G. N. Georgano tells us in my favourite reference work, his excellent Complete Encyclopaedia of Motorcars, that Clement- Talbot had been suffering in the market since they had they had dropped their successful pre 1918 range of four cylinder cars. I think it is reasonable to assume that without chief engineer George Roesche’s new line of six cylinder cars which were introduced in the latter part of the 1920s, the company may well have been in serious trouble.
The Talbot 14/45 was the first of this range which developed into the 75 then the 90, 105 and the 110. Small capacity six cylinder cars were becoming fashionable about this time so the new Talbot would have had strong market appeal, particularly in view of its technically advanced engine with lightweight components giving higher revving, smooth running and greater power than many of its four cylinder competitors. Roesch had very little time for development so the car came to the market straight off the drawing board but was apparently so good that there were none of the usual new model snags and Talbot sold all they could make.
According to a buff card logbook in the file this particular example was first registered on 5th April 1927 so I assume it is one of the earlier cars made. There are several handwritten letters regarding the car and invoices for work done on it dating from the 1960s, further bills from the late 1990s and finally a detailed set of invoices from Talbot expert Ian Polson for extensive work done on the engine during 2014 so one gets the distinct impression that it has been well looked after.
This impression is reinforced as soon as you start the engine which sounds very good indeed and has healthy oil pressure. Given that it has recently had lots of work done on the engine I am treating it with respect but it is fairly obvious that, whilst it was never intended to be a high speed sports car, it has good performance helped by the quiet four speed gearbox and will romp along quite cheerfully at a good cruising speed once you are in top. The other thing you notice is its very good handling with none of the vague and wandering steering you often come across in cars of this era, no doubt helped by its very sturdy chassis and good suspension. The brakes are also very good though they do squeak a bit until they warm up, probably due to the lack of asbestos linings which are increasingly hard to find due to regulations governing this material!
Inspection will also show that the car is very good structurally with very sound well presented bodywork, nicely patinated but not worn out leather upholstery and very good brightwork.
I gather that it was Roesche’s intention to produce a car with the characteristics of a Rolls-Royce 20 hp with half the engine size, weight and price – I think it is fair to say that this very good vintage tourer goes a long way to demonstrating that he succeeded!