Pebble Eligible: 1938 Talbot Lago 23T

1938 Talbot Lago 23T Drophead

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We don’t come across many barn finds that one would really consider a Pebble Beach contender, but this 1938 Talbot Lago might just have what it takes to be invited to the prestigious Concours. Quite a few Talbot Lagos have graced the 18th hole at Pebble Beach already! The seller claims this drop top has been in the same family’s care since the 1950s. The previous owner’s son remembers the car well, as it was his father’s prized possession. Sometime in the ’60s a restoration was started, but never finished. Today, it awaits a loving owner to finish it and put it back on the road. Find this beautiful machine here on eBay in Pleasanton, California with bidding just over $40k.

1938 Talbot Lago 23T Interior

Will this car ever see the green grass of Pebble? Well that probably will depend on the next owner and what level of restoration they are willing and able to commit to. If the paint and body had been left alone, it would have been welcome to the event in the preservation class, where it would have likely been a serious competitor. Sadly, I don’t see it receiving an invite in its current primered condition.

1938 Talbot Lago Engine

Whether you restore it to Concours level or just to drive status, this would be one incredible machine to have! I absolutely love the flowing lines, suicide doors and overall elegant look of this drophead! The seller claims the engine turns by hand, so making it a driver might not be that difficult. Finding parts for it won’t be easy, but not impossible. I’d love to climb into the all original interior, fire up that massive inline 6 and just take a casual drive in this Talbot! How about you?

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  1. Jesper

    Wow. Is that a fine projekt.

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  2. Jim

    Beautiful car. I would love to be able to be the owner who could restore it to its original glory. Talbot Lago’s rank high among my all time favorites

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  3. Fred

    Forget Pebble Beach. Paint it a proper color, get it running and be the only guy at local car shows with one.

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    • Mike O'Handley


      Except a win at Pebble Beach automatically bumps your car’s value up into the Stratosphere.

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  4. Van

    A great car that you won’t see turned into a rat rod.
    Just getting this car drivable will make you welcome at any car show on the planet.

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  5. DolphinMember

    Beautiful vintage drophead, but I would be very cautious. This is the least valuable of all the Talbot Lago models listed in the SCM Guide, and waaaay below the value of the more valuable models. BUT it will be about as expensive to restore as the high-value models.

    The leather interior will be very expensive to replace, and the dash instruments, knobs, switches, etc, will be tricky to bring back….if they aren’t beyond saving. Expert advice and services for those components will be needed.

    The consigned seller says that all the parts missing from the car as it sits now (lights; trim; bumpers) come with the car and are shown in the photos. But those separate parts aren’t shown in any of the photos.

    Maybe it’s just careless (but what else was he careless about in the description?), but be certain those expensive, hard-to-get / fabricate parts are with the car, or the buyer will be in for a long, expensive search for those parts to make the car look complete.

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  6. Silvershadow773

    Paging Clive Cussler, paging Jay Leno……Mr. Cussler, Mr. Leno……..

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  7. charlieMember

    I like the pink primer, my father’s ’38 Studebaker had pink primer under its boring black paint.

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  8. Bill Wilkman

    The “what were they thinking” pink has gotta go! Needs a full resto anyway, so color is really not an issue.

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  9. Hervé Smagghe

    Hello from France !!!
    There is a mistake about this Talbot.
    Classic Cars write motor 3 liters: by that, it could not be a T23, which is the 4 liters, but a T17.
    The photos shows 3 n° on métal parts 79.907 – 79.612 & 50.354.
    The seller indicate a n° of frame of (VIN) 8251 NM.
    And all the T23 have a # in 93xxx.
    The third point is that we cannot seen of the ads which is the lenghth of frame: there was 3 sizes Baby – Major & Master.
    I think it’s a Baby, but …
    The best could the photo of of “work plate”.

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    • Tre Deuce

      Herve’ …Thanks for your input/info on the Talbots. I have a question for you…did the Talbots of this era have a Sequential shifting transmission.


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    • Tre Deuce

      Herve’ Merci pour vos commentaires / informations sur le Talbots. J’ai une question pour vous … ne les Talbots de cette époque ont une transmission de changement de vitesse séquentiel.


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  10. Kent Pearson

    Dolphin says it all about the missing parts. Show me. When judges will crawl around an engine checking for ORIGINAL hose clamps you better have every nut, bolt and trim piece. That said, it would be great to have even as a driver that looks near to complete. This is a beaurtiful car, Most of us would kill to drive it. Great find.

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  11. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    In taking a close look at that interior photo, I suspect it was sold new in England, as this is a RHD car. Various items on the dash facia also suggest a UK birth, like the Lucas trafficator switch and other Lucas switches. And it appears that almost all of the gauges are from other vehicles. I suspect that leather interior is more likely vinyl, as the door panels would not have been done in a pleated style in the late 30s. And the seats look far too good to be original leather. Likely a vinyl re-do in the 1960s when the car was a $500 beater. I find it interesting that the glove box door is hinged on the side & not the bottom. With the hinge on the right side of the door, this would make it difficult for the driver to open or find something inside.

    Being a French car with RHD and a British history, this would likely lower the value considerably.

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  12. Hervé Smagghe

    Nobody care about the error: it seems to be a 3 liters, T17, and not a T23, 4 liters.

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  13. GoodoleMike

    Wonder what this car would look like if they made a donk out of it ?

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