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Slumbering Saoutchik: 1949 Talbot Lago T26

1949 Talbot Lago T26 Sedanca Front Corner

Barn finds have always been prized by the average car collector, as they are typically affordable to buy and hopefully easy to restore. Recently even the Concours crowd has taken notice. There was even a preservation class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year and “barn finds” was the featured class at many other events. Reader Kyle K shared this amazing find which would fit in nicely with any crowd that appreciates the finest French built automobiles. This 1949 Talbot Lago T26 Sedanca was believed to have been lost forever, but was recently discovered in a Californian barn. It’s know being offered for sale by Ross Classics.

1949 Talbot Lago T26 Sedanca At Paris Salon

Adding to the rarity and beauty of this car is its hand built Saoutchik body, as a matter of fact this is the only Saoutchik bodied T26 Sedanca ever built. This car debuted at the 1949 Paris Auto Salon in its original white paint with the top removed and it drew lots of attention with its unique Sedanca design. Finding this one-off car parked in a barn had to be an exhilarating rush and we wish we could have been there to help uncover it.

1949 Talbot Lago T26 Sedanca Engine

The Talbot Lagos of the ’40s were extremely well built, mostly because of the extensive part sharing the company did between their street cars and their Grand Prix race cars. The T26 used the 4.5 liter straight six with dual overhead cams and triple carbs. This setup produced 170 horsepower which was enough to launch this luxury car to a claimed 103 mph. This might not seem very impressive by today’s standards, but for a luxury car in the ’40s it was outstanding.

1949 Talbot Lago T26 Sedanca Rear Corner

This car is a one of a kind machine and a one of a kind find, but sadly this rare masterpiece is well out of the price range of most. The seller is asking an eye watering $225,000 for this Saoutchik bodied beauty. Thankfully it is complete and restorable, but that is a lot to pay for project car. It is not going to be cheap to restore either, as it is a one off car with rust. Then again, if you have the change, this could be your ticket into Pebble Beach. Then you will have to decide if you want to restore it or just enter it as is. The later would be a lot less work and we have a feeling it it draw a little more attention…


  1. fred hunt

    Wow. I’d love to see some interior pics.

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  2. Chris

    The Talbot Lago 6 cylinder engine does not have double overhead cam shafts. Instead it has two cam shaft high in the block on either side of the cylinder bank driving short push rods to rockers and hemi shaped combustion chambers. The design is a larger version of the Riley 4 cylinder engines and the system is basically the metod for valve actuation on the Chrysler 392 and 426 Hemi engines. There was a rule change at Indy that permitted overhead valve engines to displace 4.5 liters, while DOHC engines were limited to 3.0. Using the cam in blck/short pushrod design, Mercedes Benz built engines for Roger Penske and Little Al won going away. Indy then outlawed the pushrod advantage. The Talbot Lago with the big 6 engine actually won the 24 Hours of LeMans and a later one was driven for 23 hours straight by one Pierre Leveque until he missed a shift and overreved the engine. There is a very good chance that the present car may have a unique transmission, namely a Wilson preselector system. Regardless of price, this is a landmark car and should be fully restored.

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  3. Bryan Spacek

    I’d get in running condition and show it pretty much as is. Once cars of this caliber are restored to a high degree, they get stabled away and not seen by the average person for generations, which is a terrible thing. People need to see these old classics to inspire them to create their own. Pictures just don’t have the same affect.

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