Gavin McGuire, Tandridge, Surrey, UK, Tel: 01892 770310, 07770 316482, E-mail:

Talbot 20 hp 6CT

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Year 1913

This splendid 1913 20 hp motor car on chassis number 4137 is a very rare surviving example of a six cylinder Edwardian Talbot and is believed to be only 6CT model currently in use anywhere in the world. It was ordered in February 1913 and delivered in chassis form to S. T. Robinson of Victoria Square, Belfast who either built it themselves or had a local coachbuilder make the the touring bodywork which it carries to this day. The finished car was purchased by Mr. William Barnett of Belfast and the file contains an original photograph of the Talbot with Mr Barnett's chauffeur at the wheel.

The Barnett family was in the grain importing business in Belfast and were still active 1994 when one of the car’s subsequent owners (Albert Ward who was formerly Editor of the STD Newsletter) corresponded with its then owner, Robert Barnett (who was William's nephew) and discovered that William also owned racehorses, one of which, 'Trigo', won the 1929 Derby and that when he died he left one of his houses Malone Park, to the City of Belfast so he was clearly a man of substance as befits the owner of such a superior motor car! 

The next known owner (in 1946) is Andrews & Co (B) Ltd of Smithfield Square, Belfast. Then in 1975 the Talbot was registered to well-known collector, the late Brian Verrall, who sold it to Albert Ward that same year. Mr Ward then set about a total restoration which took 19 years and there is a plaque on the scuttle recording this activity. In 2003 Albert Ward sold the Talbot to Professor Alan Richens who was a Clinical Pharmacologist who, amongst other work, had the engine rebuilt by Stuart Lloyd of Veteran & Vintage Vehicle Restoration of Wolverhampton with other refurbishment being carried out by Gilmax Vintage & Classic of Crediton, Devon. Only two variations from the original specification are recorded which are the fitting of a full-flow oil filter and an electric fuel pump though the original hand operated pressure pump is still in place on the dashboard. 

Its present owner, Veteran Car Club member John Lawson, acquired the Talbot about five years ago and has maintained it to a very high standard including having the car professionally coach painted in green and reupholstered in brown leather.

There is a large file which includes its Veteran Car Club dating certificate as well as various letters about the car and invoices for work done on it. There is also a comprehensive set of photographs showing the car during its body off chassis up restoration including pictures of the engine and other mechanical components stripped down before being rebuilt. There are also photocopies of contemporary Talbot literature and handbooks which will be both interesting and very useful to any owner. 

As a result of all this care and attention over the years the car not only looks superb but drives every bit as well as it looks with everything working as it should. The powerful 3.6 litre engine fires up as soon as you press the electric starter button and having given it a few minutes to warm up pulls away very smoothly. The clutch is light and the gearbox is easy to use though it is fair to say that there is so much low down torque available that you don’t have to do a lot of gear changing. The steering is positive, the brakes are well up to scratch, the body is solid and rattle free and the suspension gives a comfortable ride so the Talbot is a pleasure to drive and gives the firm impression that you really could enjoy long distance touring and rallying in it.

This car is regarded by the Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register as one of its finest motor cars and I believe you will be hard pressed to find many better and more useable Edwardian motor cars than this one. I also think it is fair to say that it is being offered at a very fair price considering it is such an excellent motor car!