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110 BG Alloy Tourer
Talbot was originally the British marque used to sell imported French Clément-Bayard cars. Founded in 1903, this business venture was financed by Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury and Adolphe Clément-Bayard.
Starting in 1905, the company sold imported cars under the Clément-Talbot marque and began assembling French-made parts at a new factory located in Barlby Road, Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, London, selling them under the name Talbot after the first year. Domestically-designed cars followed from 1906. By 1910, 50 to 60 cars a month were being made.
A Talbot was the first car to cover 100 mi (160 km) in one hour, in 1913.
Construction of the Clement Talbot Motor Works began in 1903 on a North Kensington site bought in October 1902. It was UK's first purpose-built car factory. The initial building, a large flexible open space, is known today as Ladbroke Hall. Subsequent works additions have been demolished and redeveloped.
During World War I, the firm manufactured ambulances. French and British operations continued in separate, parallel production and marketing processes until 1919, when British-owned but Paris-based Darracq took over the company; Darracq-made Talbots were marketed as Talbot-Darracqs. The following year, Darracq was reorganised as part of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) conglomerate. Highly advanced straight eight dohc Sunbeam Grand Prix cars rebadged as Talbot and Talbot-Darracq took part in the 1921 French Grand Prix.
In 1916, Swiss native Georges Roesch became chief engineer, and in the 1920s, Talbot built a number of successful models, including the 14/45hp, or Talbot 105, which was first built in 1926. In the 1930s, Roesch-designed Talbots enjoyed success in racing with the Fox & Nicholl team, their drivers including the Hon. Brian Lewis, Johnny Hindmarsh, and John Cobb (better known for his land speed record attempts). They were also highly successful in the Alpine Trial.
In 1935, the STD combine collapsed and the Rootes Group took over Clément-Talbot. For Rootes, immediate sustainability was more important than re-engineering - the existing models were simply rebadged. The French factory was bought by Antonio Lago who used Talbot-Lago as a marque afterwards.
Also new for '35 were a dropped chassis frame and a 3½-litre model: the 110. The ultimate Roesch Talbot, the latter had 120bhp on tap and provided 95mph performance while offering class-leading refinement. The final top-of-the-range version was the BG110, which featured an improved and strengthened chassis: double skinned and with a cruciform cross-member. One of the great cars of the 1930s, the Talbot 110 was axed by new masters Rootes in 1937, the subsequent models progressively incorporating more and more standardised Rootes components.
In Britain, Sunbeam and Talbot marques were combined in 1938 to form Sunbeam-Talbot. Production of Sunbeam Talbot automobiles ceased during World War II and resumed again in 1946, and the Talbot name was dropped in 1955. The Sunbeam name continued under the Rootes management (Rapier, Alpine and Tiger) until 1967 when control was taken over by Chrysler.
After the war, only the French Talbot-Lago continued until 1960. The marque was bought by Simca in 1958.
In 1967, Chrysler took over Rootes and merged it with Simca to form Chrysler Europe. The Talbot name was not used in this era, although the Chrysler "Pentastar" logo and name (used as the marque) gradually replaced the Rootes brands as the 1970s progressed.
Chrysler had just developed with Simca new Horizon/Omni line, and the Talbot Horizon was produced in Finland at Uusikaupunki factory. Other Chrysler-based Talbots were also made there: Talbot Alpine and Solara.
In 2008, PSA considered re-introducing Talbot to the market, targeting low-budget buyers, as Renault did with its Dacia Logan. It was suggested that these could be models produced in China such as Talbot versions of the Citroën Elysée and of the Peugeot 206, but did not make a comeback as of 2012 because PSA introduced the second-generation Citroën C-Elysée and the Peugeot 301.
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