All the Makes: Talbot to TVR

Send This Page To A Friend


(1903 - 1959 and 1979 - 1986)

Originally set up to import French Clément cars into England, it soon began manufacture in its own right. Combined with Darracq and Sunbeam to form STD motors in 1920. Enjoyed success with designs by Swiss born Georges Roesch, credited with the 10/23 model in 1923. STD collapsed in 1935, Talbot and Sunbeam being purchased by the Rootes group, their names mostly used to adorn upmarket Hillmans. The Marque was briefly revived by Peugeot-Citroën.

Lost Marques |Colour Codes


(1935 - 1958)

Major Tony Lago created the Talbot-Lago marque in 1935 when he purchased the French branch of the bankrupted Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine. It was following the Rootes buy-out that Tony Lago decided to purchase Darracq, and immediately set about introducing a new range of six-cylinder cars. His new engines featured overhead valves and, at 3996cc, were dubbed the “Baby 4 liter”, but it was the “Lago Special” that would bring the company to the public’s attention.

This special sports racing version featured a 165bhp engine and was good for a top speed in excess of 110mph (177kmh) and would prove immediately successful in competitions, taking out the first three places at the 1937 Montlhery sports car Grand Prix and the Tourist Trophy race at Donington Park.

But despite the touring cars being well matched to the specialist body styles of the period, strangely they were considered by most to not be as ‘chic’ as the Delahayes. Undeterred, Tony Lago would continue to refine the wonderful 4 liter engine, and in 1938 the size was increased to 4.5 liters; racing successes for the Lago Special would continue with a win in that years Paris 12 hour race. The Lago Talbot road car of 1947 used a 170bhp engine, with the bodies usually being supplied by specialist coachbuilders in a wide variety of styles – but mostly very traditional for the day.

That year Rosier won the “Albi” race while Chiron won the French GP, and at Comminges the big Talbot Lago’s came in first, second and third places! The company would enjoy its peak production figures ever in 1950, with some 433 cars being manufactured in total. To top off a successful year, Rosier would use a two-seater sports version of the racing car to win the 1950 Le Mans race.

Pierre Levegh would come ever so close to making it back to back Le Mans victories for the marque in 1951; driving single handed for more than 22 hours, it was unfortunate and somewhat unexpected (given the engines prior reputation for reliability) that Levegh’s engine would blow.

How quickly the fortunes of the company would change, with 1951 production figures falling to a mere 80! Financial constraints would continually inhibit the companies ability to develop better engines and more competitive cars – and so it came as no surprise that 1953 offered no race track success. This was no doubt very disappointing for the engineers, for despite their financial constraints they had not only developed a new lightweight car, they had fitted Maserati engine!

In 1958 Tony Lago reluctantly allowed his company to be absorbed by Simca, the last cars to have any resemblance to the marque using a Ford side-valve V8 as used on the Simca Vedette. Tony Lago would die the following year, and inevitably the heritage of Talbot-Lago would diminish over the following years as Simca was purchased by Chrysler and that in turn by the Rootes group.

Lost Marques



(1923 - 1999)

Owes much of its success to Hans Ledwinka, an engineering genius who brought much innovation to the marque. His early Nesseldorf car introduced 4 wheel braking and an overhead-cam engine. After World War I the company was renamed Tatra and Ledwinka charged with designing a new small car.

The 1923 Type-11 was simple yet extremely rugged, and became a huge success. This was followed by Type-77 in in 1934, the worlds first enclosed streamlined production car. Since 1999 has concentrated on the manufacture of trucks.



(1936 - present)

Largest car manufacturer in the world, built on a reputation for building good quality cars. Reverse engineered US and British cars, then studied US production methods, the resultant Corolla of 1966 becoming an overnight success. There are, and have been, many models in the Toyota lineup, but it is the Corolla that built the success that the company enjoys today.

Gallery | Media | Price Guide | Colour Codes A-G | Colour Codes H-Z


(1923 - 1984)

Motorcycle manufacturer since 1902, Triumph diversified into makind cars from 1923. Became extremely popular after World War II with its Spitfire and TR series. Best known for the sporty open-top roadsters, notable saloon models included the Herald and Dolomite.

Gallery | Lost Marques | Price Guide | color Codes



(1922 - 1936)

Long before the Beetle, UK manufacturer Trojan began with the concept of building affordable cars for the masses. Financed by Leyland Motors, unfortunately the design of the car was over 10 years old by the time of manufacture, and during its life span it did not undergo any significant upgrades. The demise of the company was inevitable.


(1949 - present)

Founded by Trevor Wilkinson and Jack Pickard, going from the manufacture of one-off specials to series production models from 1953. The earliest examples used Austin mechanicals, but as the company became more and more successful, larger powerplants from other manufacturers were used.

Gallery | Heritage | Price Guide

Unique Cars and Parts USA - The Ultimate Classic Car Resource