French Classic Cars Collection 1937-1951
Auction organised by Osenat at Retromobile Paris, on Feb. 3rd, 2024.
Sales details on

Talbot Lago T23 Baby by Chapron from JWA Classic cars collection

Talbot-Lago T23 Baby

N°93267 – CHAPRON – 1939


The American

Restoration and return to the roads

Imported to the USA in 1956 by an American colonel and repatriated to France in 2009 in a dilapidated state, the T23 was restored after two years of work, by the end of 2012.

An unforgettable transatlantic adventure

In 2013, we decided to take it back to its adopted country to celebrate the centenary of the Lincoln Highway (New York – San Francisco). We returned with wonderful memories. The landscapes we crossed played a significant role, but what struck us the most was the warm welcome received there, especially from all the other participants at the event and members of the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America). We were only two French crews.

French classic car Talbot Lago T23 Chapron presented by Joel Winter

Discovery and publication of its history

The Baby is an incredibly endearing car with which we have traveled extensively. Establishing its true history was challenging, but it became an adventure conducted for months like a genuine police investigation, leading to surprising discoveries.
To the extent that we published a book on the subject. If you wish to obtain it, contact us. The entire price is directly donated to medical research.


What a story! What a tale?

This is the story of a 1939 Talbot T23 Baby that languished in the USA for over 40 years. We’re in 2009. The car is almost reduced to a wreck. Its Wilson gearbox lies beside it, the matte black of its body echoing memories of a tragic era: requisitioned as soon as the Germans arrived in France, it was immediately covered in this dark coat to meet the camouflage demands of a wartime army.

1956: Heading to the USA on a Liberty Ship

Then, after too many years serving the Nazi aggressor, liberation finally comes. A U.S. Air Force colonel returns home with the Baby. He keeps it for several years before selling it to a fellow countryman, where it is later found near Tacoma. This story was briefly described in a poster offering the Baby for sale in 2009. One detail remained dubious in the story: the car was supposedly bodied by Henri Chapron.

A Talbot bodied by Chapron?

This single claim cast some doubt: everyone knows that Chapron did not provide bodies for Talbot.

We had to dig deeper into this. And dig we did. It was a good thing we did because much of what was depicted was incorrect, albeit in good faith. One thing was true: the car had indeed been bodied by Henri Chapron’s workshops, and it was a prototype.

Welcome Home Baby, the book of the incredible story

The wild tale of a historical search that starts with a slight, unfounded doubt and ends with a bouquet of flowers laid on a soldier’s grave at the American cemetery in Suresnes, passing through unforgettable encounters in both France and the USA, is told in a small book titled “Welcome Home Baby.”

The book narrating the extraordinary story of the Talbot T23 Chapron and its restoration has been produced in a limited number of copies, all numbered. Its price is €50, which is entirely donated to medical research.

Contact us if you want one, we will graciously send you a copy upon receipt of a check made out to L’Institut du Cerveau – Paris.

French Classic Cars Collection 1937-1951
Auction organised by Osenat at Retromobile Paris, on Feb. 3rd, 2024.
Sales details on