The Beautiful Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ Set to Shine at Concours of Elegance 2024

The prestigious Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace, renowned for showcasing the world’s rarest and most captivating classic cars, is set to unveil a true masterpiece this year: the legendary Talbot-Lago T150C SS “Teardrop.”

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ On the Road Trees

A Legacy of Speed and Style

The story begins with Antonio Franco Lago, a visionary carmaker whose brainchild, the Talbot-Lago T150, dominated the early 20th century. This marvel of engineering boasted a cutting-edge hemispherical combustion chamber in its four-litre engine, making it one of the fastest cars of its era. Lago, with a flair for the dramatic, debuted three T150s at the 1934 Concours d’Elegance in a dazzling display of red, white, and blue, each paired with a female racing driver in matching attire.

Despite the initial fanfare, sales lagged. Lago, however, was not one to be deterred. He pushed the boundaries further by successfully propelling a new T150 to an astounding 100 miles per hour within an hour at Montlhéry, solidifying the Talbot-Lago brand’s reputation for power and performance.

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ by the sea door open

In 1937, Talbot-Lago upped the ante with the T150C, a lighter and more nimble version that dominated prestigious races like the Marseilles Grand Prix and the British Tourist Trophy. This marked a turning point for the company. That same year, Lago unveiled the crown jewel: the T150C SS, a road-worthy adaptation of the T150C racing car. Built to comply with sports car regulations, it received a breathtaking “Teardrop” body designed by the legendary French coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. This fusion of speed and elegance instantly secured its place as one of the most coveted cars on the road.

A Design for the Ages

Only a mere 30 T150C SS models were ever produced, with the majority sporting the Figoni et Falaschi touch. The “New York” Teardrop Talbot-Lago, named after its 1938 debut at the New York Auto Salon, is a prime example. This masterpiece, influenced by the kinetic art movement, is a seamless flow of design from front to back. It’s no wonder it’s revered as one of the most elegant car designs ever created.

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ Cabin

This particular Teardrop, the fourth of only fourteen built (with all but one surviving!), boasts a unique detail: it’s the only one without a sunroof. Instead, twin windshields cleverly open outwards for ventilation, operated by compact dashboard-mounted winders.

A Storied Past

The Teardrop’s first owner was a man known as “Suicide Freddie,” a thrill-seeker who embraced life in the fast lane. From skiing and bobsleighing to motor racing and yachting, his adventurous spirit perfectly complemented the car’s character. Whether cruising the glittering streets of Paris or traversing the glamorous French Riviera, the Teardrop was the ideal companion.

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ Head Lights

Just a few years later, the car found itself across the Atlantic in the hands of Hollywood legend Tommy Lee. An avid car enthusiast, Lee owned four Talbot-Lagos and used them to conquer racetracks throughout the 1940s. After Lee’s passing, the Teardrop found a new home with famed industrial designer Brooks Stevens. Stevens briefly revived its racing spirit at Watkins Glen in 1957 but ultimately decided to preserve it for the world to admire at concours events.

A Restored Beauty

In its later years, the car underwent a meticulous restoration to its original specifications, including reversing a colour change implemented by Stevens. Today, it stands as one of the most authentic and original examples of the T150C SS Teardrop in existence.

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ Bonnet Open

Beyond the Teardrop: A Festival of Luxury

The Teardrop is just one of the 70 automotive treasures that will be on display at the 2024 Concours of Elegance. These magnificent machines, sourced from across the globe, are generously exhibited by their passionate owners. But the experience extends far beyond the cars.

Attendees can indulge in a luxurious atmosphere complete with champagne courtesy of Charles Heidsieck, exquisite picnics by Fortnum & Mason, and breathtaking displays of art, jewellery, and fashion. Presenting Partner A. Lange & Söhne will also be showcasing their exquisite timepieces, adding a touch of timeless elegance to the event.

Talbot-Lago T150C SS ‘Teardrop’ On the Road

The Enchantment Endures

The Concours of Elegance 2024 promises to be a celebration of automotive history, artistic brilliance, and pure luxury. With the legendary Talbot-Lago T150C SS Teardrop taking centre stage, it promises to be an unforgettable experience for car enthusiasts and art aficionados alike.

The Intrigue Continues…

We’ve delved into the rich history and captivating design of the Talbot-Lago Teardrop. Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • What classic car designs capture your imagination the most?
  • If you could own any car from history, which would it be and why?
  • Have you ever attended a classic car show? What was your experience like?

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