The Talbot Darracq 700 Grand Prix racing car was designed by Vincenzo Bertarione and Walter Becchia for Talbot-Sunbeam-Darracq in 1926, and was in production in 1926-1927. The car featured aluminum body with an extremely backward-sloping front radiator. The 8 cylinder 1,488 cc supercharged engine was based on Bertarione and Becchia design of the FIAT 404 and 405 powerplant (the engine that fitted the FIAT 804 and 805). In 1926 the car debuted in Brooklands. Three Talbot Darracq cars painted in British racing green were forced to retire, but in the next race, JCC 200 miles at Brooklands, Henry Seagrave drove the car to its first victory. From the 1927 season the minimum weight for Grand Prix car went up from 600 to 700 kg, and this allowed Talbot engineers to strengthen the chassis, which had shown a tendency to break. At the French Grand Prix the Talbots clashed with the Delages, who won the first three places, with the best of the Talbots finishing in fourth position. Talbot forced financial problems prevented to enter the cars in other major events. In 1928 Bertarione managed to sell the Talbot Darracq 700 to the Italian driver Emilio Materassi. Materassi had a very successful season in 1927 with Bugatti when he won Triopli GP, Targa Florio, and San Sebastian GP. In 1928 Emilio had decided to found his own team, the Scuderia Materassi. Materassi lightening the Talbot Darracq cars which were 30 kg above the maximal weight limit, to make them enter the new Formula Libre regulations. The only Grand Epreuve raced in 1928 with the Formula Libre regulations was 1928 Italian Grand Prix, where the Materassi team lined up five cars, driven by Gastone Brilli Peri, Luigi Arcangeli, Antonio Brivio, Franco Comotti and by Materassi himself. Materassi lost control of his Talbot 700 when he tried to overtake Giulio Foresti’s Bugatti T35C on the main straight at over 200 km/h. The Talbot swerved to the left, jumped over a three-meter deep and four-meter wide protection ditch and a fence and crashed into the grandstand. Materassi was killed instantly along with twenty spectators and a large number of people were injured. The other drivers of the Scuderia Materassi withdrew from the race immediately after the accident, but the event continued and it was won by Louis Chiron in Bugatti T37A. The surviving Talbots continued to be deployed by Scuderia Materassi for another season. Count Gastone Brilli-Peri won in 1929 the Gran Premio di Tripoli and Circuito del Mugello driving Scuderia Materassi Talbot Darracq 700.
|1928||Grand Prix||Italian GP|
|Emilio Materassi||18||Scuderia Materassi|