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1909 Talbot 4A Tourer

Engine Type

Single block, 4 cylinder, side valve, water pump cooling system.

Details of fuel & ignition system

Gravity feed fuel system. Magneto power system.


Three speed, gate change gear box.

Brief known history of the vehicle

The 1909 Talbot tourer car, Model 4A, Engine No. 130, Chassis No. 2630 was located by Jim Hewitt in a scrap heap covered with sheets of iron under a tree on a property near Ungarie about 1960. At some stage the car was made into a trailer and was used on the farm. Jim Hewitt who had a garage in West Wyalong purchased the car, dismantling it and storing in his garage at West Wyalong.

Don Manwaring and his wife Dorothy purchased the car from Jim Hewitt in 1980 for the sum of $3,000, but did not collect it until 1998. When the car was picked up it was in a poor state of repair, however the engine, gearbox and axles were still fitted to the chassis. There were a number of panels, such as mudguards and bonnet but they were in poor condition. The acetylene gas headlights were missing and it is alleged a Priest pinched them.

The vehicle was conveyed to Don Manwaring's shed in Cootamundra where it was fastidiously restored over many years by Don and his son John and a friend Peter Kelly. David Strachan at Worongary on the Gold Coast in Queensland rebuilt the body and the mud guards. A fellow in Newcastle restored the beaded edge wheels making the spokes out of spotted gum timber.

When the car was stripped, green paint was found on the body. Frank Hiscock a motor vehicle spray painter in Cootamundra painted the car British racing green. There is no roof on the car however the wood hood bows were fitted, but one was split. I have since purchased a new hood bow to replace the split one.

On 12th July 2020 we were sitting with Hastings Auto Restorers club member Len Colbert at a club outing when Len informed me his friend in Cootamundra was going to sell his early Talbot car. My ears pricked up straight away as I had observed Talbot cars at veteran rallies and appreciated their design and mechanical advancements to other veteran cars.

That night I rang Don Manwaring and organised a visit to Cootamundra to inspect the car. On 15th July 2020 we attend Bill Johnston's funeral in Sydney. Then the following day 16th July we visited Don Manwaring, inspected the Talbot, and took it for a drive about Cootamundra. Don had a price of $45,000 on the car that included a car trailer. As we have a car trailer I made an offer of $40,000, no including the trailer that Don accepted.

On 25th July nine days later we travelled to Cootamundra with our Pantech trailer and collected the Talbot. The Pantech trailer was a benefit as it poured rain all the way back to Port Macquarie.

The Talbot does not have a battery and operates on magneto. I find it easy to crank, with just two pulls of the crank handle it fires up. I have registered the car with the Veteran car club and have driven a number of times in the Port Macquarie surrounds.

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