It’s the most valuable French car ever sold at auction.
What would you be willing to spend for a car? $50,000? $500,000? A stunning and extremely rare 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe was purchased for more than $13 million. It was sold at the Gooding and Company auction on Amelia Island earlier this month. The car sold for $13,425,000 at auction, making it the most valuable French car ever sold at auction and a global record for the marquee.
The T150-C-SS chassis, number 90107, supports Figoni et Falaschi’s bodywork. The manufacturer designed between 10 and 20 Teardrop Coupes, according to the auction house’s research, and they were manufactured in two flavours: the notchback Coupé Jeancart and the fastback Modéle New York. The Modéle New York body, of which only two were manufactured, is made entirely of aluminium, and this is the only one that has survived with its bodywork intact.
The Talbot was painted in blue with grey fenders when it left the factory. It had a sunroof, a competitive-style exhaust header, and painted wire wheels. For the 1938 Concours d’Elegance Fémina, the automobile was painted cream with red fenders. It was on display with two other Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Coupes. The automobile was eventually sold to Los Angeles resident Thomas Stewart Lee, who already owned two other T150-C-SS Coupes. Lee had it repainted in a deep red colour.
After a few more owners, the car was painted white and parked in a California garage for 40 years, until 2002. The restored 90107 made its debut at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and went on to win Best of Show at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In Pebble Beach, it was awarded First in Class. The automobile is a stunning example of early car design.
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A 4.0-liter inline-six engine with three Zenith-Stomberg carburetors produces 140 horsepower in the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe (104 kilowatts). A four-speed Wilson pre-selector gearbox, four-wheel mechanical brakes, front independent suspension, and a live rear axle are all standard. Both have leaf springs that are semi-elliptical.
The car is nearly 80 years old, and it would be lovely to see it celebrate its centenary, even if it did go missing for 40 years. We’re hoping it doesn’t vanish again.