Talbot that failed

to cut the mustard

Talbot Solara

ONE of the 1980s models that is teetering on the edge of extinction is the Talbot Solara, a French attempt to carve a slice of the large saloon market dominated by Ford and Vauxhall.

The Talbot name was a French owned progression of the old Rootes Group, a firm which fielded marques such as Hillman, Sunbeam and Humber.

Those names faded into obscurity under the new ownership and the models that succeeded them were far short on appeal.

Gone was the solid British build of the Hillman and Humber cars and in drove a range of cars that were completely new in outlook and nowhere near as posh as the cars that we had known and loved.

The four-door Solara was closely related to the Simca 1510 as it was known in France and when introduced in 1980, it looked reasonably modern and fresh.

Replacing the old Hillman Avenger, the Solara jut did not cut the mustard with the ultra-conservative tastes of the UK market as sales were not as high as was anticipated.

However, it looked a fresh, new departure when it was launched in 1980. here were many shaken heads from UK fleet buyers who expected a more vivid and exciting offering.

The Solara came in 1.3 and 1.6-litre forms and I remember the 1.6 to be reasonably peppy but with steering that was not up to the then modern standards.

Unfortunately, the Solara was somewhat tinny and rust became a major problem.

It slipped away after five years and the Talbot marque was eventually driven into the history books.

The Solara was a classic example of producing a car that was totally inferior to some of the great cars that had gone before. Imagine being given the choice of a Solara or a Humber Sceptre. Without doubt, no contest.

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