Roesch's rare Talbot racer

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When I interviewed Georges Roesch for Motor Sport in 1952, he told me that while preparing to improve the little 8hp Talbot, which became the 10/23, and designing his impressive new 14/45 Talbot, he had redesigned the 1060cc ohv engine. Using an 8:1 cr and his famous lightened push-rod valve gear, it then gave 56bhp at 6000rpm and ran up to 7500rpm. This engine, he said, was put into a 10/23 chassis with a single-seater body and lapped Brooklands at over 90mph, driven by Segrave. This seems very fast, even if a standard 8hp Talbot would do 60mph.

The experimental car has remained a mystery. It could not have been the London-built single-seater Talbot with which Segrave took records at Brooklands in 1925 at almost 115 mph, as this had a twin-cam racing engine. But in September 1924, a picture appeared of Mr F W Shortland sitting in what I can only believe to be the special 10/23 car Roesch had had built, now said to be intended for hill climbs. No more seems to have been heard of it until 1926— a picture, re-used last month with my sand-racing article, showed what must be this very Talbot, in a Novices’ race at Southport, driven by H F Clay.

Clay raced many different cars including Sunbeam and TT Vauxhall. I often wished I could have interviewed him, but in later years had no contacts. However, this moves the life of this rare Talbot on a shade.