After more years than I like to think of I now possess a 75 Roesch Talbot—a motor I have deeply admired since they were first produced. In my belated second entry to the world of dealers and garages (my first was 27 years ago when I learnt to drive on an 8/18 Humber of blessed memory), I find to my surprise and irritation that the name Talbot is greeted with the raised shoulder and the pursed lip. Given that Georges Roesch employed four-armed dwarfs to put together his engine, clutch and gearbox assemblies, the “75” appears to me, in integrity of design and handling, to be everything that a late vintage sports/touring car should be, but faced with this attitude I begin to find myself rather lonely in the world.
Lagondas, Bentleys, Vauxhalls, Rolls Twenties and the others roll past raised caps and respectful bows. Nevertheless the average Lagonda of the same age as my old lady seems to be as stiff as a featherbed—granted she (the Talbot) is slow away from the lights, but then she pulls a sizeable carriage (large enough for the family which has kept me carless)—not shallow hip bath.
Her right-hand gate-change is like butter, her steering as precise and direct as when she was born 23 years ago, and it is a delight to open the bonnet and see that tall clean uncluttered engine—bolted direct with screwed water connections and still vibrationless.
Here is a marque which, as the book says, could, in its day, give a Bentley three times its size a close run, today is without honour and whose very name (misapplied as it has been for so long) has now vanished from the industry—gone with Napier and Darracq. Gad, sir ! I’ve brought tears to my own eyes. Am I so singular in my attachment ? Or are there others as peculiar ? If I am, I am content to be so, but I should like to know.
I am, Yours, etc.,
London, N.W.6. K. J. Campbell.