In 1916, Georges Henri Roesch became chief engineer of Clement Talbot, Ltd., of London. Talbot was originally an importer and assembler of French Clément-Bayard automobiles, and later, with the construction the necessary facilities, builder of British Talbot cars from 1906. Born in Switzerland, Roesch brought with him a vast amount of experience from motoring pioneers such as Grégoire, Delaunay Belleville, Renault, and Daimler. Upon his arrival at Talbot, he set about designing a new range of cars for the post–Great War era, but financial constraints meant his design only came to fruition after the formation of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq partnership in 1920. His brilliant 14/45 model, a light six-cylinder car with an engine displacing 1665cc, came just at the right time, as S-T-D Motors, Ltd. was in dire financial straits. The star of Roesch’s new model was the six-cylinder engine which, thanks to light weight but strong internals, revved to an extremely high 4500 rpm and produced 41 horsepower. While it was not intended as a sports car, it delivered excellent performance and road manners for a touring car of the period. Other advancements included a gearbox lubricated by warm engine oil and an oil pressure warning light in place of the standard gauge. The 14/45 proved very popular from 1926 through 1932 with over 11,000 examples built. The Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register indicates that this 14/45 Tourer, chassis number 25065, was originally sold to the delightfully named Maude’s Motor Mart of Exeter, UK. It was ordered on 19 February 1929, invoiced the next day and delivered the following week on 27 February. In previous ownership, it was restored over an extended period from the 1970s until 1996. Its original registration, RL 9317, a 1929 Cornwall issue, remains with the car. Wearing five-seat open coachwork from Darracq Motor Engineering Co., which had been Alexandre Darracq’s aeronautical company during the Great War, this car is the quintessential early British tourer. It is handsomely finished in deep blue with black wings and a black hood and tonneau cover. The body features restrained nickel brightwork which is in very good condition. The paintwork is showing a light and pleasing patina, while still remaining very attractive. Notable period features are direction signals atop the rear number plate, a fishtail exhaust, and leather-gaitered springs. The cabin is simple and elegantly appointed, in keeping with the period. The dark blue leather has been recently refurbished and presents in excellent condition. A wood fascia is dotted with period instrumentation from Smiths and Jaeger. The full folding hood and side curtains keep occupants dry during the occasional bout of proper English weather. The six cylinder engine is pleasingly and honestly presented, with minimal flash and decoration but mainly correct fittings and plumbing. It runs strong and is surprisingly revvy for a car of this era. That wonderful engine in combination with the four-speed manual transmission and four wheel brakes makes the Talbot AG a delightfully brisk car to drive. Since the restoration was completed, this Talbot has seen only moderate use and regular upkeep, and it remains in very well preserved condition. It will certainly make for a very enjoyable and seldom-seen touring and event car. Sale includes period brochures, a copy of the owner’s pamphlet, sheets documenting production details, and a full set of side curtains.
G. N. Georgano tells us in my favourite reference work, his excellent Complete Encyclopaedia of Motorcars, that Clement- Talbot had been suffering in the market since they had they had dropped their successful pre 1918 range of four cylinder cars. I think it is reasonable to assume that without chief engineer George Roesche’s new line of six cylinder cars which were introduced in the latter part of the 1920s, the company may well have been in serious trouble. The Talbot 14/45 was the first of this range which developed into the 75 then the 90, 105 and the 110 (one of which I also have for sale). Small capacity six cylinder cars were becoming fashionable about this time so the new Talbot would have had strong market appeal, particularly in view of its technically advanced engine with lightweight components giving higher revving, smooth running and greater power than many of its four cylinder competitors. Roesch had very little time for development so the car came to the market straight off the drawing board but was apparently so good that there were none of the usual new model snags and Talbot sold all they could make. According to a buff card logbook in the file this particular exa