The Tagora had a previous outing on French Friday - with jobjoris posting an Altaya model. This one here comes from by box of old 1/43 models - contemporary to the car - so it looks a bit “pre-loved”.

So why the French Edsel? Well, it started off with high hopes and ended up pretty much sinking the Talbot brand by flopping badly in the marketplace.

The Tagora had a convoluted development history. Initially it started as the replacement for the unloved Chrysler 180 - which spawned the god-awful Chrysler Centura here in Australia, by the way. But Chrysler-Simca lacked a proper engine for an executive car at the time. While the car was still under development, Chrysler in the US nearly went bankrupt and sold off all of its overseas holdings, including Chrysler-Simca in Europe.

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The buyer turned out to be PSA - the company formed by the merger of Peugeot and Citroen. They happened to have an engine for this car - the famous “Douvrin” V6. PSA also installed some Peugeot suspension components so save costs - and the car was released to the public in 1980. Engine choices were the 4 cylinder 2.2l petrol Simca engine, a 2.3l Peugeot Diesel, or the 2.7l Douvrin.

The initial sales projection was for 60,000 units per year. But it never got even near that - it took 15 months to reach 17,000 units - and they had problems selling even that amount of cars. The problems the car faced in the market were simply too big. The new “Talbot” brand name had a poor recognition, and it was competing with a number of well established brands. Worse still, the biggest competition came from within its own stable: In that segment, PSA was already offering the Citroen CX, and the Peugeot 505 and 604. Then there were the Renault 20/30 models competing at home - with the same V6 engine too. Abroad, there were cars like the Ford Granada and the Opel Rekord and Commodore. Nobody needed the Talbot - it didn’t really offer anything more than the competition. In the end, less than 20,000 were built before PSA pulled the plug in 1983.

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This model looks and feels exactly like a Norev Mini-Jet, but it isn’t. It’s a “Cougar” - and long forgotten Solido sub-brand. These were cheaper models, sold on blister cards with these cheesy wheels. No doubt, they were meant to steal sales from the Mini-Jets. Much like the Talbot, they did not last long.