1939 Talbot-Lago T23

Major Cabriolet by Chausson
Sale Price
$150,000 - $200,000
Est. Range
26 January 2023
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 93463; Engine no. 23560. Light Blue with blue fenders and dark blue cloth top over light gray leather. RHD. 4.0/115hp six, Wilson pre-selector gearbox, hub caps, Michelin X tires, landau bars, suicide doors, dual wing mirrors, Marchal driving lights.

Evaluation: Restored in the 1970s, regularly enjoyed by multiple collectors, and has gotten regular attention over the years including new upholstery in 2013. Decent older paint, but there are chips around some panel edges, cracks on a few of the fenders and runs on top of the driver’s door, plus clear bra over the front fenders that looks like a long scratch at first glance. Scratched and pitted windshield frame. The interior, by contrast, looks very good, since it was so recently redone. The wood trim is solid and apart from some light smudges that would probably clean out, the leather looks fresh. Tidy underneath. Needs nothing for a casual drive, but new paint and chrome plus a general detailing would bring this Talbot to the next level. And though not unattractive, this is far from the most graceful coachwork ever draped over a Talbot-Lago.

Bottom Line: Sold by RM at Amelia Island for $159,500 in 2013, when its odometer showed just 15 fewer km than it does today. It then brought $173,600 at the very successful RM Sotheby’s Elkhart Collection sale in late 2020. Looking at this car’s price history in isolation you might think that a bubble had burst. Really, though, Arizona 2023 saw plenty of fair, strong numbers and was more of a return to rational bidding. There also wasn’t the right buyer in the room on the lookout for a Talbot-Lago in uninspiring condition and with so-so coachwork. The $150k low estimate wasn’t unreasonable. Someone just swooped in on a neat prewar French car at no reserve for a good bargain.

by Andrew Newton
10 February 2023

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