A dozen pre-war motor cars with a combined age of over 1,000 years returned home on Sept. 8 to the place they were made, at Sunbeam Studios, Ladbroke Hall, in North Kensington.
The first purpose-built car factory and showroom in the UK, the building opened in 1903 as the Talbot Works and is known today as Sunbeam Studios, regarded as one of the foremost photographic studios and event spaces in London.
This event was to mark 110 years since the factory opened and the Centenary of the 100 miles in 1 hour World Record, set in 1913 by a Talbot built at this site. Through this achievement, the driver, Percy Lambert, became the fastest man ever over this distance – on land, sea, or air – for which he earned the status of celebrity and national hero.
The day brought together the historic with the modern, combining an exhibition and displays of the cars along with a cutting-edge modern studio photo-shoot of a 1933 Talbot AV105 Super Speed Brooklands Tourer, photographed in Sunbeam Studio 1 by Mitch Payne.
A replica of the 100 miles record car built by Ian Polsen was on display in the studio’s garden which aptly used to be the factory test track. The local neighborhood enjoyed the lineups of vintage Talbot cars being photographed at the front of the building throughout the afternoon and good day was had by all who attended.
“We are proud of our lovely building and its heritage and today was all about keeping that alive,” said Adam Dawe, managing director, Sunbeam Studios. “Ladbroke Hall is a little-known but important place that not only produced record-breaking cars but was used by Winston Churchill as his experimental warfare establishment in the First World War, and is also the place where the first anti-aircraft brigade was established in 1915.”