The Talbot Lago Finally Makes it to Pebble Beach

I started working on this project back in 2016 in Colorado, the beginning of a long and circuitous path. In a previous post, I explained some of the issues that helped make it a five year engine build…

One of the few upsides of a worldwide pandemic is that some events get postponed, which gave some folks more time to finish a project. The Talbot Lago Grand Sport class that was to be at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2020 was shuffled back two years, which was fortunate for this car. I began final assembly in May of 2020 and could conceivably have had it running by August, but typical delays were magnified by COVID-19 and I signed off on the completed engine in January of 2021.

In the period between the crankshaft being fitted and the engine coming off the test stand, a variety of challenges had to be overcome. For example, I had a cam bearing issue that took a couple of attempts to resolve, which led to the cams being removed and revealing that the lifters we had made were wearing badly. So the cams needed the lobes to be touched up while the lifters were sent out to be micro-polished and DLC finished (Diamond Like Carbon). The best DLC company is in France, and that took over 8 weeks to turn around.

In the end, the motor was rock solid on the test stand and I felt great about my part in the restoration, but much work still needed to be done to the rest of the car before being ready to go out on the 18th Green at Pebble. From California, Montana and Wyoming, I followed along on Instagram as posts occasionally showed progress.

It was great to see then, when I arrived through the throngs of people at the entry to the Green, that the Talbot was in line with the rest of its class to start the awards ceremony with a parade across the podium. In the end, it won second in class and everyone seemed quite pleased with the outcome. I certainly am very happy to see such a positive conclusion, and congratulations to the whole crew out in Colorado! Well done.

Dirk Cussler prepares to drive the Talbot to the awards podium. His father, Clive bought the car in 1978.

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