How much would you pay for a car? £50,000? £500,000? One person spent over £10 million to obtain a gorgeous and rare 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe. It sold earlier this month at the Gooding and Company auction at Amelia Island. The final hammer price for the car was $13,425,000 (approx. £10.3 million), making it the most valuable French car ever sold at auction and a world record for the marquee.
The T150-C-SS chassis, number 90107, underpins bodywork designed by Figoni et Falaschi. According to the auction house's research, the firm designed between 10 to 20 Teardrop Coupes, and they were built in two flavours – the notchback Coupé Jeancart and the fastback Modéle New York. The Modéle New York body, of which only two were built, features all-aluminium construction, and this is the only example surviving with its bodywork intact.
Gallery: 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe
The Talbot left the factory finished in blue with grey wings/fenders. It featured a competitive-style exhaust header, painted wire wheels, and a sunroof. The car’s colour changed to cream with red wings/fenders for 1938’s Concours d’Elegance Fémina. It appeared alongside two other Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Coupes. The car was then sold to Thomas Stewart Lee of Los Angeles, who owned two other T150-C-SS Coupes. Lee had it repainted dark red.
The car passed through a few more owners before being painted white and stuck in a California garage for 40 years until 2002. The restored 90107 debuted at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and made an outing to the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, earning Best of Show. It earned a First in Class trophy in Pebble Beach. The car is a gorgeous example of early automotive design.
Powering the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe is a 4.0-litre inline-six engine with three Zenith-Stomberg carburettors making 140 bhp (104 kilowatts). It has a four-speed Wilson pre-selector gearbox, four-wheel mechanical brakes, a front independent suspension, and a live rear axle. Both feature semi-elliptical leaf springs.
The car is over 80 years old, and it'd be nice to see it reach its centennial, though the vehicle did disappear for 40 years at one point. We hope it doesn't disappear again.