Tag Archives: T26

Français Essence – Silverstone Classic

Today’s post has a Gallic flavour focusing on the French cars at last weekends Silverstone Classic meeting.

Citroën 2CV6's, Silverstone Classic

Taking drivers twixt national and international paddocks was a fleet of Citroën 2CV6’s belonging to 2CV Adventures, an exciting new start up offering bespoke organised tours in a fleet of 15 Red and White 2CV6’s.

Martini Mk37, Jacobs, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

The Brian Henton Trophy for Formula 3 cars brought me my first opportunity to see Martini Formula 3 cars in action, thanks to the control tyres used in British Formula 3, Martini Formula 3 cars rarely appeared in Britain except for the European Championship races. Above is a 1982 Alfa Romeo powered Martini Mk37, driven by Ian Jacobs, with body work indicating it may have been raced in period by Gerhard Berger for Josef Kaufmann to a third place finish in the 1982 German F3 championship on his meteoric rise to becoming a ten time Grand Prix winner.

Martini Mk39, Stretton, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

For 1983 Martini tidied up the Mk37 in particular from the exterior the safety roll bar lost it’s long rear stay, the bodywork lost it’s perspex ‘window’ and the nose became more rounded to become the Mk39. Martin Stretton is seen above driving a Mk39 to second place in the Brian Henton Trophy, with bodywork indicating it may have been originally driven by 1983 French Formula Three champion Michel Ferté.

Renault, Vauxhall, Nissan, Jet Super Touring Car Trophy, Silverstone Classic

1999 was the final year in which Williams Grand Prix Engineering operated a Touring Car Team in the British Turing Car Championship for Renault. The 1999 #37 Williams Renault Laguna driven by Simon Garrad leads; the 1998 #98 Vauxhall Vectra driven by John Cleland and 1999 #23 Nissan Primera driven by Derek Palmer in a scrap for third place in the Jet Super Touring Car Trophy that was won by Cleland in the Vauxhall.

Talbot Lago T26SS, Pilkington, Maserati Centenary Trophy

Having competed in the 1938 Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24 Hours and French Grand Prix against no less an opposition than the Silver Arrows Richard Pilkington’s #5 Talbot Lago T26, which I looked at in June, can probably lay claim to being one of the most versatile international racing cars of all time.

Courage C26S, Kjallgren, Silverstone Classic

Finally representing French honour in the early evening Group C race was the 1991 Porsche powered Courage C26S driven by Georg Kjallgren, carrying body work suggesting it might be chassis #07 driven to an 11th place finish in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours by Lionel Robert, François Migault and Jean-Daniel Raulet.

Thanks for joining me on this “Français Essence” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the Silverstone Classic in further detail. Don’t forget to come back now !


Polska Kronika Filmowa ? – Talbot T150 / T26 #82935 / 90202

Today’s blog tells the story of how I came to wonder if today’s Talbot T26C 90202 seen a couple of months ago at the VSCC Spring Start meeting featured in a 1948 edition of Polska Kronika Filmowa a Polish weekly newsreel.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

So far as I have been able to discern this vehicle was originally built in 1937 as a T150 chassis number #82935 and fitted with a 4 litre / 244 cui 6 cylinder motor and registered for road use with the French licence plate 439W1.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Albert Divo raced the car on at least 3 occasions with a best finish of 2nd in the 1937 Marne Grand Prix. In September 1937 Raymond Sommer driving #82935 now bearing the French licence plate 4397RL2 retired from the Tourist Trophy with engine problems. #82935 is shown by one source to have been intended to be part of a two car Talbot-Lago team at the 1937 Le Mans 24 hours that did not show up.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

In 1938 René Carrière and Anthony Hannoyer drove the works entered #82935 to a fifth place finish on the Mille Miglia, two months later René shared the now Luigi Chinetti entered car with René Le Bègue at Le Mans, but retired after completing 101 laps.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Two weeks later the mudguards came off and René Carrière drove #82935, entered once again by the Talbot factory and carrying the #4, seen at 1:03 in this linked clip, to a gallant 4th place finish, first non Mercedes and only 10 laps down, on the French Grand Prix winning Mercedes Benz W154 of winner Manfred von Brauchitsch.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

For it’s final two known appearances in 1938 #82935 was fitted with a 4.5 litre / 274 cui straight six and given a T26 identity with the chassis number #90202, it was not the only T150 to become a T26. René Carrière won pole position driving the car, with it mudguards refitted for the Tourist Trophy, but could only finish 4th. Philippe Etancelin joined René Carrière to drive the upgraded car in the 1938 Paris 12 Hours from which it was retired after an accident.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

The renumbered chassis #90202 made only two known appearances in 1939 the first at Le Mans where entered by Chinetti and driven by Luigi Chinetti and T.A.S O. Mathieson the car suffered another accident and retired on lap 154. T.A.S.O. Mathieson is credited with entering #90202 in the Grand Prix du Comminges run at St. Gaudens for Luigi Chinetti to drive, but once again the car retired. Chinetti entered himself to drive #90202 in the Liege Grand Prix on the 26th August 1939 a week before WW2 hostilities broke out on 1st September, but the race was cancelled.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

After the war Lord Selsdon, who coincidentally raced against #90202 in a Lagonda V12 at Le Mans in 1939, became the owner of #90202 by 1946, a time when almost anything that could move was thrown in to race at almost every available opportunity. Louis Chiron drove #90202 entered by Lord Selsdon at an event run at Bois de la Cambre in June 1946 but retired with a fuel pump ‘issue’.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Chiron then appears to have played a part in ensuring that French patron of the Ecurie France team Paul Vallée rented or at least borrowed #90202 from Lord Selsdon for part of the 1947 season when the car was to be driven by Chiron, so far as I know he never did, but Yves Giraud-Cabantous may have driven the car referred to a ‘26SS‘ in 1947, though in which events I have not been able to ascertain.

Lord Selsdon had the car back by the 1948 British Grand Prix which was featured on the Polska Kronika Filmowa newsreel I mentioned on the top of this thread, but #90202 took no part in that event as Lord Selsdon had only been given a reserve entry.

The last mention I have found for #90202 in Lord Selsdon’s ownership is in 1949 the Jersey Road Race where Frank Le Gallais retired with a gearbox problem.

Peter Waring is known to have finished at least three races driving #90202 in 1953 recording a best 3rd at Silverstone. It was left to Dick Fitzwilliam to record the chassis last known in period win in a National Handicap event at Goodwood in 1954 nearly twenty years after the versatile chassis which had raced Mercedes Benz as an open wheeler, completed a Mille Miglia and competed in two Le Mans 24 hour races.

The Talbot #90202 seen here at the VSCC Spring Start at Silverstone earlier this year is raced by Richard Pilkington with and without mud guards and road lights.

Thanks for joining me on this “Polska Kronika Filmowa ?” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a car that is often incorrectly given the wrap for the blanket 70 mph restriction on Britain’s motorway network. Don’t forget to come back now !


One Shift Short Of A Hero – Talbot Lago T26 GS #11056

In 1947 Anthony F. Lago and Carlo Marchetti designed the Talbot T26C Grand Prix open wheeler which featured a 4.5 litre / 274 cui straight six cylinder motor with triple carburetors which made it’s racing debut at Monaco in 1948. Despite requiring less fuel and fewer tyres during the course of races than the more powerful supercharged cars built by Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari the T26C was considered out dated but they did win two Grand Prix races in 1949.

In 1950 3 Talbot Lago Grand Prix cars, fitted with crude 2 seat bodies, cycle wings over the wheels and the necessary lighting for night driving, were entered in the Le Mans 24 hour race. The #5 driven for 23 and a quarter hours by Louis Rosier and the remainder by his son Jean-Louis came home first one lap ahead of the similar #7 driven by Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse.

Six Talbot Lago’s were privately entered, as they had been in 1950, at Le Mans for 1952 but this time the French cars were comprehensively beaten by the Peter Walker entered Jaguar XK 129 C, C-Type, driven by Walker and Peter Whitehead who finished 9 laps ahead of Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse who’s Talbot Lago completed three laps more than the previous year with the same overall result.

Talbot Lago T26 GS, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

All six Talbot Lago’s were rebodied as a result of a change in body work regulations which effectively outlawed cycle winged cars at Le Mans in 1952. Pierre “Levegh” Eugène Alfred Bouillon took it upon himself to stay in his car chassis #11056 that he was supposed to be sharing with René Marchand for over 22 hours. While leading the pursuing Mercedes Benz cars by 4 laps “Levegh” missed a gear selecting 2nd instead of 4th with terminal consequences for his engine that caused his retirement, with just over an hour to go, handing an unpopular 1-2 victory to the Mercedes Benz team.

So far as I have been able to ascertain today’s featured car seen at Goodwood in 2009 is chassis #11056 raced in 1951 at Le Mans by the Argentinians Froilan Gonzales and Onofre Marimon who retired before half distance with a broken radiator.”Pierre Levegh” acquired the car in 1952 and body work by Charles Deutsch was fitted to comply with the new regulations effectively outlawing cycle wings over the wheels.

Talbot Lago T26 GS, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1953 “Levegh”, racing under the name of his uncle a racer who died at the wheel of a racing car in 1904, returned to Le Mans for a second time with #11056 now sharing the car with Charles Pozzi to finish a distant 8th 400 kms behind the winning C type Jaguar of Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton. Lino Fayen joined Levegh in 1954 but this time #11056 retired after just 33 laps.

Pierre Levegh raced this car in at least a dozen other events between 1952 and April 1955 winning two of them in 1952 and 1954 at Montlhéry. On the 11th of June 1955 Pierre Levegh was invited to join the returning works Mercedes Benz team at Le Mans, on lap 34 he was involved with a collision with a slower car that saw him and his blazing 300SLR fatally land on barriers while parts of his car were hurled into the crowd and killing 82 spectators and injuring 100 more.

During the 1970’s the Deutsch body work was abandoned and the car was refitted with cycle wing bodywork as used by Gonzalez and Marimon in 1951. In 2006 11056 appeared at Pebble Beach with a likeness of the Deutsch bodywork as used by Pierre Levegh but there are significant differences not least the wider radiator grill than seen in 1952 and the curious addition of a NACA submerged duct in the spare wheel cover on the right side of the vehicle. So far as I know such ducts did not appear on Talbot Lago’s until 1953 on chassis #11055 and certainly not on chassis #11056.

If this outline is at variance with your understanding of today’s featured car please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “One Shift Short Of A Hero” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !