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Roesch Talbot

Roesch Talbot Published: 1st Jun 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Roesch Talbot
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Connoisseur classic that’s remarkable value for money


Certain classics stand head and shoulders above the rest – cars like the Roesch Talbot. It was an odd amalgamation some 90 years ago of Swiss-born Georges Roesch, who designed a remarkable engine essentially to save the London Talbot company. It was the star of the 1926 Olympia Motor Show and became one of the era’s greatest sporting cars.



There’s a line up of open and closed cars, the secret of the car lies in its advanced engine which featured ingenious knitting needle thin pushrods and compression ratios far above the norm and more in line with power units of the 1970s. Initially of 1665cc, the design evolved into 2.3 and 2.9-litres, progressively numbered 70, 90 and 105 simply to donate their claimed top speeds.



These are lovely cars to drive with spirited performance, fine handling and steering and a general feeling of engineering excellence. Early models used a ‘crash’ gearbox but in 1933 a self-changing ‘pre-selector’ transmission was fitted; you simply selected the gear you wanted (on a steering wheel quadrant) and simply depressed the clutch when desired. The clever part was that this gear train enabled rapid gear selection.



These cars were traditionally vastly underrated until the turn of the New Millennium before they came into their own. Prices for top ex racing examples have sold for almost £1.5m, yet at the other end of the scale, a basic, sound mainstream model can still sell for comfortably under £20.000, says marque expert Ian Polson of Suffolk (01440 829371).



Beautifully made and engineered, the downside is that this is not the most DIY-friendly oldie on the block warns Polson and many home mechanics fail to set their cars up properly – which can make a huge difference to their reliability as well as how they drive. For instance, the gear train requires specialist knowledge while the complex engines can cost well in excess of £10,000 to fully overhaul. Happily spare parts aren’t a problem from Ian Polson or Essex-based Arthur Archer (01371 872802) plus there’s a great owners’ club.

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