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Peter Giddings Racing

HISTORY OF LAGO TALBOT T26C GP
CHASSIS #110054,  ENGINE #45154
                                                          
In 1935, after the collapse of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq company, an employee, Anthony Lago purchased the French operations of the company at Suresnes and formed SA Automobiles Talbot. To enhance the image of his company, he began constructing sports cars and later, race cars. After World War II, Lago Talbot resumed racing with the pre-war cars.

In 1948/49 two works Lago Talbot T26Cs (#110053 and #110054) were constructed.  # 110054 was extensively campaigned during the 1949/50 seasons by Girard-Cabantous, Etancelin, Chaboud, and Rosier.

In 1950, whilst #110054 was in Rafaela, Argentina, for the Christmas Day 500 mile race (one of two works entries, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Froilan Gonzalez), the Lago Talbot company went into receivership.

Works driver  Georges Grignard assisted the official receiver with the disposal of #110054 to energetic and colourful Philippe (“PhiPhi”) Etancelin, of whom it was said “he seems to be taking corners all the way down the straights”!

The prospect of being able to purchase a Lago Talbot GP in its fastest and ultimate DA specification, and also the very car he had driven as the official number one works driver, proved irresistible.

Etancelin raced #110054 regularly throughout the 1951 season, and less so in 1952, when he decided to retire.

In 1954 Etancelin came out of retirement and, to the joy of British enthusiasts (and still wearing his cap back to front!) raced #110054 at Aintree and Oulton Park.

At the end of the 1954 season Etancelin retired again for good, and disposed of #110054 to Terry Hall, a Paris-based American skating star of the European Ice Follies.

 Hall successfully raced #110054 at Palm Springs, Torrey Pines, Riverside, Pomona, and Paramount Ranch.  When, due to skating related wear and tear, Hall retired from racing, his mechanic retained #110054 in lieu of unpaid bills.

 In 1958 Jack Eubank and Phil Carter became the new owners of #110054.  By this time, #110054 had become less reliable: thus, Eubank and Carter contemplated fitting a Corvette engine, but instead, continued to race #110054  until it finally suffered a spun bearing.

In 1960 Fred Orgeron purchased #110054, and recognizing it as an obsolete racing car in need of serious work, decided to convert it into a sports racer  for SCCA competition.   Conrad Scott and Englishman Jack Sutton were commissioned by Orgeron to design and construct a three-seater (driver in the center seat!) racing body (utilizing an English wheeling machine – the first one ever seen/ used in the U.S.A.).  Whilst this work was progressing, Roger Bloxham (aided by Ken Miles who was campaigning Briggs Cunningham’s Lago Talbot) was given the responsibility of rebuilding the engine.  After this work was completed, #110054 took to the tracks again, under the name of the “Orgeron Special”, and was featured in “Sports Car Specials”.

Subsequently Orgeron sold  #110054 to Lago Talbot collector, Lindley Locke, who in 1976 traded #110054 to its present owner who then embarked upon a lengthy restoration to bring the car back to its original Grand Prix configuration.

Since 1949, #110054 has competed in over 114 events throughout South America, Europe, the U.S.A., Bahamas, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand achieving many podium finishes along the way.  

#110054 has now been driven in over 300 track sessions/ races on 60 tracks in 18 countries.

Since 1978, #110054 has been totally restored/ rebuilt three times (most recently by Auto Restorations of New Zealand in 2006).

#110054 is now ready for another 50+ years of international competition!

Specification:

Engine = 4482 c.c. 6 cylinder “high cam” push rod developing 260 bhp on methanol (now runs on petrol) at 5000 rpm
Performance = 270 km/h
Gearbox = Wilson pre-selector
Weight = 950 kg

Talbot Lago #110054 is now being campaigned by Peter's friend, David Duthu.

Photo A:   Winton, Australia - photo by James Smith

Winton, Australia - photo by James Smith

 

Photo B:   Winton, Australia - photo by James Smith

Winton, Australia - photo by James Smith

 

Photo C:   Phillip Island, Australia - photo by James Smith

Phillip Island, Australia - photo by James Smith

 

Photo D:   Phillip Island, Australia - photo by James Smith

Phillip Island, Australia - photo by James Smith

 

Photo E:   Phillip Island, Australia - photo by James Smith

Phillip Island, Australia. Photo by James Smith

 

Philip Island, Australia, photo by James Smith

Portland International Raceway, July 1990, photo by Mike Sims

 

Photo: Factory Archives

Photo: Factory Archives

In the Corkscrew

Peter in the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, Monterey Historics, 1982.

Australian GP

Precision and identical lap times -- a hallmark of Peter's driving. (Talbot Lago at the Australian Grand Prix).

In the wet

A Talbot Lago does not handle well in the wet!

Talbot at home

Peter, Tazio, and Judy with the Talbot Lago.

Laguna Turn 9

The old Turn 9 at Laguna Seca. Peter says: "No one in a historic car could take Turn 9 as well as Phill Hill, but in my
Talbot Lago, I certainly tried!"

Australian GP

Peter in Talbot Lago#11054, fighting to stay ahead of the super-quick and well-driven Cooper Holden
and the extremely loud and very innovative yellow Zephyr Special. (Australian Grand Prix).

Geelong 1996

Peter in the Talbot Lago on the starting line at the Geelong (Australia) Speed Trials, 1996.
Mike Sims stands behind at front of car while Peter's Adelaide crew looks on.

Grand Bahamas

Peter races his second Talbot Lago at the First Grand Bahamas Speed Week in 1984.

Coronet Hill Climb

Peter's Talbot Lago takes a well-deserved breather at the top of the Coronet Peak hill climb in New Zealand.
What a view!--"And look -- no guard rails!"

El Mirage

Talbot Lago #110054 being tuned for a top speed run at El Mirage dry lake, late 1950s.

Talbot Book Photo

Peter cornering hard in the Talbot. Scan from the back slip cover of "Talbot" by Alain Spitz, published 1983.