Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Jacques Saoutchik was a maverick among coachbuilders, always endeavouring to carve his own path rather then following the herd of popular contemporary design. His projects were characterised by their avant-garde bodywork, at once flowing and liquid and brutally imposing... and always dripping in chrome.
This car is arguably one of his carrosserie's finest works, the 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé being one of just 36 Grand Sports produced between 1947-53. Its 190bhp 4.5-litre straight-six was directly derived from the Grand Prix engine that won the firm so many podiums, along with a one-two finish at Le Mans in 1950. The performance credentials were all in place, and Saoutchik's work reimagined the racer as an elegant grand tourer. The tapered teardrop of the body is approximately 50% bonnet, the steering hub being pretty much at the mid-point of the car, and the broad, curvaceous panels are beautifully offset by the inevitable brightwork. It's a boulevardier with fiery potential; the French Ferrari 250 GT, a Jaguar XK120 photocopied at 150%. To wheel out a hideously hackneyed cliché, they really don't make them like this any more.
Spotted at Salon Privé 2015 - more pics here.