This is a 1933 Talbot AV105 Drophead Coupe "Brioni", finished in blue with a blue interior and 40,000 miles on the clock.
The Talbot AV105 is a classic British sports car in the truest sense. With a reputation for excellent handling from the lightweight chassis, combined with a satisfying six cylinder engine the AV105 had great sporting success. Designed by the Swiss car designer George Roesch the AV 105 was particularly suited to Alpine driving as reflected by their success in the Alpine Trials of the 1930’s. The body of this car comes courtesy of Offord and Sons and is the Brioni three stage drop top model that originally retailed for £795. Marketed as “one of the most comfortable and at the same time smartest cars made to-day” and after having been inside we would have to agree.
We don’t know much until 1949 when it was purchased by a Mr Stanley Evans who was a car dealer in Surrey. Mr Evans sold the car to a Mr Bridges that same year who needed to bring his disabled mother back to the South West from Surrey, but had not found the public transport available at the time to be accommodating. Seeing the wide opening of the doors and the luxurious and spacious interior Mr Bridges decided that this would be the perfect way to bring his mother home, and so the car headed down to Somerset where it has remained since. Mr Bridges sold the car to Mr Hardwidge in 1958, Mr Hardwidge (Ted) was the Godfather of the previous owner to whom he sold it in 2010. Ted completed a partial restoration over this time, including a gearbox rebuild, radiator replacement and a full repaint, from black to the two tone blue that is the current finish.
This AV105 comes with an extensive selection of paperwork including the original Talbot owners manual, wiring diagram, some past MOTs, past registration book (1949) and gearbox settings records.
Whilst the interior would benefit from full refurbishment, the wood trim still looks good and we didn’t find any rips in the seat covers, with a quick spruce up the interior is ready to be enjoyed on the road or a full refurbishment could bring it back to show condition. With large comfortable seats, thick carpeting, high sides and a veritable sofa in the back it makes for a luxurious driving experience that many modern cars would struggle to rival. The hood and cover have both been replaced and present well externally, however the headlining does need replacing. The dashboard is in need of refurbishment and some of the dials are not currently functional.
The drop top Brioni body certainly looks the part and can be used in three stages. Whilst it may be time for restoration, sweeping lines and the stylish top combined with the chrome detailing means this Talbot still makes an impression. The coachwork would benefit from restoration as there are bumps and scrapes, combined with some attention to the fittings this would really help bring this car back to its former glory. The driver's side door hangs a little low when opened so that it just scrapes the bodywork, it is however still well attached on the hinge.
We were amazed to discover that the engine is entirely original and has never been rebuilt, this is thanks to this car having only covered 41k in almost 90 years! A previous owner, when restoring the car, operated on an only replace what needs replacing basis, meaning that the car has a vast amount of original features including most of the mechanical parts. From the friction adjustable suspension through to the steering we are told the mechanics are in generally sound condition. The exhaust has been partially replaced but does still require some further work to finish. Both the hand throttle and choke are not working from within the cabin, the choke can of course be operated at the carburettor. As this car has only covered 41k in almost 90 years the gearbox has only undergone one rebuild and we are informed that it works well and as expected.
This is a rare chance to own a true sporting classic, a lovely example of a Roesch Talbot that would be the envy of many a car enthusiast. With a beautiful straight six coupled with the lightweight chassis and powerful brakes the AV105 was designed for the pure driving experience and this Brioni variant is a fine example of just how good these cars look almost 90 years later.
With some relatively minor work this car is ready to be driven, or a full restoration would turn this into something special. This is one you won’t want to miss.