In the Workshop: I S Polson

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What’s your history?

I’m an engineering graduate from the 1960s, my first job being in product engineering with Chrysler and then Ford Australia where I experienced at first and the awesome GTHO Falcons. I represented Ford Australia in Ford of Europe in the early 1970s and decided to stay on in the UK and turn my hobby, Roesch Talbots, into a business. I brought three historic cars from Australia with me, the Delahaye 135CS which finished second in the 1936 French GP, the mechanical remains of BGH 22, a 1934 Alpine Trial team Talbot, and components of the only surviving unmodified 1931 Talbot 105 (above).

What’s your range of skills?

We have a comprehensively equipped workshop employing six full-time and four part-time craftsmen with a wide range of skills. We undertake total restorations, particularly of Roesch Talbots. We rebuilt the marvellous 1916 Indianapolis Sunbeam from parts dismantled 40 years before, and my GP Delahaye which had been seriously damaged by fire in 1951. That car is now in the Peter Mullin collection.

Do you have a specialisation?

Roesch Talbots, particularly the ultra-rare 1931 AV105 using the original specification racing engine with aluminium cylinder block.

What’s in the workshop now?

A Talbot Lago, two Vanden Plas 105 Talbots, two Brooklands Speed Model 105 Talbots, a replica Alpine Trial-bodied 105 Talbot, two partially completed Talbot 90s, a 1917 Hudson racing car and several Edwardian Talbots. We are also building a replica of the Percy Lambert 25hp hour record car using original Talbot parts.

What projects are you proud of?

Establishing the facts concerning the use of aluminium cylinder blocks in all the Talbot 105s produced in 1931, five of which were used in the racing team and six sold to the public. It took several years of research to convince the late Anthony Blight, universally accepted as the top Talbot guru. After that we proceeded with producing new aluminium blocks identical to the original which had been in my hands since 1965.