Aerodynamics

French sensuality

With the valuable support, depth of knowledge and illustrative talent of Prof. Massimo Grandi

Photo credit: Some images are taken from the book Asi Service "Quando le disegnava il vento" by Massimo Grandi.

Goutte d’eau, or tear drop was the nickname immediately given to this masterpiece by the Italian coachbuilder Giuseppe Figoni who, together with Ovidio Falaschi, created the Figoni et Falaschi coachbuilders in France in the early 1930s. The car, presented at the 1937 Paris Motor Show, was so successful they made 16 examples, each one customized for its discerning purchaser. Its decidedly sporty mechanics were derived from a Talbot Lago T150 C Super Sport which, with its four-litre six-cylinder engine, overhead valvetrain and three carburettors produced 165 hp and gave the car all the characteristics of a race car. One of the magical elements of this car is the fact that it actually raced at Le Mans – and gave the competition a good run for their money to boot – whilst also being the queen of many Concours d’Elegance events.

The almost sensual lines of the Talbot-Lago T150-C Super Sport, a Berlinetta that left its mark at the races and at Concours d’Elegance events

Designed in the “French curve” style, it stands out for its sobriety and rigour, devoid of unnecessary decorations, with a sinuous and clean aerodynamic line that makes it almost sensual. The only concessions to the classic Figoni style are the chrome accents at the base of the bodywork that strengthen its design.

The inescapable purity of the lines gave this model the nickname “Goutte d’eau” (tear drop)

The magnificence of the shape goes so far as to arouse, in whoever is lucky enough to see her, the sensation and movement even when the car is stationary.

Today it is one of the most coveted automobiles by collectors. It is not clear how many of the 16 Berlinetta and open versions remain. The last auction listings of the closed version ranged between three and three and a half million euros. The open versions go for much more, arriving as high as seven million.

The Talbot-Lago T150-C Super Sport running number 8 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1939. Equipped with a six-cylinder, 4-litre engine producing 165 hp, it was constantly in the top ten before having to retire due to mechanical failure