Talbot Tagora Présidence

What better way than to make a splash on he French market than to produce a car designed to lever governmental types out of their Citroen CXs and SMs. This was Talbot’s attempt to out-do Citroen…

It was certainly more luxurious, but was it smarter than the governmental Citroens? Mais Non!
It was certainly more luxurious, but was it smarter than the governmental Citroens? Mais Non!

The brief for the Présidence was to design a Talbot Tagora with everything, the kind of car that would lure the well-heeled executive away from the more established luxury cars. The result was the Presidence; a £25,000 one-off from Talbot’s Whitley styling studio. It was stocked with everything from cloth-faced leather seats to a colour television, video recorder and 100-watt stereo system.

The designer behind the project was Sunny Atri, a graduate of California state University, who moved to Coventry. She was told that the changes must be cosmetic and for there to be no engineering changes. The car the Presidence was based upon was the 2.6-litre SX model.

The interior was hand-trimmed in Connolly leather with woollen cloth inserts and a brass inlay for the centre console and gear lever. The ultimate accessory was a matching briefcase in leather and brass! Externally, the Presidence was treated to new alloy wheels and smoked rear lamp lenses.

Office equipment included a telephone, disctaphone and the in-built television was capable of picking up CEEFAX and Oracle text services. The was also a natty electric shaver stowed away in the glovebox for midnight-oil style emergencies. The Presidence was purely built as a styling exercise; a mobile demonstration of what Whitley could do, but the idea was to try and interest governments in the UK and France into following a Talbot buying policy.

Only one was built in the end, and it is still believed to be in existence in France.


  1. MICHAEL 1963 – Intorno al 1981 – 82 iniziavo a vedere in giro qualche Talbot Tagora, soprattutto in versione diesel. Roba di ormai oltre 30 anni fa: Mamma mia quanto tempo è passato!! Era il tempo della scuola superiore e della patente appena conquistata. Ricordo che la Tagora mi piaceva, la trovavo imponente, forse un pò troppo squadrata, ma aveva un suo fascino. Addirittura ad una fiera doove ci andai con la scuola, ebbi la possibilità, con molta soddisfazione, di sedermici dentro. Si, mi piaceva!! Negli anni a venire di Tagora in giro se ne videro poche e di quelle poche poi se ne videro sempre meno, fino a non vederne proprio più. 3 anni fa, sorpresa: Alla festa padronale del 15 agosto a Nuova Cliternia vidi una Tagora con targa francese grigio metallizzato, in versione diesel, un pò vissuta! E in un attimo il mio pensiero andò indietro a quegli inizi degli anni ’80, quando la mia vita era molto diversa da come è divenuta con il trascorrere del tempo fino ad oggi. Ma come allora, la passione per le automobili resta sempre tanta!!!

  2. Translation of above:

    MICHAEL 1963 – Around 1981 – 82 I was starting to see some Talbot Tagora, especially in the diesel version. Stuff of over 30 years ago: Mamma mia how much time has passed !! It was the time of high school and the newly conquered driving license. I remember that I liked the Tagora, I found it impressive, perhaps a little too square, but had its own charm. Even at a fair doove I went with the school, I had the opportunity, with great satisfaction, to sit inside. Yes, I liked it !! In the years to come of Tagora around there were few and the few then they saw less and less, until you see just more. 3 years ago, surprise: At the main party on 15th August in New Cliternia, I saw a Tagora with a gray metal plate, in diesel version, a bit lived! And in a moment my thoughts went back to those early ’80s, when my life was very different from how it became with the passing of time until today. But as then, the passion for cars is always so much !!!

  3. A £25,000 Talbot Tagora would have been a tall order, as similar money would have bought you a Jaguar XJ 12 or a Mercedes 380 SEL.

  4. The Tagora was never a wonderful looking car whatever its trim level. A Jag XJ or Merc would undoubtedly be better!

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