Clément-Talbot

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For other businesses associated with Adolphe Clément – see Clement (disambiguation).
Clément-Talbot Limited
Public listed company
Industry Automotive
Founded incorporated October 11, 1902; 114 years ago (1902-10-11) in London, , England
Founders
  • Adolphe Clément later Clément-Bayard
  • Charles, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot
Headquarters Barlby Road, North Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Area served
World
Key people
  • Adolphe Clément
  • Charles Chetwynd-Talbot
  • Georges Roesch
Products Cars and ambulances
Brands
  • 1902 Talbot
  • 1938 Sunbeam-Talbot
  • 1955 Sunbeam
Owner
  • 1902 Independent
  • 1919 Darracq --> S T D Motors
  • 1935 Rootes Securities
  • 1967 Chrysler

Clément-Talbot Limited was a British motor vehicle manufacturer with its works in Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, London founded in 1902. It was renamed Sunbeam-Talbot Limited in 1938.

The new business's capital was arranged by the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, shareholders included automobile manufacturer, Adolphe Clément, along with Baron A. Lucas and Emile Lamberjack[note 1] all of France.[1]

The shareholders sold it in late 1919 to the company that became S T D Motors. It kept its separate identity making cars designed specially for it or by its employees until 1934. After S T D's financial collapse it was bought by the Rootes brothers. In 1938 they renamed it Sunbeam-Talbot Limited.

Origin[edit]

The first Talbots, re-badged Clément-Bayards built in France, were sold by the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate Limited, manager Daniel M Weigel,[note 2] from the Earl's premises at 97-98 Long Acre which included Maison Talbot, importers of Michelin tyres. The earl's flourishing business was the importation, distribution through a large British network and retailing of many brands of European motor cars and associated products. It brought about the close association with businessman Adolphe Clément. The earl closed this business in 1909, when its only advertised brand was Spyker, because it seemed to be foolish to compete with his own Talbot dealers.

On 11 October 1902 Clément-Talbot was formally incorporated "to carry on business as manufacturers of and dealers in horseless carriages and motor-cars, air-ships and the component parts thereof."[2] 5 acres (20,000 m2) later lifted to 28 acres (110,000 m2) of land were purchased for a new factory in Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, alongside the Great Western Railway line and between Wormwood Scrubs and the Kensal Green Cemetery.[3] The housing estate now on the site has Shrewsbury Street as its main access-way.[4]

Clément-Talbot Works[edit]

Clément-Talbot Works main entrance
Lord Shrewsbury & Talbot 1903

The works administration building on Barlby Road is palatial. Now a block of offices known as Ladbroke Hall its interiors as well as the exterior may be inspected today. High above the main entrance is Shrewsbury and Talbot's personal crest, a registered trademark, and used on all London Talbot radiator shells. Sunbeam-Talbot, later Sunbeam, kept it in use until the end of their production in 1967.[4]

The brick workshops were given a saw-tooth roof line, the roof glazed to maximise natural light. It was equipped with the most modern machine tools and the administration building's reception area was laid out like a miniature palace with marble Ionic columns and gilded frescoes and its stained glass windows were etched with the Shrewsbury and Talbot coat of arms.[1]

Clément, Lamberjack, Weigel and Garrard
Chetwynd-Talbot

Production[edit]

The lion and coronet Talbot crest on a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger

Weigel was appointed managing director and C R Garrard works manager of Clément-Talbot. Kensington assembly got under way in 1904 initially using imported components. In December 1904 speaking at their annual trade dinner in the presence of all directors the Earl described Clément-Talbot as "partly-controlled by French interests".[5] At that time production was entirely British made except for the engines imported from France. The first wholly British designs were made in 1907. However, in 1908 the opportunity was taken to equip new cars with a very successful new Clément-Bayard engine of L-head design with greatly improved performance. Its more compact combustion chamber gave faster ignition and allowed higher compression ratios. Talbots could now match, even beat Vauxhalls and Sunbeams in competition[4]

Cars offered by Clément-Talbot London (1904–1916)[edit]

Cars made in France are marked with an asterisk

Information assembled from The Autocar Buyer's Guide and published in Appendix V, Ian Nickols and Kent Karslake, Motoring Entente, Cassell, London 1956
1906 20/24 two-seater
1910 20 h.p. open 2-seater
1910 25 h.p. tourer
1911 15 h.p. tourer
1911 15 h.p. tourer
1913 20 horsepower tourer
1915 Talbot 25/50 tourer
1916 12 h.p. tourer
1923 8/18 open two-seater
1925 (c.) 10/23 tourer
1932 Talbot 14/45 saloon
Name Cyl Cubic capacity Bore and stroke Tax h.p. Brake h.p. Years in production Speeds Wheelbase Track
7 hp 2 1004 80 x 100 7.9 1905–1906 3 70 in (1778 mm)
8 hp 2 1004 80 x 100 7.9 1904–1906 3 78 in (1981 mm)
8/10 hp * 2 1248 85 x 110 9 1907–1907 3 96 in (2438 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
9 hp 2 1885 100 x 120 12.4 1905–1905 3
10 hp 2 1885 100 x 120 12.4 1905–1906 3
10 hp 2 1885 100 x 120 12.4 1908–1908 4 110 in (2794 mm) 53 in (1346 mm)
10/12 hp 2 1885 100 x 120 12.4 1907–1907 4 93 in (2362 mm) 53 in (1346 mm)
10/14 hp * 4 1591 75 x 90 14 1907–1907 3 108 in (2743 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
11 hp 2 1526 90 x 120 10 1904–1904 3
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1905–1915 4
12 hp 4 2724 85 x 120 17.9 1905–1905 4
12 hp 4 2724 85 x 120 17.9 1906–1906 4 104 in (2642 mm)
12 hp 4 2724 85 x 120 17.9 1906–1906 3 88 in (2235 mm)
12 hp * 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1908–1908 3 114 in (2896 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1909–1909 4 103.5 in (2629 mm) 50 in (1270 mm)
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1910–1910 4 110 in (2794 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1911–1912 4 108 in (2743 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1913–1914 4 112 in (2845 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
12 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1915–1915 4 112 in (2845 mm) 52 in (1321 mm)
14 hp 4 2409 80 x 120 15.9 1904–1904 4
15 hp 4 2976 90 x 117 20.1 1907–1907 4 98 in (2489 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15 hp 4 2976 90 x 117 20.1 1908–1908 4 106 in (2692 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15 hp 4 2976 90 x 117 20.1 1909–1909 4 116 in (2946 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15 hp 4 2976 90 x 117 20.1 1910–1910 4 116 in (2946 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15 hp 4 3561 90 x 140 20.1 1911–1912 4 118 in (2997 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15 hp 4 3561 90 x 140 20.1 1913–1913 4 119 in (3023 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
15-20 hp 4 2610 80 x 130 15.9 1914–1914 4 112 in (2845 mm) 51 in (1295 mm)
15-20 hp 4 2610 80 x 130 15.9 1915–1915 4 121 in (3073 mm) 52 in (1321 mm)
16 hp 4 3053 90 x 120 20.1 1905–1905 4
20 hp 4 3053 90 x 120 20.1 1904–1904 4
20 hp 4 3770 100 x 120 24.8 1906–1906 4 92 in (2337 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20 hp 4 3770 100 x 120 24.8 1907–1907 4 117 in (2972 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20 hp 6 3614 80 x 120 23.8 1910–1910 4 120 in (3048 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20 hp 6 3614 80 x 120 23.8 1911–1911 4 122 in (3099 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20 hp 6 3614 80 x 120 23.8 1912–1912 4 123 in (3124 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20 hp 6 3614 80 x 120 23.8 1913–1913 4 124 in (3150 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
20-30 hp 4 3561 90 x 140 20.1 1914–1915 4 127 in (3226 mm) 55.5 in (1410 mm)
24 hp 4 4398 100 x 140 24.8 1905–1905 4
24 hp 4 4398 100 x 140 24.8 1906–1906 4 110 in (2794 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
24/30 hp * 4 4398 100 x 140 24.8 1907–1907 4 119 in (3023 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25 hp 4 4155 105 x 120 27.3 1908–1908 4 117 in (2972 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25 hp 4 4155 105 x 120 27.3 1909–1909 4 116 in (2946 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25 hp 4 4447 100.5 x 140 25 1910–1910 4 120 in (3048 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25 hp 4 4447 100.5 x 140 25 1911–1912 4 118 in (2997 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25 hp 4 4447 100.5 x 140 25 1913–1913 4 119 in (3023 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
25-30 hp 4 4447 100.5 x 140 25 1914–1914 4 127 in (3226 mm) 55.5 in (1410 mm)
25-30 hp 4 4447 100.5 x 140 25 1915–1915 4 132 in (3353 mm) 55.5 in (1410 mm)
25-40 hp 6 3614 80 x 120 23.8 1914–1914 4 132 in (3353 mm) 55.5 in (1410 mm)
25-50 hp 6 3921 80 x 130 23.8 1915–1915 4 139 in (3531 mm) 55.5 in (1410 mm)
27 hp 4 4942 110 x 130 30 1904–1904 4
35 hp 4 6333 120 x 140 35.7 1905–1905 4
35 hp 4 6333 120 x 140 35.7 1906–1906 4 116 in (2946 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
35 hp 4 5428 120 x 120 35.7 1908–1911 4 118 in (2997 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
35/45 hp * 4 6333 120 x 140 35.7 1907–1908 4 125 in (3175 mm) 55 in (1397 mm)
50/60 hp * 4 8624 140 x 140 48.6 1907–1908 4 129 in (3277 mm) 57 in (1448 mm)

Sold out[edit]

In autumn 1919 A Darracq and Company (1905) agreed terms for their purchase of all the shares in Clément-Talbot as of 31 July 1918.[6] Auguste Oddenino, Regent Street restaurateur and businessman was, by then, a major shareholder in Clément-Talbot.[4] Adolphe Clémente-Bayard's Levallois factory did not flourish after the Armistice of 11 November 1918. He lost interest in motor manufacturing. In 1921 he would sell his works at Levallois to André Citroën. The Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot died in 1921.

In 1920 London's Darracq added Sunbeam Motor Car Company to its enterprise and renamed itself S T D Motors. Shareholders and subsequent commentators were at loss to explain the commercial advantages given by the combination. Each of the three companies continued to operate independently. S T D's products were made in respectively, Wolverhampton, London and Paris. Anthony Blight believes Coatalen was drawn back to full-time efforts at S T D by the possibility of racing cars under three brand names and of two nationalities. He had not long retired from his chief engineer post at Sunbeam and was now a design consultant in Paris in his native France.[4]

Automobiles Talbot Suresnes[edit]

The process of dropping the Darracq name for the Paris products was begun in early 1919 when new cars were badged Talbot-Darracq. In 1920 Darracq was dropped altogether from Talbot-Darracq. Owen Clegg at Suresnes, Paris, would design new cars to be built in Suresnes and Kensington.[4]

Louis Coatalen who had remained a director of S T D joined S T D Motors as chief engineer and blocked Clegg's new designs. Coatalen's principal interest was a new Sunbeam racing car and, of course, a whole new range of products for Wolverhampton and Paris. Kensington would have to build a small car for the utility market. The new utility Talbot would be designed in Paris by Coatalen's freshly assembled team.[4]

Clément-Talbot London continue[edit]

At first the Kensington factory kept its employees busy converting wartime ambulances to Talbot touring cars. When that ran out they had to revert to their prewar models which were luxury cars and almost impossible to sell in the new slump of mid-1920. They were asked to build the two new 3-litre straight eight S T D Grand Prix cars and a 1½-litre variant – all to wear a Talbot radiator.[4]

Post war designs[edit]

8-18 a Paris design

a small fast chic "utility" car it sold only to country doctors and professional men. The lively 970 cc engine ran very sweetly. Designed in Paris its lack of a differential burst tyres broke spring mountings and gave drivers humiliating battles at corners. It was also fifty per cent too expensive for the "utility" class. A made-in-Barlby-Road Talbot it also turned up from Acton (W & G Du Cros) with a different-shaped radiator as a locally assembled Suresnes Darracq.[4]

10-23 a Roesch amelioration

a bored out 8-18 engine, 1074 cc, a differential, a longer and stronger wheelbase and chassis with the back springs properly tied on. 2½ cwt heavier, 280 lb (130 kg) it was slower but seated four. It was a commercial success.[4]

12-30 the first Talbot Six and another Paris design

an 8-18 with two more cylinders, 1454 cc. Weight and price were both up 75 per cent, power up 50 per cent. Mitigated by "delightful" gearbox, and light and accurate controls. Further mitigated the following year by an increased bore so its capacity was now 1612 cc. Neither popular nor successful it is only remembered for being the first Talbot Six.

Cars built by Clément-Talbot London (1919–1938)[edit]

10-23 9 horsepower open two-seater
1074 cc, first registered December 1926
14-45 fabric coupé 1929 London
Talbot London (6327609495) (cropped).jpg
Name Cylinders Cubic capacity Bore and stroke Tax horsepower Brake horsepower Years in production
16 4 2614 80 x 130 15.9 1914–1915 1921–1921
36 6 3922 80 x 130 23.8 50 1915 1921–1921
14 4 1955 72 x 120 12.9 1921–1921
8-18 4 970 57 x 95 8 20 1922–1926
10-23 4 1074 60 x 95 8.9 23 1923–1926
12-30 6 1454 57 x 95 12 1922–1924
12-30 6 1612 60 x 95 13.4 30 1924–1924
16-50 6 2540 70 x 110 18.2 1924–1924
18-55 6 2540 70 x 110 18.2 1925–1925
14-45 6 1666 61 x 95 13.8 46 1926–1935
20-60 6 2916 75 x 110 20.9 1926–1928
18-70 6 2276 69.5 x 100 18 60 1930–1930
90 6 2276 69.5 x 100 18 93 1930–1937
75 6 2276 69.5 x 100 18 70 1931–1937
105 6 2969 75 x 112 20.9 100 1931–1937
65 6 1666 61 x 95 13.8 46 1932–1935
95 6 2969 75 x 112 20.9 95 1933–1936
110 6 3378 80 x 112 23.8 123 1935–1937
Eight 8 4504 80 x 112 31.7 150 1936–1936
10 4 1185 63 x 95 9.8 41 1936–1939
3-litre 6 3181 75 x 120 20.9 78 1937–1938

Some of the last true Talbots[edit]

105 open tourer 1933
105 drophead coupé 1933
105 Airline 4-dr sports saloon 1935
75-90 open tourer 1931
1934
95/105 special open 2-seater 1937
110 Instruments and controls 1933
note the flat floor
105 drophead coupé 1934
body by James Young
105 six-light saloon January 1937
note sloped Rootes radiator grille and neatly creased Humber mudguards

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jean-Émile Lamberjack 1869–1912. Emile and his brother Dominique whose father ran a restaurant on Paris's rue de Clichy began by racing bicycles then motorcycles and started exporting French cars. Emile helped establish a Michelin tyre factory in Milton New Jersey. Until the end of the 19th century manufacturers preferred customers to visit the manufacturer's own premises and put down a one-third deposit. Once the flow of buyers became a nuisance they found it necessary to appoint agents. Emile became Fiat's first agent in Paris (his business ultimately became part of Fiat's SIMCA) and a Mercedes agent in December 1904. (p691, Automobile Topics, 26 December 1903) Dominique became Bugatti's Paris agent.
  2. ^ " . . . managing director of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate Limited. Started motoring in 1893 and has been a prominent figure in the business side of the industry ever since. In 1900 in conjunction with the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot he formed the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate Limited. Introduced the first "Clément-Talbot" car into England in 1901. In 1902 formed the firm of J Rothschild et fils Limited opening a London branch of that famous firm of Parisian motor-carriage builders. Is now connected with the firms of J Rothschild et fils Limited and the Maison Talbot, of the latter of which he is the managing director. Club A.C.G.B.&I." The Motoring Annual and Motorist's Year Book, 1904

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gorges Roesch and the Invincible Talbot" by Anthony Blight
  2. ^ New companies registered, The Automotive Journal, November 1, 1902
  3. ^ All British Industry. The Courier and Argus,Monday, December 31, 1903; pg. 6; Issue 15765.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Anthony Blight, Georges Roesch and the Invincible Talbot Grenville, London 1970
  5. ^ Clement-Talbot Automobile Works, The Automotor Journal, December 3, 1904
  6. ^ A. Darracq & Company (1905), Limited. The Times, Thursday, Dec 04, 1919; pg. 25; Issue 42274

External links[edit]

Media related to Clement-Talbot vehicles at Wikimedia Commons