Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé Chambas 1948
Anthony Lago when established as the new director of the Talbot SA Company at Suresnes (near Paris) in 1933 brought new vitality into the already well-established car company. His idea was to build cars that could win races. He was convinced that racing was not only the best test bed but also the greatest promotional platform. His development concept was to use as many production car components as possible, hence reaching a high degree of reliability and endurance. The results were impressive since no less than 21 first, 21 second and 18 third places were achieved in international Grand Prix and Sports Cars races between 1936 and 1951. This included outright wins at Le Mans in 1950 and a 5th place in the Carrera Panamericana race in the same year with Louis Rosier in the 4.5 litre Talbot Lago.
This particular car is completely centered around French enthusiast André Chambas, from Vienne, South of Lyon, France. He was very close to racing driver André Morel whom he idolised ever since Morel taught him how to fly airplanes at the local Aviation Club at Ambérieux. It was Morel who inspired Chambas to order a short chassis Talbot Lago to go racing, very much with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the highest of wishes. Having previously bought no less than 10 Talbot Lago cars, Chambas placed an order with the local Talbot Lago dealer Dumond for a short wheelbase (2.65 m) TS 26 Grand Sport chassis. He specified a road version featuring a Wilson pre-selector gearbox including a separate clutch, clearly with the idea of creating a streamlined closed body for long distance racing and for road rallies.
André Chambas dedicated his complete energy to the new project. Rather than leaving the coachwork to an appointed coachbuilder, Chambas had his own idea regarding both the design and the weight for his project. Chambas himself designed and created a 1/8 clay model of his car and then contracted local coachbuilder Contamin to build an all-aluminium lightweight body to be easily removable from the chassis. It was master panel craftsman Jules Journet who carried out the actual work. Hence was born the beautiful Chambas Talbot Lago, completely functional , spartan yet wonderfully elegant streamlined Coupé with a speedy forward thrusting look.
The 24 Hour of Le Mans were Chambas' focus and set out to prepare chassis N° 110105 for launch in the 1949 Le Mans race. Anthony Lago clearly saw the promotional potential of the project and offered full factory support both before and during the Le Mans race event, with a factory mechanic allocated for three months, and with special competition components such as racing camshafts. Anthony Lago's secret strategy was " if he wins it his our merit, if he loses, public opinion will attribute the defeat to Chambas".
The Talbot Lago Coupé Chambas N°110105 became famous for its record participation of no less than five consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans events from 1949 to 1953. While 110105 could not keep up with the factory front runners, 110105 performed gracefully, its best result being 9th overall in the 1952 Le Mans in supercharged form. In his last 1953 participation, Chambas had to give up, having overheated his gearbox by driving 15 kilometres backwards after a 'tëte à queue' (180° spin) just before Tertre Rouge turn on the circuit. This was Chambas last race activity with 110105.
The Talbot Lago T26 Coupé Chambas is now part of a private collection and was exhibited by Lukas Hüni AG during the 2015 Retromobile in Paris.
Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé Chambas 1948: Wallpapers
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