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.

6 Comments

  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!

  5. I am probably the only person to have had three of these cars. VNR 266X was passed on to me pre-owned as a company car. It replaced a Solara GLS AUT 443Y, which was my first new car, when working for Atlas Express Group, who owned Pace Cars a Talbot dealership. So there wasn’t much choice… I have a deep respect for Alpines and Solaras having owned about twelve of them – I bought them from Atlas and overall have done around 250,000 miles in them. Quality was “variable” with rust and tappet issues to worry about, but in some ways superior to the contemporary Sierra and Cavalier – power steering and a five-speed box for example. The Tagora was a promotion of sorts, though “mine” was a very basic GL with the 2.2 engine, a four-speed box and no power-steering… which was, without such, pretty heavy. But I LOVED it… My first “Executive” car with its fresh air ventilation issues ameliorated by an aftermarket “Tilt or remove” sunroof. If not particular quick, the Tagora was quiet, comfortable and had a cruise/max speed a few mph over the Solara. A little later I bought two Tagoras that were being disposed of (£1,500 the pair!) and at one time, had THREE of them on my driveway. Wish I’d photographed that one-off sight. One was a gold GLS the other a gunmetal grey car that had been re-shelled. The driver, Eric Norman, a Regional Sales Manager, had taken a telesales girl out and parked in a field of well-grown corn to give her an extra-curricular seeing-to. An unexpected combine harvester took out the side of the car. On the accident report form under “Cause of accident” the (late, sadly) Mr. Norman wrote “In-field training”. Those were the days! Later on, I briefly had a Granada 2.3GL that has the performance of the 2.0 and the fuel economy of the 2.8 and save for the vastly superior heating and ventilating of the Ford, I think I preferred the Tagora. It just never got any sort of marketing push being almost a by-line in the “all-models” brochure of the time. For comfort, hard-to-beat and as something different and quite imposing, I was sorry when it was replaced by a Vauxhall Senator… Even though that was superior in almost every way. But up the corporate ladder I climbed….

  6. The Tagora could have done so much better if it was given a much better interior and the ventilation was improved. Otherwise it was a considerably better car than other Talbots, using the proven PRV V6 in top models and a larger version of the old Chrysler 2 litre engine, but the low rent interior and the badge kept buyers aware. Locally, the only person who had one was a Peugeot Talbot dealer.

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