At the 1926 London Motor Show Talbot presented it’s new 1665 cc / 101 cui six cylinder 4 seat sports touring car the 14-45 designed by it’s Swiss Automotive Engineer Georges Roesch.
Roesch who was described as an irascible perfectionist, over saw the development of the 20-70 variant of the 14-45 which used the same engine block given larger cylinder bores and strokes with a capacity 2,276 cc / 138 cui that was launched in 1930.
The final iteration of Roesch’s six cylinder, for today’s featured 105 model launched in 1931, again using the same block yielded a displacement of 2969 cc / 181 cui and could be tuned to produce 119 hp for road racing and a reputed 125 hp for racing at Brooklands.
With an eye on the up to 3 litre class spoils and encouraged by Colonel Warwick Wright, Arthur W. Fox and Charles Nicholl entered a team of three Talbot 2.3 litre AO90 cars for Le Mans in 1930 keeping one of them as a spare.
The car driven by Brian Lewis and Hugh Eaton duly finished 3rd overall behind two Bentley Speed Six’s and first in class, 17 laps down on winners Woolf Barnato and Glen Kidston, and the second car driven by Johnny Hindmarsh
and Tim Rose-Richards finished 4th overall.
In 1931 Arthur W. Fox and Charles Nicholl took a team of three 3 litre / 183 cui AV 105’s to Le Mans and today’s featured chassis #31054 was the spare.
Tim Rose-Richards and Owen Saunders-Davies completed 173 laps to finish third 11 laps behind the winning supercharged Alfa Romeo 8C 2300LM, also running in the 3 litre class driven by Lord Howe and Sir Henry Birkin and a supercharged 7.1 litre Mercedes Benz driven by Boris Ivanowski and Henri Stoffel (F)
In 1932 AW Fox entered two AV 105 cars for the Le Mans 24 Hours, one as a spare and #31054 got it’s turn to shine as the nominated race car with Brian Lewis and Tim Rose-Richards at the wheel.
Completing 180 laps Brian and Tim finished 3rd a staggering 38 laps behind the winning super charged Alfa Romeo driven by Raymond Sommer and Luigi Chinetti which finished two laps ahead of it’s sister car driven by Franco Cortese and Giovanni Battista Guidotti.
During the 1931 season Humfrey Symons and Norman Garrad, drove #31054 on the Alpine Rally winning the Glacier Cup, while John Cobb drove the car to a 6th place finish overall 2nd in class in the Brooklnds 500 with a speed of 104.60 mph.
After Le Mans in 1932 Johnny Hindmarsh drove #31054 in the Tourist Trophy but finished unclassified four laps down on the winning Riley 9 driven by Cyril Whitcroft, the sister 105 #31053 driven by Tim Rose-Richards did a little better finishing 6th two laps down.
At the 1932 Brooklands Autumn Meeting Irish speedway rider Fay Taylour was entrusted with #31054 where she finished second in the Ladies Race.
The cars last known in period result for #31054 came on the first of September 1934 when it was entered by D. C. Sidebottom for Earl Howe in the Tourist Trophy where it was classified 13th.
GO54 is currently owned by Nicholas Pellett who is seen driving the car at the recent Silverstone Classic Test Day.
During the course of the day Nicholas kindly took me for a thrilling ride around the circuit, the overwhelming memory of which was the comfortable ride afforded by the Luvax hydraulic dampers and the smooth pull of the straight six engine.
My thanks to Nicholas for his hospitality.
Thanks for joining me on this “Irascible Swiss Perfectionism” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1930 Mercedes Benz. Don’t forget to come back now !