, fitted an alternator conversion, and carried out countless other smaller jobs – all of which is documented via receipts in the file.
The decision was taken to rebuild the engine around a new block, a job that was undertaken by Pace Products. The pre-selector gearbox, meanwhile, was overhauled by Cecil Schumacher and a higher-ratio crownwheel and pinion was fitted. The extensive work totalled £130,000 and resulted in a supremely well-sorted car that has the performance to match its elegant looks.
Now being offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub, this rare example of the much-admired Talbot BG110 comes with a comprehensive history file that includes its buff logbook, a restoration photo album and correspondence from former owners.
Under the stewardship of Swiss chief engineer Georges Roesch, Talbot produced a series of powerful and robust sporting models during the 1930s. They excelled not only in circuit racing at Brooklands, Ards and Le Mans, but also in the Alpine Trial. In 1934, the three Talbot works team cars completing this gruelling event without dropping a single mark.
In 1931, Talbot had introduced the new 3-litre AV 105 model, which gave 105bhp at 4500rpm in touring form – and as much as 140bhp for racing. The 105 enjoyed significant competition success, finishing third overall at Le Mans in 1931 and 1932, and claiming a Coupes des Alpes on the 1932 Alpine Rally. On the road, it was described by The Autocar as being ‘a fine British car that is a sheer pleasure to handle’.
Anthony Blight later referred to Talbot at this time producing ‘the most progressive range of cars in the country’. From 1933 the marque offered the Wilson pre-selector gearbox – built in-house – as an option, and two years later came Talbot’s automatic ‘traffic clutch’. Luvax adjustable dampers were also fitted.
The 3½-litre 110 model was introduced in 1935 and, with 120bhp on offer, it was good for 95mph. The ultimate variant was the BG110, which gained an improved and strengthened chassis and was one of the finest sporting British cars of its day – a natural rival to the likes of the Alvis Speed 25.
When parent company Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq got into financial difficulties in the mid-1930s, Talbot was taken over by the Rootes Group. Towards the end of that decade, the Roesch Talbots would be increasingly diluted by the use of components from other Rootes marques – Humber in particular. Shortly afterwards, Roesch left the automotive industry completely, but his glittering legacy is secure thanks to cars such as the Talbot BG110.