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This article is about the automobile brand.
Talbot is an automobile brand, whose history is one of the industry's most complex.
Talbot was originally the British brand name used to sell imported French Clément-Bayard cars. Founded in 1903, this business venture was financed by Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, who lent his name to the firm. Starting in 1905, the company branded its imported cars as Clément-Talbot and began assembling French made parts at a new factory in North Kensington, London, selling them under the name Talbot. Locally designed cars followed from 1906 and by 1910 50 to 60 cars a month were being made. A Talbot was the first car to cover 100 miles (160 kilometres) in an hour in 1913.
During World War I, the firm manufactured ambulances. French and British operations continued in separate, parallel production and marketing processes until 1919, when British-owned but Paris-based Darracq took over the company; Darracq-made Talbots were marketed as Talbot-Darracqs. The following year, Darracq was reorganised as part of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) conglomerate.
In 1916, Swiss native Georges Roesch became chief engineer, and in the 1920s, Talbot built a number of successful models, including the 14/ 45 hp, or Talbot 105, which was first built in 1926. In the 1930s, Roesch-designed Talbots enjoyed success in racing with the Fox & Nicholl team, with drivers including the Hon. Brian Lewis, Johnny Hindmarsh, and John Cobb (better known for his land speed record attempts). They were also highly successful in the Alpine Trial.
In 1935 STD combine collapsed and the Rootes Group took over Clément-Talbot. For Rootes, profits were more important than engineering - the existing models were simply rebadged. The French factory was bought by Anthony Lago who used Talbot-Lago as a brand afterwards.
In Britain, Sunbeam and Talbot marques were combined in 1938 to form Sunbeam-Talbot. Production of Sunbeam Talbot automobiles ceased during World War II and resumed again in 1946, and the Talbot name was dropped in 1955. The Sunbeam name continued under the Rootes management (Rapier, Alpine and Tiger) until 1967 when control was taken over by Chrysler.
After the war, only the French Talbot-Lago continued until 1960. The brand was bought by Simca in 1958.
In 1967, Chrysler took over Rootes and merged it with Simca to form Chrysler Europe. The Talbot name was not used in this era, although the Chrysler "Pentastar" logo and name (used as the marque) gradually replaced the Rootes brands as the 1970s progressed.
Chrysler had just developed with Simca new Horizon/ Omni line, and the Talbot Horizon was produced in Finland at Uusikaupunki factory. Other Chrysler-based Talbots were also made there, Talbot 1510 and Talbot Solara. Top-of-the line model was called Talbot Solara VIP.
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