A NOBLE CAREER

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A NOBLE CAREER

ONE of the more potent road-cars, and, we imagine, quite a likely contender for “fastest roadequipped sports-car” honours is the fourseater Talbot belonging to C. M. Couper, and well known to Brooklauds habitues. This car was specially constructed in 1934 to compete in the Alpine Trial, which classic and arduous contest many people would like to see revived. Two other similar cars went out to this Trial five years ago and the Talbot team proved victorious. The car then had the Type 105 engine and, entered for the 1934 M.C.C. Brooklands meeting it made best time in the first One Hour High Speed Trial, averaging 85.06 m.p.h. and then won a one-lap scratch race at 80.2 m.p.h. and 2 lap handicap at 86.62 m.p.h. At the 1934 Autumn B.A.R.C. Meeting it won a short handicap at 100.81 m.p.h. During 1935 the Talbot again managed fastest time in the M.C.C. run, at 99.61 m.p.h. and won a I lap scratch race at 86.32 m.p.h., also coming home second In a 2 lap handicap. For 1936 a Type 110, 8,377 c.c. engine was installed. The car ran, with full equipment in place, in the R.A.C. Rally, gaining a first-class award. Having thus demonstrated its road ability, it returned to Brooklands, winning a long handicap at 112.29 m.p.h. and getting a third place at the Easter Meeting. It then went up to Scotland for the Scottish Rally and won a thirdclass award. In the J.C.C. High Speed Trial at Brooklands it did fastest time of the day, at 79.8 m.p.h., and got a fourth place in a subsequent 2 lap race. At the August B.A.R.C. Meeting it came

in third in a long handicap, and then tried a sprint event, finishing second in the unlimited unblown sports-car category at Shelsley Walsh. A new chassis frame was put into commission for the following season, and at the J.C.C. Brooklands’ Rally the Talbot was the fastest car in the speed test and was awarded a first-class award in the general results. It next obtained another first-class award for Couper in its

second R.A.C. Rally. At the Easter Brooklands Meeting the Talbot was second in a long handicap, and at the next B.A.R.C. Meeting gained two more second places. The J.C.C. High Speed Trial, avec corners, resulted in a firstclass award and the same thing took place in the M.C.C. High Speed show. At the last B.A.R.C. Meeting of 1937 second place was gained in a short handicap, and the car’s aggregate for the Track Gold Star placed it third on the marking list. Before another season commenced Couper had the bodywork overhauled. In the Locke-King 20 Mile handicap the Talbot finished third and Couper drove it into first place at the August Brooklands Meeting, in a long handicap race, averaging 116.01 m.p.h. The Talbot scored a notable victory at the Jubilee Meeting, by winning the Jubilee Trophy Race at 119.86 m.p.h. It was also second in a long handicap. The aggregate for the Track Star gave it second place. After paying all his entrance fees, insurances and incidental expenses, Couper found that his pastime had cost him 9 13s. 10d during the 1938 season, after prize money had been paid in. Vet we so often believed that British racing can never pay for itself. The Talbot was singularly reliable, yet it could do a standing Brooklands lap at 104.85 m.p.h. and a flying lap at 129.7 m.p.h.—with

four-seater bodywork Naturally, the 3,377 c.c. Type 110 engine has been tuned and hotted. It now has a compression-ratio of 11 to 1 approximately and gives something like 180 b.h.p. Never once in its career has this Talbot failed to complete a 40 mile journey to the track, and home again afterwards, on the day of a B.A.R.C. appointment, and, it does not oil or burn its plugs in doing so. The engine has coil ignition and its original single Zenith carburetter and is a wonderful example of what a soundly designed and constructed British push-rod unit can be made to achieve. If Georges Roesch were not such a modest soul he might well yell at the top of his voice about a lap speed of almost 130 m.p.h. from a five-year-old sports-bodied car. As it is, we are pleased to draw attention to this car’s achievements. Possibly it will shortly be seen racing in new hands, because Couper finds that his playtime is becoming increasingly restricted by business interests. He is offering the car for sale, with full road equipment and lots of spares and it certainly constitutes a tempting offer for the racing or touring enthusiast. The green, two-hue body is said to conform to International Sports-Car Regula

tions. We believe that Couper would accept 985 for the car.

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