c1904 Talbot Type 2V motor car

The Lewis Cycle and Motor Works, and from 1907 its successor Vivian Lewis Limited, held the Talbot agency for South Australia from 1904 through the First War and into the early 1920s. The agency brought them a good deal of success over the years, so that by 1914 Talbot was said to be the third most popular make of vehicle on the road in South Australia, with 245 listed on the registration records. However a caveat is required: because of peculiarities in the registration system, counting vehicles is not an easy task. What is clear is that Lewis sold well in excess of 100 Talbots.

The earliest two-cylinder Talbots were styled very much like the contemporary De Dion-Bouton, with a coal-scuttle bonnet and the radiator mounted under the chassis rails at the front. In 1904 the smaller version of the car was designated "2V", and featured an 8 h.p. motor and a wood-and-flitch-plate chassis.

1904 Talbot two cylinder 8 h.p. motor car, type 2V

1904 8 h.p. 2V Talbot motor c1904 Talbot 2V two cylinder motor car c1904 Talbot 2V two cylinder motor car

The first shipment of Talbot cars landed in Adelaide in September 1905, and consisted of two 8 h.p. two-cylinder cars. Our 8 h.p. Talbot features in three of the Lewis photographs. In photograph 18, part of the 1904 McHenry Street series, Tom O'Grady is inspecting an 8 h.p. two cylinder Talbot engine. Note the water outlets angled rearward for the firewall-mounted water reservoir. There is no evidence for an engineless car in the early photos, but presumably it was around somewhere! Among the later photos, we see a delightful example entering the Motor House in the background of photograph 07, and the same car - identifiable by its impressive single headlamp - in the line-up of cars in the Molton Street workshop in photograph 19. Other than coincidence of location, there is nothing to link the engine to the car, and since the photos were taken before compulsory registration commenced in September 1906, there is no registration number to help identify the owner.

Cars at Lewis index | Next car

Copyright Leon Mitchell 2009

The Lewis Project Home | Leon's Vintage Motorcycle Page