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Junkman

Heller 1/24 Talbot-Lago 4L5 Grand Prix

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The Heller Talbot-Lago Grand Prix kit is scheduled for being reissued later this year.
It first saw the light of day in 1979.

Boxart Talbot Lago 4L5 Grand Prix 721 Heller

 

A rather primitive kit of the same car existed earlier, made by Merit in the 1950s and reissued by Smer.
The Heller kit is not to be confused with these. It's much more detailed and advanced.

The correct denomination would be 1950 Talbot Lago T26C-DA.

The type T26C (the 'C' stands for 'Course') made its competition debut at the 1948 Monaco Grand Prix. It retired after 16 laps with engine trouble, but the follow-up
Coupe du Salon at Montlhéry yielded a 1-2-3 for the Talbot-Lagos of Louis Rosier, Pierre Levegh (of 1955 Le Mans 'fame') and Yves Giraud-Cabantous.
The first major victory came at the 1949 Belgian Grand Prix, with Rosier at the wheel, who didn't stop for the entire three and half hours.
Superior fuel consumption and reliability helped him against savvy competition, like the Alfa Romeo 4CLT, with its two-stage supercharged engine.
Rosier's skill in the Talbot-Lago secured him the French Championship that year, which also included a signature win at the French Grand Prix in Reims by Louis Chiron.

During the following seasons, Talbot Lago continued their success with upgrades that included side draught 50HN Zenith carburetters, increased to 11:1 compression ratio
and a stronger crankshaft. They were also fitted with 4-speed Cotal pre-selector gearboxes.
Mid-season these were joined by new twin spark, 12 plug engines, which offered 280 bhp at 5,000rpm. They also repositioned the driveshaft to allow the driver's position
be lowered significantly, and Lockheed 19 inch drum brakes were used.

At least ten of these cars were built, since they also proved popular with private clients.

http://www.grandprixhistory.org/images/1948talbot8.jpg

1950 ended on a high note once again, with three major Grand Prix victories.

The kit is depicting one of these modified 1950 T26C-DAs, specifically the #14 car driven to third place by Louis Rosier in the 1950 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps,
behind the two Alfa Romeo 158s of Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli.

http://dc121.4shared.com/img/V0aO4ooT/s7/11eb27a82e0/1950_belgian_gp_-_louis_rosier

 

The car is still with us today:

http://m8.i.pbase.com/o1/21/783021/1/139877908.4RJjjbeI.DSC_0893640.JPG

The Talbot-Lago company did not participate in the 1951 Grand Prix season at all, but several privateers did enter 1950 T26C-DAs, subsequently several more race wins
were added to the tally. However, for the 1952 season, the Grand Prix rules were changed significantly and thus these Talbot-Lagos were no longer eligible to participate.
Some of them were therefore converted into sports cars by their owners.

Edited by Junkman
Edited by Junkman

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Great news. Thanks. I've got a couple of the Smer / Merit kits, and one of the Heller "Record 1950" kits, but I've been wanting one of the Heller 4L5 kits for a while.

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Looking forward to this one..would like to see more of the old Heller race car kits reissued, I don''t have any of the originals (except for an AMT rebox of a Porsche and Ferrari), have noticed them mostly for the great box art.

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That is welcome news that it's not a repop of the Smer kit.  Looking forward to this one.

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Excellent, and thank you, Christian.

I wanna get after a number of these, actually.  There are a few vintage Heller subjects I'd like to get after, like the Delahaye, Talbot Lago street car, Delage, and the Bugatti T50.  Figures the E-Types are all around after I got a few off online auctions.

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So... this is not the kit with the clear plastic "wire wheels?"

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So... this is not the kit with the clear plastic "wire wheels?"

Correct.

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I had the Smer kit and sold it several years back.  The Heller kit looks to be much nicer.

Edited by afx

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Hmmm...

They are of different cars after all.

The Merit/Smer is depicting a car from before they lowered the driver's seat.
Some smart kit bashage is in order...

 

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I've got a nice vintage built-up of the old Merit kit:

One of eight Merits I got from an estate sale in Van Nuys many years ago. Wish I could have met the guy who built them.

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Even the old Merit kits have a certain charm and lots of character !

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Was just thinking the Merit looks serviceable, but yeah, I can get with that Heller.

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Those Merits need a bit of pimping in the wheel department and some detailing and they'll be just fine.
I'm toying with the idea to do just that by putting aftermarket wheels onto a Merit/Smer Alfa Romeo and thus have two cars from the 1950 Grand Prix de Belgique.

Also, since quite a few of these Talbots were sold to privateers, you can build these versions as well.
An obvious choice would be a car of the Ecurie Belge.

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/f1wikia/images/4/4f/1950_Claes.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130403142119

One of the numerous Heller reissues of the kit even came in that guise:

$_1.JPG

 

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I'm a little confused by the louvers on the kit nose as shown on the box (part 49 on the sprues shown above) because I can't find them on a real version. Anyway, there should be some good reference at these exhaustive links (click to enlarge all photos):

http://www.fantasyjunction.com/cars/474-Talbot-Lago-T26 Course-4.5 litre inline-6

https://www.classicdriver.com/en/car/talbot-lago/t26/1949/162974

Smer/Merit builders I have seen got their wire wheels from Herb Deeks on eBay.

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Wow, the car is brilliant.

Very cool Heller is re-releasing it.

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Re. louvers or not - all cars were used for racing and thus changes were made to them all the time. Often on the spot while in pit row.
Something overheated, whoosh, some louvers were cut there and then.

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i might have to get me one of these , for a something different build

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the Heller kit is available now - I found several on ebay Germany.

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the Heller kit is available now - I found several on ebay Germany.

Yes, I ordered it along with the Ferguson tractor from the Heller website last week...going to be an interesting pair of kits.

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Hmmm.... I like the look of this. Another kit for the Some Day List.

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