The Big Sensation of 2018’s Pebble Beach Concours d-Elegance!
1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé
This most unusual and unique car is owned by Robert Kudela from the Czech Republic.
He gave this car to his father for his 70th birthday as a “retirement” present. The present included a small garage and five people to help him restore it. The father was very much familiar with restoring cars, having been around them for the past 40 years.
The little crew accomplished incredibly detailed and and painstakingly, historical correct work, as 95% of the car’s parts had still be on the car. It was the first time ever father and son had been to Pebble Beach or entered a car there.
Over the course of the restauration one of the biggest authorities on the subject of French coach built cars, Peter M. Larsen, consulted on the correctness of the restoration.
It was a huge sensation at this years Pebble Beach Concours d-Elegance, as the car had not only never been shown but really never been seen by the public in 47 years.
And the humble and sweet father and son team from the Czech Republic (the father speaking almost no English at all) arrived at Pebble as total novices.
Our team shared the hotel with them and with Peter Larsen from day one and it was wonderful to see how they got prepared for the big day. We all thought that the car had a real shot at winning “Best of Show” and it almost did. An incredible experience we were blessed to be an intimate part of.
In the end the Talbot went home with three prizes: “Best in Class” for Postwar Touring Cars, “The Vitesse – Elegance Trophy” and the “Best of Show Nominee”, being the runner up for “Best of Show”
The Talbot was built as an exclusive road-going sports chassis that could be bodied by few of the surviving coachbuilders of Europe. Its first owner, Mr. Fayolle, also owner of a large zipper factory, was known as the “Zipper King”. He brought the chassis to Joseph Figoni with the request to incorporate a design that represented a zipper, hence the chrome work on the hood. Figoni built the car for the Paris Auto Salon. It is one of only 26 surviving Grand Sports but the only one with this particular body and Figoni’s very last tear-drop design.