London | Lot 290
1927 Avions Voisin C11 Cabriolet
£131,600 GBP | Sold
| London, United Kingdom
26 October 2011
2,327 cc inline six-cylinder sleeve valve engine, three-speed manual gearbox, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,220 mm
• Older restoration of an unusual design on a desirable C11 chassis
• Stunning cane-work and detailing
It is widely thought that the C11 was probably the most popular selling of all the Voisins, with its very successful inline six-cylinder sleeve valve engine that was used well into the 1930s. According to the Voisin book Voisin 1919-1958 by Pascal Courteault, chassis 24681 was ordered with a special body, not typical of the Voisin art deco design. The book explains that Gabriel Voisin would not have approved of the design, but it was impossible to fight against the imagination and unconventional ideas and the new client’s style of the late 1920s. Voisin was notorious for moving away from the typical design of other coachbuilders of that era and created some of the most spectacular designs, which grace the concours circuit to this day. Although not a lot is known about the early history of the car, it displays a plaque claiming the car was restored in 1963 by Off. G. Manzardo and Carr. I. Zanette of Schio, Italy.
This fantastic short wheelbase design with its large wheels gives the car a lovely vintage appearance. Combined with the large nickel headlights and radiator, with a very imposing mascot, the car is very impressive. The short wings, lack of running boards and louvered chassis rail cover add to that aggressive sporty flair. The exquisite wickerwork is very stylish and accents the gently patinated paint nicely. Smaller features such as the brass counter-sunk rivets in the bonnets display what high attention to detail and quality these Voisins were built to. The beautiful arrangement of Jaeger instruments is very typical of other French marques, and the large rev counter and eight-day clock complete the dash arrangement.
This is a great opportunity to acquire a Voisin with an unusual body. It has developed a lovely patina over the years and is suitable for any vintage driving event. Perhaps the original advertisements said it best: “chosen by the elite because there is nothing better, chosen by sportsmen because there is nothing faster, chosen by ladies because there is nothing more beautiful.”