The Talon GT 2+2
Following up on the coverage I’ve given the Matula recently, here’s an article on the four-seater version (a rarity in exotics — although those back seats were tiny) of the Talon GT. Like many kits of this type, few cars — if any — other than the original prototype ever saw the road. Thanks to Joe Lee for scanning in this old article by John G. Rettie in HotVW (Nov 1980) for us.
THE TALON GT
IT’S A REAL TWO-PLUS-TWO GRAND TOURER
Long-time readers may well remember the issue when we featured the Talon kit car produced by Ed Matula from Panorama City, California. At that time he stated that his real dream was to produce a sleek 2+2 GT car. Ever since then, Ed has been developing the Talon GT 2+2 that you see in the accompanying pictures.
In many ways the Talon differs from most kits on the market in that it is a futuristic looking design rather than a replica of an already existing car. Because of this it is really a practical version of the sort of dream car one sees all the time at auto shows; cars that have been built by design studios of large auto manufacturers, but will never see the light of day.
Ed is actually an architect and industrial engineer and has been working on the Talon between consulting work for various non-automotive companies. The car has actually been available as a kit for some time but, as most kit car companies find, many buyers have not completed the kits and most would rather purchase the car complete. Ed now feels that the development of the Talon has reached a stage where it can be sold as a complete car, and that is what he intends to do from now on. However, if anybody really wants to, it is available as a pre-assembled unit ready to bolt onto a chassis.
The Talon has a vary different profile from any other kit car on the market. If it wasn’t for the rear-torsion-bar suspension, the car would be a full four-seater.
The interior is well-finished, with matching carpets and seat material. The dashboard is fully electronic and hopefully will be available separately in the future. With the top open, the view from the front could be that of a modern van or truck cab!
With the exception of the rear engine hatch and the bumpers, the glassfiber body is only made up of two separate pieces, the main lower portion and the tilt-up upper section with the windows built in. To maintain the aerodynamic qualities of the slippery shape, all the windows are flush-mounted into the body. The complete body bolts onto a regular VW floorpan that has been strengthened by a rectangular steel tubular frame bolted under the pan. The upper section is raised and lowered by electrically operated hydraulic struts.
The interior of the car is one of the best we have seen on a kit car, as it comes complete with four bucket seats in matching material with side carpets and the roof section in the same material. The rear seats are mounted over the rear torsion bar, which means that the rear headroom is limited to people under 5 ft, although the rear leg room is adequate for an adult passenger. Ed is thinking of building the car with a custom frame, in which case the rear seats could be mounted much lower and could accommodate adults in the rear seats just as the sleek Lotus Elite from England manages in a car no higher than the Talon.
Although the Talon 2+2 has very angular lines. It is wall proportioned, and the wedge-shape of the car’s front blends well with the body.
The top is opened by electrically operated hydraulic rams which allow easy access, although the high door sills are a bit of a hindrance, as in so many kit cars.
The dashboard is very different from that in any other kit car we have seen, as it is fully electronic. The 16-function digital readout display has been developed by Ed with help from some electronic experts and is really neat looking as well as being practical. It even has an automatic 0-to-60mph time readout, which starts every time one starts from rest! Talk about encouraging maximum acceleration runs from every set of traffic lights! There are also displays for all engine temperatures, pressures, speed, etc. Ed is hoping to market the dashboard separately at a later date for fitting into various other cars.
The Talon is a refreshing change in the increasing replica-kit car world, and we expect Ed to sell quite a number of finished cars as a result. The present cost of a basic complete car, with a 1600 VW engine, is under $15,000. A pre-assembled body goes for $9800. Full details on the car can be obtained from Ed Matula,
Dept. HVW, Talon Automotive Products, P.O. Box 4309, Panorama City, CA 91412. [This car/address is long since discontinued]