Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe Saoutchik

This Talbot Lago is an automotive sculpture, a work of art. Function follows form and not the other way round.

This type of car cannot be judged against general standards. The flamboyant styling is by Jacques Saoutchik, a cabinet maker who fled from Belarus and set up his own coachbuilding company in Paris in 1906. His only aim was to make it to the top in the motorcar industry, and this he finally achieved in the 1920s.

The exaggerated, voluptuous contours and the excessive use of chrome were typical of Saoutchik’s designs. It was reminiscent of the flamboyance of the 1930s, but after the war this was however no longer appropriate. The world was focusing on reconstruction and such extravagant cars looked out of place. Only 36 Grand Sports were built.

Antonio Lago, the Italian major who bought out the declining French marque Talbot in 1935, misjudged the post-war opportunities. The marque did enjoy some racing success, but things soon went downhill. Talbot Lago was taken over by Simca in 1959. Saoutchik had already ceased to operate a few years earlier.

What else is there to see? Exhibitions