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  Talbot Lago T26 Monoplace Décalée

  Article Image gallery (43) 90130 Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1939
Numbers built:2
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 29, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFrench manufacturers Talbot Lago and Delahaye were among the very last to try and take on the might of the all-conquering 'Silver Arrows' during the late-1930s. This was the result of a financial incentive from the French government to build a car capable of beating the German rivals. Ahead of the 1939 season Talbot Lago prepared a Grand Prix version of the T26 ss sports car introduced a year earlier.

The new-for-1939 Talbot Lago Grand Prix racer was dubbed the T26 Monoplace Décalée, or Single Seater Off-Set. The name referred to the off-set drivetrain, which allowed the driver to sit lower in the car. The chassis itself was wholly conventional, built around a steel ladder frame, drilled along the full length for lightness. At the front the suspension consisted of a transverse lower semi-elliptic leaf spring while at the rear a live axle was fitted.

While Anthony Lago had received funding for a proposed, supercharged V16, the Monoplace Décalée was once again powered by the straight-six engine used in the previous models. Fitted with hemispherical combustion chambers and three Solex carburettors, the 4.5 litre engine produced around 245 bhp. Like most other Talbot Lago models of the day, it was mated to a four-speed version of the Wilson pre-selector gearbox.

The first Monoplace Décalée debuted at the Grand Prix de Pau in April of 1939 in the hands of Philippe Etancelin. The primary opposition came from three of the latest Mercedes-Benz W154s. Although one failed to finish, the other two dominated the race, while Etancelin was the best of the rest, a full two laps down. Compared to the straight-six, the supercharged German V12 was twice as powerful, which underlined the unsurmountable mountain Talbot Lago had to climb.

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  Article Image gallery (43) 90130 Specifications