In 1896, in Suresnes a western suburb of Paris, Alexandre Darracq started his business, A Darracg & Cie. His business was building road and racecars. Darracq would go on to become famous for the success of his racecars.
But by 1912, Darracq had sold off what remained of his business. In 1913 Darracq retired after years of difficulty that almost bankrupted the company. In 1916, ownership of the company was transferred to Darracq S.A. Then, in 1922, the Darracq name was dropped and the business was renamed Talbot S.A. Under this new guise, road going cars bore the name Talbot, while competition cars still carried the name Talbot-Darracq.
In 1932, during the depression, Antoni Lago was appointed managing director in hope that he would bring Talbot back from the brink of collapse. However, the owners were unable to stay afloat and in 1936, Lago bought the company from receivership, now renaming it Talbot-Lago.
After WWII, Talbot-Lago continued to have a good reputation for racecars and luxury passenger cars, but the company had a tough time finding customers and money was tight.
In 1946, Talbot-Lago started production on a new engine design that featured an overhead-valve head with hemispherical combustion chambers. The design team, led by Carlo Marchetti, had in many ways created a new motor that was used to power Talbot-Lago’s successful Grand Prix monoposto and later Louis Rosier’s 1950 Le Mans winner. In keeping with Talbot-Lago tradition, this state-of-the-art power unit was also used for the company’s road cars, the Talbot-Lago Record and Grand Sport. These cars were in direct competition with creations from Delage, Delahaye and Hotchkiss, but Talbot was able to remain in business as the other companies fell by the wayside.
The T26 Record had a power output of 170 hp and a claimed top speed of 105 mph, making it one of the most powerful cars of the post-war era, only to be outdone by its slightly more powerful stable-mate the Grand Sport. The Record was offered with either a four-speed manual transmission or the optional Wilson pre-selector box. The Record was commonly sold as a rather conservative 4-door sedan, but some were lucky enough to be turned into open, two-door grand touring cars by Coachbuilder Graber of Bern, Switzerland.