Tailoring the Tagora

The other day I posted an article about blandness in which the Talbot Tagora had another drubbing.

1981 Talbot Tagora adjusted: based on a Wikipedia image.

Above is a very roughly revised version. What I learned in making it look a bit better (I believe) was that a) it a had a slightly over-tall glass house b) the front axle-to-scuttle distance needed to be longer c) the boot needed to be longer and d) the c-pillar is too far back. In executing these rough changes I noticed how much parallelism is deployed.

There are substantial areas of the car that seem to be straight lofts: one section extruded without variation. With more time a different C-pillar would help. The summary of this is that the car’s proportions are static and the feature lines lack the suggestion of change. And the measurable difference between the actual car and revised car is certainly not greater than 5%, often less. It wouldn’t have taken much to make the Tagora a decent design. The thought occurs to me that perhaps Talbot wanted the car to look like it did.

The original car is here:

1981 Talbot Tagora: Wikipedia

And here´s a concept sketch, for your convenience:

This is not what they built.
Thanks to aronline.co.uk for the image.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

10 thoughts on “Tailoring the Tagora”

  1. I’m not sure your tweaks were much of an improvement. The wheel is now too far from the scuttle. Is it true that these things share underpinnings with the 604?

    1. A rule of thumb is the closer the line of a A-pillar is to the front wheel axle line the better. That’s the change I made which also reduces front overhang. This then makes the glass house seem further back, adding directionality to the profile which the original lacks.

  2. The Tagora and 604 share nearly no components as the Tagora was a pure Rootes group car that was developed long before the PSA takeover. The Tagora was meant to replace the Chrysler 160/180/2L and the Peugeot was a 504 de Luxe.
    PSA only put the Tagora to production because they got it more or less for free.
    The most memorable shared component was the PRV V6 engine, which in the Tagora is fitted with two triple choke carburettors giving it more power than in the Pug/Renault/Volvo applications.
    The four cylinder engines are completely different but the Tagora’s later found its way under the Pug 505 turbo’s bonnet.

  3. To save costs, the Chrysler UK developed rear suspension was replaced at the last minute by a design based on the 505’s, but with a narrower track. At the same (late) time, parts of the front suspension were replaced by ones derived from the 604.

    1. I don’t think the rear track of the Tagora is actually narrower than the 505 , but rather its wider body gives it an overhang at the wheel arches .

  4. Richard, you have definitely improved the look of the Tagora here, and I might suggest have made its proportions more 604-like. I’m actually quite a fan of this odd-ball (the actual production model, not your improvement), even if it’s a bit spikey and unsophisticated. For some reason, I see it in the similar way as I do the Austin Montego which I never found to be as bad as almost everyone else (even Roy Axe disowns it) … in fact it’s a guilty secret that I really wanted an MG Turbo version of it in my youth.

    1. What I might do is try to adjust the photo so the proportions fit the theme drawing Talbot did. It’s like the 1979 Ford Mustang concept sketch by Fritz Mayhew – once the proportions were adjusted to fit a standard package there was no concept left.

  5. The Tagora certainly does share bits from the 604/505. Rear suspension is all Peugeot, along with diff, drive shafts, discs and calipers, torque tube prop-shaft and gearbox. Most of the front suspension is also interchangeable, including the struts. There are plenty of other bits and pieces too, like interior lights and electric window switches. Plenty of Peugeot found its way into the Tagora, yet it’s no Peugeot.

  6. Oh, and I’m not sure your alterations really help as it still looks questionable. From most angles it looks fine, but dead side-on is probably its worst. Shhhhhh, don’t mention the narrow rear track.

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