Lot 218

London 2023

1931 Avions Voisin C14 'Chartre'

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£250,000 - £350,000 GBP | Not Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
28599
Engine No.
28674
Documents
UK V5
  • Iconic Art Deco creation of Gabriel Voisin
  • Subject to a concours-standard restoration from 2004 to 2006 under noted Voisin collector and restorer Philipp Moch
  • First in class at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance “Voisin 1927 – 1933 Class”
  • Aluminium body elegantly finished in black, contrasted by a stunning ‘Paul Poiret style’ fabric interior
  • Believed to be one of just two C14 ‘Chartres’ built
  • Known history since 1965 and in present ownership since 2011
  • Invoices on file show in excess of £20,000 spent since 2009
Please note if this vehicle is exported outside of the UK an export license will be required.

Founded by Gabriel Voisin in 1905, Avions Voisin was run by an aviation engineer and alumni of the National School of Fine Arts in Lyon. As a result of his technical and creative training, when Voisin shifted to motor car manufacturing in 1919 his cars were feats of engineering bodied with distinctive and striking designs, with heavy use of alloys like aluminium in the bodies.

Produced from 1926 to 1932, the Avions Voisin C14 was configured in a variety of body styles and was one of the company’s most popular offerings, with reports of between 1700 and 4000 chassis built. C14s were powered by a 2.3-litre inline six-cylinder engine. The ‘Chartre’ body-style of the early 1930s represented what was arguably the peak of the Art Deco era for Gabriel Voisin’s designs. Bodies were slung low, with sharp, distinctive angles, yet inside, bright block colours and vibrant patterns were printed on fabrics used to upholster the interior. Even as such a large vehicle, the use of just two doors with an over slung roof gave C14 ‘Chartres’ a menacing yet elegant stature.

Chassis 28599 is one of the small number of C14 ‘Chartres’ built by Avions Voisin. Constructed in 1930 and registered two years later, little is known about the early life of this car. However, by 1965 it was discovered by Voisin expert and restorer Yves Dalmier in an elderly lady’s barn—he reported she had owned it for some time. Found coated in thick black cellulose paint, Dalmier spent two years stripping the body back to its bare aluminium. He then painted the car in a shade of dark green. Having spent four years working on chassis 28599, Dalmier sold the car to Dr Rossier of Montpellier. Shortly after acquiring the Voisin, it was used by its new owner on a rally, and was reported to have thrown a connecting rod, which was later repaired. Spending the best part of nearly four decades in Montpellier, chassis 28599 was entered into auction in October 2004.

Offered in well-preserved condition, the body was inspected by expert Pascal Courteault, who indicated that the coachwork was original to the chassis. Acquired by the noted Avions Voisin collector Philipp Moch at auction, chassis 28599 was subject to a nut and bolt restoration to concours standard from 2004 to 2006. The body was stripped back to bare metal and sprayed in what was thought to be the factory-correct colour of black. Inside, small fragments of the original Paul Poiret patterned fabric from the interior survived. Moch gave samples to a skilled artisan who, using a Jacquard loom, was able to replicate the stunning design. Mechanically, the C14 incorporated a Knight sleeve valve engine, an overdrive gearbox, Dynastar starter, and power assisted braking: quite a feat in 1930.

Following the completion of the restoration, Moch entered chassis 28599 into the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, finishing 1st in class in the "Voisin 1927 – 1933" Class. He attended various events before eventually selling the C14 at auction in 2008.

In 2009 over £14,000 was spent with Blakeney Motorsport, where the suspension and rear axle were completely overhauled. Purchased by the current owner in 2011, the glamorous life of chassis 28599 has continued, with appearance at various shows. Highlights include receiving a ‘Jury Special Prize’ at the 2015 Chantilly Arts & Elegance, and exhibition at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the ‘Cartier Style et Luxe’ concours. In preparation for Goodwood, the current owner spent nearly £5,000 with Bruce Young Coachbuilders. Invoices from 2008 to 2019 can be found on file.

Presenting today as an older, but high-quality restoration, this 1930 Avions Voisin C14 ‘Chartre’ is a wonderful example of the peak of Gabriel Voisin’s design and engineering prowess in the Art-Deco era. With its black paint and mesmerising pattern interior, chassis 28599 is an exciting and rare proposition for close followers of early 20th Century automotive design.