The Talbot Lago shown has a body by Ghia that was called a Pillarless Saloon. Not one of the prettier examples in my estimation, but a most erotic car none the less. Ghia designed some unusual coach work, especially of similar streamlined designs for Delahaye, but this one for a Talbot borders on the bizarre. This one-of-one ever built motorcar was featured in an Automobile Quarterly issue on rare coachbuilt Ghia bodies. It is a very interesting design exercise by a coachbuilder known for setting trends and this unusual car was commissioned by quite a unique person – a King, in fact.
According to Talbot expert and historian, Richard Adatto, this one-off T-26 Grand Sport Record once belonged to King Farouk, the last monarch of Egypt. After studying this Talbot Lago from stem to stern, there is no doubt that the King had eccentric and extravagant tastes in the extreme.
Intended to be the ultimate in modern streamlining, the Ghia’s coachwork for the King has the car with no bumpers and the fenders are skirted over. They swing out on hinges when a royal tire has to be removed. The grill is pretty, but between the wide fenders and narrow hood it has the look of a large-mouthed bass. Unlike American cars of the period it is totally smooth and free from chrome.
Only the grille and bezels around the headlight gleam. It is a striking car in its own right and the powerplant is the 4.5-litre inline 6-cylinder engine with aluminum cylinder head and triple carburetors – a direct descendant of the successful Talbot Lago Grand Prix car.
What one does not realize until you sit in this car is its extreme width. The body style is almost an illusion. It appears standard size but in reality is much larger. Upon acquiring the car it seemed so wide that I thought four people could actually be seated across the front seat. I now realize that the car was meant to seat the 300-pound monarch and his special guest. A ride fit for a King!