Brandone Talbot-Lago T120 Roadster #92007
For many years this Talbot Lago T120 Roadster was thought to be a product of Figoni & Falaschi. It easily could have been a Figoni car but appears to be not... This long-held speculation regarding the roadster's handsome coachwork eventually proved to be inaccurate. Though Figoni & Falaschi produced some of the most extravagant designs, other famous coach-building houses - Saoutchik, for example, and Pourtout - created Talbot Lago sheetmetal that was similarly uninhibited. However, the design origins of this unique two-seat sports car lay elsewhere.
Talbot Lago T120, chassis number 92007, disappeared from view for many years before it was discovered in the late 1960s, after quietly gathering dust in storage near Saint Tropez. With its lengthened hood, longer rear deck, and stretched teardrop fenders, this Roadster was clearly not a regular production Talbot Lago T120.
But what was it? No one was really sure, but it was assumed that its alterations probably came from Figoni et Falaschi, since that was the house favored by Lago when he wanted something really outrageous that would trump the seductive shapes emerging from competitors such as Delahaye and Delage.
This assumption held for some 35 years, until 2005, when the current owner acquired the roadster and consulted the late Benoit Bocquet, the longtime Figoni et Falaschi archivist, seeking to verify the source of its styling. Bocquet reported that he was unable to find any evidence that the car had passed through the Figoni et Falaschi shops, and suggested that of the houses capable of creating the roadster's one-of-a-kind body, the most likely was Carrosserie Brandone.
Certain that the body of his T120 had not been modified at Figoni et Falaschi, the owner pursued the Carrosserie Brandone theory via Jean-Pierre Cornu, an expert on the pre-WWII Riviera concours era who had established a considerable library of original photographs of Brandone-bodied cars. Monsieur Cornu was able to identify detail touches unique to Brandone, as seen in period photographs prior to restoration such as chrome-plated teardrops on the fenders - and the fog of mystery that had enveloped the roadster for so long seemed finally dissipated.
Satisfied with the results of his investigation, the owner commissioned a painstaking restoration. Following the advice of Benoit Bocquet, and during the restoration, the front end was modified, the chrome trim running along the waist line was removed and, to add to the confusion, the owner elected to fit the Figoni patented grille over the more mundane standard example.