Han Brouwers is the kind of man we like here at CineCars. A genuine petrol head. A dash of race grade fuel in the blood. No cholesterol, just high octane. The works. Like lots of lads his age he dreamt about the heroics of the great racing drivers of his days. Pilot goggles and a wool cap to support them against the elements in their fast racing stallions. Competing on the edge for one more glorious victory. Many of us dream, few live up to them.
Han Brouwers is one of those people that lives up to his dreams. Madly chasing the achievements of his illustrious predecessors. Knowing their heroics will keep the little boy inside alive forever.
There aren’t many historic races and rallies Han didn’t race. Lots of historic Grand Prix’, next to appearing in such legends as the Mille Miglia, the Monte Carlo and how about the Carrera Panamericana? As co-founder of the Dutch Vintage Sportswear Club he promoted Pre-War-Racing in The Netherlands. Pre-War might sound a little incrowd, but actually it’s simply back to the purest form of racing cars. When race cars were still traceable to the automobile they were based on. Sports cars being nothing more than a bare chassis, some minimalistic bodywork and a highly tuned engine. Loads of power, four narrow tires, simple drum brakes and last but not least a lot of guts. That’s about sums it up. That’s what the lad inside Han Brouwers still dreams of at night.
Talbot Lago is a prestigious French car manufacturer that played in the same league as illustrious car builders like Delahaye, Panhard, Hotchkiss, Delage and Salmson. Let’s not forget Bugatti for that matter. Between two world wars the small company in Suresnes near Paris built large luxurious cars with extravagant bodywork from Saoutchik, Franay, Olin or Figoni et Falaschi, next to extremely successful sports cars. The Talbot Lago T26C Grand Prix is without a doubt the ultimate in Talbot’s racing heritage. Partly based on pre-war technique engineer Carlo Marchetti managed to build a monoposto that impressed with its unsupercharged 4,5 litre six cylinder engine sporting twin overhead camshafts. It excelled in the many endurance races in its days, where its legendary reliability made it one of the all time favourites.
There is one of those legendary monoposto’s hidden in Han Brouwers’ man cave. The baby blue livery of the slender cigar can’t hide its pedigree. This is a thoroughbred race car. Pure speed sculpted in steel and aluminium. Han’s Talbot Lago T26C Grand Prix is ready for its début in the historic racing circuit. A genuine début, since the car as a whole is a new build. Completely assembled from original parts from the Talbot Lago stable, the only thing this car doesn’t have, is pedigree. Otherwise this adorable racer has been meticulously prepared to original standards by Han’s son Job of Classic Job. Seated behind the large steering wheel of his Talbot Lago, Han tells us about his heroes. The men who defeated the dangers racing cars like these came with, without hindsight. In his eyes we see a little spark. A nudge of admiration for these great lads. Proud to be living his dream. Where boys will be men.
text: Marc GF Zaan
pictures: Leonie Hahn, Mirko Cocco