Talbot Lago T150 SS Teardrop Coupe Figoni & Falaschi
This exceptionally beautiful bodywork is referred to as a ‘goutte d’eau’ in French, or ‘teardrop’ in English. It was created by the Paris carrossiers Figoni & Falaschi, known at the time for their flamboyant but stylish coachwork designs.
They were early adopters of the then new Nitrolac metallic paint and their creations were in stark contrast with conventional offerings.
This car’s beauty belies the fact that it is a pure racer. It is equipped with a 160 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine. One of these ‘teardrops’ came in third in the 1938 Le Mans race, behind two Delahayes.
This actual car belonged to Mrs Robin Byng, Countess of Strafford, who used it in pre-war France. After the war the Talbot Lago was sold to gentleman racer Rob Walker, who used it as a practice car for the 1949 Le Mans race.
Figoni & Falaschi was a collaboration between two Italians who emigrated to France: the designer Joseph (Giuseppe) Figoni and the businessman Ovidio Falaschi. They established their company in 1935 but it was short-lived. After the war there was little demand for special coachwork and the unitary chassis/body was up-and-coming. Figoni and Falaschi decided to go their separate ways; the latter returned to Italy and Joseph Figoni went on to run a ‘normal’ garage.
Only sixteen examples of their ‘goutte d’eau’ masterpiece were produced. Each car was different, having been custom-built.