1908 Talbot

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Date of creation: 
On display
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This car, built by Clement Talbot Limited in London, has an engine that is 4155cc, 25hp RAC (Royal Automobile Club) rating or 40 brake horsepower. This engine type is water cooled with mono cast cylinders.  It weighed 1280kg and had a wheelbase of 9ft 8in and a track of 4ft. 7in. Its cruising speed was around 75km/h (45mph). 

The body is made of wood with a box featuring vertically opening doors in the rear, this style is similar to a typical delivery vehicle body of the period. Attached to the sides were a shovel and an axe. The vehicle was equipped with kerosene lamps lights and a firearm.

It has wooden spoke artillery type wheels, originally running 880x120 clincher type tyres but now running on well based rim and tyres. The tyres that Dutton and Aunger ran were all terrain type, having a steel stud tread pattern. Front wheels are on a standard axle on semi elliptical springs. Differential and rear axle is of a conventional beveled gear drive and fully floating hubs with live axle on half elliptic and a transverse spring giving the rear axle a great degree of flexibility to cross rough terrain. The footbrake operates on transmission, handbrakes operate contracting band on the rear wheels only, and there are no front brakes, which was customary for the period.

In the early years of the 20th century, the British designed and built Talbot motor cars had established a reputation for well-made, fast and efficient vehicles. This marque was chosen by the wealthy pastoralist Henry Dutton of Kapunda for his attempt (with mechanic Murray Aunger) to drive a motor car across Australia from Adelaide to Darwin. Having failed in his first attempt in 1907, Henry ordered a second Talbot from the London factory, and shortly after its arrival in Adelaide set off and within two months had completed the first overland crossing from south to north.This journey was particularly significant as there were no formed roads for most of the journey and motor vehicles were very much in their infancy. In Alice Springs the local telegraph operator, Ernest Allchurch, joined Dutton and Aunger for the remainder of their trip. For most of the route the men followed the Overland Telegraph Line, a thin copper wire stretching 3200kms from Port Augusta to Darwin, and connecting Australia to the world. The men would 'tap' the line in morse code to relay messages and reports of their progress.Travelling just a few miles could take many hours, having to clear the path as they travelled. Along the route they had to negotiate steep sandhills, tall termite mounds, deserts, dry riverbeds and flowing creeks, and even escaped a bushfire. On 20 August 1908 the men finally arrived in Darwin and successfully completed their trip. They even collected the bogged car used for the failed 1907 attempt, the 'Angelina', along the way.This individual car was known colloquially as '474' after the South Australian registration number assigned to the car. Following its epic journey, 474 remained in the family for use on the Kapunda property. Later it was kept in storage until it was restored for the 50th anniversary run of the journey in 1959. It was purchased from Henry’s son, the late Geoffrey Dutton, by the Birdwood Mill Museum in 1977. The vehicle remains in remarkably good condition, having been extensively restored in 1959 and again for the 1988 Castrol Bicentenary World Rally. In July and August 2008 the Talbot completed a centenary journey following the original route as a travelling exhibition, Off the Beaten Track. It is still in working condition.
While the vehicle has been subject to some modifications its age, condition, history of ownership, the unique purpose-built bodywork (albeit from the previous expedition Talbot) and its historical achievement as the first car to drive from Adelaide to Darwin make this one of the most significant vehicles in the Museum's collection.


Enjoyed the article, though idoudt that The rear brakes were external contracting bands. I have a 1909 4T talbot tourer & it's rear brakes are internal expanding shoes. We also have a kero side lamp off the 1907 talbot, Adelaide to Darwin attempt. Our car is entered in a veteran vehicle run A2D which starts at bird wood on 3.7.14.
 to me this is the most single important motor story of Australia. It has been for some strange reason  a favourit e  child hood dream to find the one most best car in the world. Ive owned and rallied some of them. But it seems that dream ends w.ith this car  The one those men put all that trust in was Angelina.  Over the years ive collected cars all of them succsesors of the Talbot , so its time to visit the Museum and meet the car. This August timed  with the start of  a reenactment run to Darwin. I will be driving the last Talbot a 206 Peugeot 
i intend to film part of the vintage event 3 7 14 , as i had the previous car marathon Perth TO Sydney, London Sydney, Round Australias in my own  Hillman a sucsessor of  Talbots   ,and also  the Peking Paris etc 0428220722 . 
i intend to film part of the vintage event 3 7 14 , as i had the previous car marathon Perth TO Sydney, London Sydney, Round Australias in my own  Hillman a sucsessor of  Talbots   ,and also  the Peking Paris etc 0428220722 . 

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