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Tom Cleaver
906 articles

If someone made model kits of cars like this…

March 28, 2021 · in Uncategorized · 21 · 1.6K

I would be a Car Guy Modeler in an instant! Price no object!

"The lines are positively indecent" - Road & Track Magazine

The Teardrop. Otherwise known as the 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS teardrop coupe, chassis number 90108, current value $7.6 million. Built by two men, names of Figoni and Falaschi—Italian immigrants to France who ran the world’s top custom-car shop in Paris from the thirties through the fifties—the T150 is a prime example of a model that the Robb Report once called “the most beautiful car in the world.” One of only two models built with a race-car engine, it’s an art deco masterpiece, a long, sleek body powered by ground-shaking horsepower. The C stands for competition—it gets 140 bhp out of a 3,996cc six-cylinder engine—but the Teardrop was built as rolling art, a metallic blue car with a red leather interior and red wire wheels. It’s shaped like a teardrop, pure aerodynamics. When it debuted, its wealthy owners commissioned custom wardrobes to match its colors and lines—society-page fixtures using it to make grand entrances at balls.

In 2017, classic cars topped the Coutts Passion Index, a list of the British bank’s top passion investments, increasing in value by more than 300 percent in the past decade to bypass assets like wine, jewelry, and artwork.

“Just like there’s art forgeries, there’s classic-car forgeries. There’s an old expression in the business: In the thirties, the Mercedes-Benz factory built twenty-five special Roadsters, but only thirty of them survived.”

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

21 responses

  1. I'm more of an early '60s Ferrari 250 GTO kinda guy.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  2. Only two car kits I've ever wanted was a Aston Martin DB5 as seen in Goldfinger and the Bandai 1/16 Bugatti Royale.

    The Doyusha DB-5 kit in the model stash is the closest I'll ever get to owning one.

    I would like to purchase the Bandai/Entex Royale if I could. Mostly for sentimental reasons. My dad bought and built this kit and I tore it apart as a toddler. I would like to repay my dad by building one.

  3. Fisher Model and Pattern had a bunch of unique resin cars. Along with eyeing up his 1/32 F7U and Christen Eagle I was also looking at the Alfa Romeo B.A.T.s. I believe he had at least two of the three if not the entire set. There were also other cars similar to what Tom is referring to along with early 60's Ferrari racers. (The P2 and 512 among them.)

  4. That is one beautiful piece of design and engineering.

  5. Carry on dreaming, my own taste is for 1950s Jaguars, C-Type, D-Type, XK120, etc, if only...

    • Tamiya used to make a great XK-120, but Jaguar is now owned by GM and Tamiya didn't want to pay the license.

      The licensing fees now are why such a limited number of models are produced, since they have to be a "guaranteed seller" for the company to make any profit after paying for the licensing. Another reason why hanging corporate lawyers is not a bad thing.

      • Not sure about Tamiya making an XK120, but they did make a decent Mk 2 saloon (sedan). As for corporate lawyers, they deserve the same fate as the accountants, hanging is too good for them. I think Jaguar (and Land Rover) are currently owned by the Indian company Tata.

        • Yes, it is Tata. But when this whole business of licensing for kits started, it happened here (Boeing being first since they own half the "legacy" airplane companies that ever existed, with Lockheed owning everything else except Grumman, which Northrop owns) and they were owned by GM.

          • I noticed when I bought the Tamiya 1:48 P-38 kit that it had a Lockheed Martin trademark and the 1:32 Tamiya P-51 kit a Boeing/North American. I suppose this is just another revenue stream for these companies.

        • Yeah, some over-educated, otherwise-unemployable JD/MBA in the "intellectual property" department who was facing layoff and needed to justify his otherwise-worthless existence came up with this licensing scam. It used to be, these companies understood that models were a great way to influence kids to become the engineers and other professionals they would hire in the future, and they gave away information on their products to promote that. However, such an intelligent concept is far beyond the i d i o t s who can flunk the IQ test low enough to get into the modern Bid'nez Skool or Lawyer Factory.

  6. This is truly a beautiful car.

  7. Heller has a Delahaye

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  8. I am a car guy, owning a number of vintage, not CLASSIC, cars. While there have been flashes of brilliance in car design post WWII, most of the truly beautiful and classic cars are pre-war. I have worked on many cars over the years (and a few planes), this one by far the most famous. This car was for a period of time at a restoration shop where I worked for a year. I don't know what happened after I left, either the shop went out business (it did), or the customer was dissatisfied with the progress and pulled it prior to going out of business, but it was eventually finished by another restoration facility. My small part was working with the chrome shop during the plating process, making sure details in the chrome were not lost, as is often done.

    When I left the body was still not back together, and what pieces were there were bare metal but the rolling chassis did have the engine. Even then though you could see the beauty of this car.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  9. I love the Teardrop and this deep crimson number above in particular... images of beautiful and elegant cars, both in their own way. They just look like something out of a 'Marvel' movie, or perhap from a Tintin adventure. In the photo with the 'Teardrop', there's a slender black number with a bubble canopy in the background, too... anyone know what that one is/was?

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