The Talbot "90" A HIGH-SPEED CAR with EXCEPTIONAL FLEXIBILITY and SILENCE.

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The Talbot ” o”

A HIGH-SPEED CAR with EXCEPTIONAL FLEXIBILITY and SILENCE.

THE days have definitely passed when a sports car was a fierce, noisy, intractable vehicle, which gained its speed and power by means of a rough engine. The modern counterpart of the old fire-eating monster is a smooth, well behaved car, with more speed and more acceleration than its forerunners ever dreamt of, but in spite of this, having wonderful qualities of flexibility and slow running, and, above all, silence. One of the outstanding examples of this type is the ” 90 ” Talbot, which in its racing debut in 1930 showed up as one of the most reliable racing cars ever built.

Everyone who watched any of the big races in which they took such an impressive part commented on their silence of running, and our first impressions of the car, which was put at our disposal by Warwick Wright Ltd., was this same quality.

The actual ” 90 ” which we tested had the regulation Brooklands body with which spectators of last year’s events had become so familiar. This body is not, however, to our mind the Most desirable type except for actual competition work, and the standard body supplied by the makers is the more likely selection of the man who wants a car for high speed touring and general use. This is extremely well designed, neat, roomy, and of good appearance, and the fact that the performance is not seriously interfered with by the less spartan bodywork is shown by the car which Vernon Balls was running at the opening B.A.R.C. meeting this season, which put in some laps of the track at 97 m.p.h. A photograph of this model is given in the interesting article on the history and manufacture of this marque appearing in another part of this issue.

However, the test of the Brooklands type car was interesting in being similar to the successful racers of last year, of which the latest model of slightly larger capacity looks like being a worthy descendant in the forthcoming season.

It is a noticeable fact that various models of a particular make, although having different characteristics, often possess some indefinable ” feel ” which at once shows their ancestry. This is particularly manifest in the case of firms with racing associations, as they possess invaluable first hand knowledge which enables them to get those all important details of steering and road holding correct. In describing the behaviour and handling of the Talbot on the road it would be hard to pay it any greater compliment than to say that it feels like a Talbot. The chassis is, of course, a logical development of the famous 14-45 h.p. Talbot, which has come as a revelation to many as to what an engine of just over I Fares can do. Exactly why it does it could probably be answered only by Mr. Roesch, the designer of au these cars, but the chief fact is the result. The ” 75 ” and ” 90 ” engines are of 2,276 c.c., the ” 90 ” having a higher compression and other modifications to attain the increased performance.

In the engine itself can be found many reasons for the remarkable smoothness and life, the crankshaft being a particularly fine piece of work. This is carried in seven bearings, is machined from the solid billet, and finally balanced and counterweighted. A composite piston of cast-iron and aluminium is used ; owing to the ingenious construction it is very simple, and cannot suffer any of the troubles of the older forms of composite piston which have been tried in the past. In merely looking at the external view of the engine it is indeed difficult to realise how such power is developed, as it is a very neat and simple design. But as soon as one gets on the open road one realises that the power is there in abundance, and in a particularly pleasant form. Acceleration is snappy without being harsh, giving an increase of 10 to 30 m.p.h. on second in 41 seconds, which is a very good figure on a chassis of such large dimensions in proportion to the engine capacity. {Continued on page 269]

THE TALBOT ” “—continued.

The gear change is easy and quick, enabling high speeds to be attained on very short stretches of road, and the brakes are more than able to cope with this. In these days of good brakes it is not often that one finds any particular make which stands out prominently in this respect, but the Talbot does so very definitely. The very great size of the brake drums ‘Accounts largely

for their power, which pushes one forward off the seat if applied hard. There is more, however, in braking than sheer power, and it is in the smoothness and accuracy of operation that the braking system of this car is chiefly notable. A braking distance of 45ft. from 40 m.p.h. is possible on a dry road.

A maximum speed on the level of 86 m.p.h. seemed a fair representation of the capabilities of the standard production model, though it has been shown that this can easily be improved upon by tuning, once the car is fully rim in. 45 m.p.h. and 65 m.p.h. on 2nd and 3rd gears can also be attained, while the gear-box is pleasantly silent apart from the quiet singing noise which is characteristic of this make at high speeds on the indirect ratios. It is, however, not at all an unpleasant sound, and tells of accuracy in manufacture and rigidity of the shafts.

Our only real criticism of the Brooklands model is the fact that the somewhat low seating position makes it difficult to see what is happening in traffic, but the standard 4-seater on this chassis does not suffer from. this fault, and as most owners would prefer this model in any case, the point is hardly likely to arise.

Altogether a remarkable car, which for really fast road work or competitions would be very hard to beat at anywhere near the price.