I’m absolutely exhausted, my face is sunburned like a radioactive tomato, and my feet feel like I’ve been using them as jackstands, but I really have zero right to complain, because these are all the results of an intense, non-stop firehose of incredible cars from Monterey Car Week. And in the upcoming days and weeks we’ll be getting as much of that experience transferred to you as possible, via words and pictures and video, but minus the sunburn and the caviar-shits. As a little taste have a look at one of my favorite cars of the week, this 1948 Talbot-Lago Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé, built for France’s Zipper King.
Yes, Zipper King.
We’ll have more soon about this cyclopean stunner, but here’s a bit of background, first. Talbot-Lago updated their pre-war cars after WWII, getting back into the business of making fast, expensive racing and sports cars. These cars used a 4.5-liter straight-six and, like a number of manufacturers of that era and before, the cars had bodies made by coachbuilders, so there’s a wide variety of looks for the 29 chassis Talbot-Lago delivered.
This particular one was bodied by Figoni et Falaschi, a pair of Italian partners who started a coachbuilding concern in Paris in 1935. They were known for extravagant, flamboyant, and flowing designs, as you can tell from this example.
This one was built for Monsieur Fayolle, a man who made his money selling zippers, and you can see a hint of that in the nose of the car, those chrome strips above the cyclopean headlight that are meant to suggest a zipper.
What I love about this car is how it somehow feels like a car designed by a wealthy, perhaps mullosk-based being instead of a human. There’s something dazzlingly alien about it, but it’s still stunning and looks like almost nothing else I’ve ever seen. The lines are simultaneously ornate and sleek, flowing and bulbous and aquatic and lithe, but also with bulk. It’s contradictory and surprising and yet it all just works, so very well.
We shot a great little scene with this car that’ll be part of a video coming up as soon as we can get it edited. Along with a lot more. So, stay tuned, because I can’t wait to show you everything.