Home » Cold Start: Monterey Car Week Was A Hell Of A Week

Cold Start: Monterey Car Week Was A Hell Of A Week

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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.

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37 Responses

    1. So, the reference went over my head, but I had to thumb you just for your pic there!
      All sorts of jealous-but more so glad an Autoper has one. And I hope it gets miles at least monthly if not daily.
      Good on ya!

  1. Me: most modern cars are so wasteful, look at how much you can fit into an original Mini, or even a new Golf
    Also me: why can’t cars look like art deco sculptures?

    1. Well, it’s a conspiracy between our transdimensional reptilian overlords, the NTSA and the IIHS.

      In case you forget what mom said the first time you blew something up with gasoline, fun is absolutely verboten.

      1. Yeah, I’m aware of the safety standards issue (see the current Mini with its ridiculous looking long nose to meet pedestrian impact standards). But have you seen the back seat space on the Talbot Figoni Sport Back?

  2. Decades after the debut of the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé, a Talbot descendant was named Executive Vice President of Vehicular Nomenclature at BMW.

      1. Monterey is one airport-surplus auction away from someone showing up at the Concours d’Lemons in the Bluth Company staircar. Well, that and a low bridge or two.

    1. I met a man who made many many millions working with YKK – his shtick was to always say that “he made good with slide fasteners.” Absolutely refused to take the word “zipper” in his mouth.

    1. Triops are fucking terrifying! They are tiny little killer monsters. If they were, say, the size of your average house cat, I would never go anywhere near any water anywhere.

    1. True story, one year on Christmas eve all I ate was caviar, deviled eggs, and whiskey.

      The fact I wasn’t hungover Christmas morning is known as the Christmas Miracle of 2014.

      1. Similar, and it might have even been the same year. In our case, it was foie gras and brie, but the fact I woke up feeling great the next day was a little scary. I have never drunk that much whisky in one night before or since.

  3. The Zipper King sounds to me like a ‘70s porn movie.
    The car itself I find beautifully sleek & swoopy even if visibility looks to be like a modern Camaro

    1. There actually IS a video of that name, about Tadao Yoshida, the guy who made YKK zippers into an international phenomenon. Although it’s not adult content, it’s a really good case study in how to run a company, any company, and make it a success. Worth watching.

      1. I like how you qualified that last statement. As if most case studies on business management are adult in nature.
        Actually, that might explain why the most successful businesses seem to eventually fuck everyone over.

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