The car claimed a price of Dh13.782 million at auction. Here’s what makes it such a stunning piece of automotive history
Whether or not you are a car aficionado, you’ll probably agree that the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Goutte d’Eau Coupé by Figoni and Falaschi is a thing of considerable beauty. Its sweeping, sculptural lines created a silhouette known as “goutte d’eau”, which translates from the French as “drop of water” – or the more poetic “teardrop”.
Talbot was a London-headquartered automotive company founded in the early 1900s. Although it has now been defunct for a number of decades, it was responsible for creating some truly iconic cars in its time. This vehicle was produced in the 1930s, at a time when it was common for bodywork to be outsourced to professional coachbuilders. This specific model was crafted by the French master craftsman Giuseppe Figoni, along with his Italian partner Ovidio Falaschi.
The 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Goutte d’Eau Coupé by Figoni and Falaschi has won countless accolades in its time. Most recently, it received The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award 2016, which is among the top automotive awards.
The aesthetic is heavily influenced by aircraft design. This is one of only two examples where the car has fully enclosed front fenders – a feature more often seen on Delahaye designs of the time.
This car – chassis number 90110 – left Talbot on November 25, 1937, and, like many exceptional vehicles, was hidden away during the war years, although it is probable that it sustained some damage in the process. In 1946, the car appeared on the books of the famous coachbuilder Hermann Graber in Wichtrach, Switzerland. Its owner at the time, an H Frey from the Swiss village of Wengen, had commissioned a new convertible body for the chassis, in keeping with the popular post-war style. However, the original chassis, engine and drivetrain were retained.
In 2000, its former owner decided to restore the car to its original, enclosed Figoni and Falaschi configuration. Auto Classique Touraine in Tours, France, was commissioned to do the work, and it took close to three years to complete the painstaking recreation of the coupé’s original, fully enclosed teardrop coachwork.
The car, which has had only three owners in the past 71 years, was sold at auction on May 27 as part of the Sotheby’s Villa Erba sale, which has been held on the shores of Lake Como every two years since 2011. The event is held in partnership with the revered Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The car was estimated to fetch between €3.2 million and €3.8m (up to Dh15.5m) and ended up selling for €3,360,000.
Read this and more stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, June 15.