The term “art” gets thrown about in reference to classic cars nearly as much as “iconic” does. And while for some cars “art” may be a stretch, the Talbot-Lago T150 SS actually is art. Let’s explain. It wasn’t until the second half of the 1930’s that the function of racing cars dictated their form. Particularly responsible for the rising trend of function influencing form, was the Paris-based designer and coachbuilder Joseph Figoni and his Italian business partner, Ovidio Falaschi. Figoni was obsessed with aerodynamic efficiency and had an impeccable eye for color. He worked with fashion designers who created gowns, footwear and accessories that perfectly matched the details and colors of his cars. Together, their marriage of art and science was a powerful asset, and as Falaschi explained, they were “true couturiers of automotive coachwork.”
With Figoni et Falaschi, the body of the automobile was no longer a means to simply protect the mechanic underpinnings of the car but to be light and slippery enough to win races and beautiful enough to win win the concours d’elegance. The Talbot Lago T150 SS in particular was their most coveted work and the ultimate expression of this streamlined era. It both redefined automotive style and won top-level races. It was comprised of sensual curves, diminishing pontoon fenders, and a converging tail end. Designed to resemble a water droplet (goutte d’eau), the Talbot Lago cut through the air powered by a 4-liter, 6-cylinder engine generating 140 hp and enabling a top speed of about 100 mph. It took Figoni et Falaschi 2,100 hours to complete a single body, no two Teardrop coupes were exactly alike, and only sixteen Talbot Lago Teardrop Coupés were produced.
While you may never see an actual Goutte d’Eau outside a seaside golf course sighting, this 1:18 scale model by CMC Model Cars is designed and crafted with obsessive care and will speak to any serious automotive enthusiast in the same spirit as the original. In fact, it’s hard not to get carried away with superlatives with this ebullient miniature. The silky blue exterior accents the gently sweeping curves of the Art Deco body. The tall, chrome oval grill anchors the front along with twin round headlamps bordering it on either side, the perfectly wired wheels feature a complex arrangement of stainless steel spokes, and the roof features a functional metal sunroof. The interior also does not compromise on detail. The wooden trim, carpet, and read leather interior were carefully cut and fitted to match the Tommy Lee chassis 90108 T150 C-SS. The steering wheel features etched spokes and a beautiful simulated black wood. The dashboard is complete with with seven individual, legible gauges, the seats can be tilted forward, and the doors include pockets for maps as well as center mounted window winders. The trunk features a spare wheel, fastened in place by leather straps (but also removable), and the hood lifts open to showcase a marvelous ensemble of cabling, injection lines and piping. This is a CMC Model of 1,488 single parts and superb workmanship that feels just as fantastical as the original.