It was certainly more luxurious, but was it smarter than the governmental Citroens? Mais Non!
The brief was to design a Talbot Tagora with everything, the kind of car that would lure the well-heeled executive away from the more established luxury cars. The result was the Presidence; a £25,000 "one-off" from Talbot's Whitley styling studio. It was stocked with everything from cloth-faced leather seats to a colour television, video recorder and 100-watt stereo system.
The designer behind the project was Sunny Atri, a graduate of California state University, who moved to Coventry. She was told that the changes must be cosmetic and for there to be no engineering changes. The car the Presidence was based upon was the 2.6-litre SX model.
The interior was hand-trimmed in Connolly leather with woollen cloth inserts and a brass inlay for the centre console and gear lever. The ultimate accessory was a matching briefcase in leather and brass! Externally, the Presidence was treated to new alloy wheels and smoked rear lamp lenses.
Office equipment included a telephone, disctaphone and the in-built television was capable of picking up CEEFAX and Oracle text services. The was also a natty electric shaver stowed away in the glovebox for midnight-oil style emergencies. The Presidence was purely built as a styling exercise; a mobile demonstration of what Whitley could do, but the idea was to try and interest governments in the UK and France into following a Talbot buying policy.
Only one was built in the end, and it is still believed to be in existence in France.
Picture: MOTOR magazine.Copyright © 2001-2004 Keith Adams; Copyright © 2005 Allpar, LLC
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