Monday, October 13, 2008

Mystery Car #49: Revealed


About ten or so years ago I bought a Hot Wheels car at the new Wal Mart in Iron Mountain, Michigan. At the time, Hot Wheels was reproducing some old style cars and I liked what I saw. So, I purchased a set which included Mystery Car #49. I was recently reminded of that same car as I read my newly acquired book, A History of Sports Cars1 by G. N. Georgano.

The picture in the book calls the car a 1939 Darracq Special coupe. That really didn't ring a bell with me as the Hot Wheels car went by another name. So, I read further and found this:
The other leading make in France's sports car renaissance was the Talbot-Lago, generally known in England as the Darracq. The old Darracq company had disappeared with the collapse of the S.T.D.2 group which also brought down Sunbeam and Talbot in England. The company was bought by Major Antony Lago who introduced a new range of 6-cylinder ohv cars, of which the largest was a 3,996cc machine called in short chassis form, the Baby 4-litre. The competition version of this was called the Lago-Special and with an engine tuned to give 165bhp it was capable of over 110mph. These cars took first three places in the 1937 Sports Car Grand Prix at Montlhery, and the car driven by Comotti won the 1937 Tourist Trophy Race at Donington Park. Another Talbot was second. (Georgano 196)
For more information about the car, see 1938 Talbot-Lago by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. And you should also note that the original picture of Mystery Car #49 was a Talbot-Lago T-150 CSS which sold for $4.4 million at Pebble Beach in 2008!3 So if you should see one at a car show, be sure to look with your eyes not your hands.


Works Cited:
1 Georgano, G. N. A History of Sports Cars, (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1970), 196-7.
2 According to Wikipedia's article, Talbot-Lago, "the Anglo-French STD (Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq) combine collapsed in 1935."
3 Pebble Beach 2008: Talbot-Lago sells for $4.4 million by Dan Neil of The LA Times


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