Voisin Lumineuse

1927 Voisin C11 Berline Lumineuse

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Gabriel Voisin’s cars are usually a little on the wild side, this one being no exception. Dubbed “Lumineuse,” or light, you can see from just the lone picture above how strange this car appears. The greenhouse bows inward as it rises and the use of glass on this car is one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The front windscreen folds outward, the windows retract inside the car (but not inside the door). It makes it look like the top just lifts right off (but it doesn’t).

The engine is a 2.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six. The interior is, of course, some strange pattern that suits the car perfectly. The exterior is done in an almost-military-brown and it’s quite understated as well. The wheels sit at the four corners of this car, with practically no overhang from the body, which is all aluminium, making it very light. And I love the weird forward-facing spotlight hanging off the rear of the car.

It sounds as if there has been ongoing work on this car since 1973. It certainly isn’t fresh but it does look quite nice and is evidently quite usable. The C11 was the most-produced Voisin product but only three Lumineuse-bodied examples are known to exist. It’s quite creative and very cool. It should bring between $305,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $365,050.

Voisin C28 Cabriolet

1938 Voisin C28 Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

It seems like there is maybe one of Gabriel Voisin’s automobiles that trade hands each year. This year, it looks like this beautiful, windswept C28 Cabriolet is the one you can get your hands on. The C28 was introduced in 1936 and we featured a relative of this car previously.

Voisin used sleeve-valve engines in his cars. This car is likely powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six with a power rating of 102 horsepower. Racing cars they were not. Instead, these were mechanical marvels with beautiful coachwork and sometimes wild interiors. This is one of the more restrained Voisins I’ve seen come up for sale. Part of the reason is that the coachwork was done outside of the factory, something that, while common in its day for cars of this stature, was quite uncommon for Voisin.

The body was designed by R. Saliot, a Voisin service center. They didn’t have the ability to actually build the body, so they outsourced their design elsewhere. This car is one of two with coachwork known to have been designed by Saliot (the other one won Pebble Beach). It was actually applied to this chassis when it was about 10 years old, which is why it looks a little post-war.

It is known that a monk acquired this car before selling it at auction in the late 1960s. Restored in the early 2000s, it comes from a “prominent” collection. Only about 60 C28 Voisins were built and this one is the only one quite like it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Voisin C28 Aérosport

1935 Voisin C28 Aérosport

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Avions Voisin was Gabriel Voisin’s car company that he set up in 1919. He had already sort of conquered the air with his planes, so he switched his focus to the earth and its roads. If Voisin built cars today, they’d be called wildly impractical and flashy. But because he did it in the 1930s, they are called gorgeous. All of these words are correct, but gorgeous is the most correct.

Interestingly, Voisin chose the Knight-type sleeve-valve engines for use in his cars – the true engineer’s choice. This car uses a 3.3-liter straight-six making 102 horsepower. This was not the fastest car of its day (it’ll do 90+), but good lord, once you start looking at the details and the flawless design, power and speed cease to matter.

Something to note about Voisin’s cars: there aren’t a lot of them that have some fancy coachbuilt body. In fact, Gabriel himself designed this body and it exceeds what you will find from most coachbuilders. It’s Art Deco from front to rear and this two-door sedan has an unbelievable retractable sunroof that opens the entire top above the driver and front-seat passenger. As is the case with most Voisin’s, the interior is outstanding.

This was the first of two C28 Aerosports built. This one was actually damaged in WWII and rebuilt as a four-door sedan afterward. Discovered in 1980, the car was restored to its original glory after the current owner acquired it in 1998. With this car you are buying a moving, driving, piece of art. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

Five Pre-War Cars from Bonhams’ Beaulieu Sale

Five Pre-War Cars from Bonhams’ Beaulieu Sale

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

1909 Belsize 14/16HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Belsize was an English manufacturer that was around from 1902 through 1925. They were known for their small cars – some used two or three cylinder engines. This car is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 14/16 horsepower. The model was produced from 1909 through 1913.

This is the oldest known four-cylinder Belsize (of 12 that still exist). This car has known ownership history from new and has been restored twice over its life, with the most recent restoration having been carried out nearly 30 years ago. It’s entirely roadworthy and would be a great tourer. It should sell for between $70,000-$86,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $55,402.

1926 Clyno 10.8HP Royal Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyno was quite the large operation in England between 1909 and 1929. At one point there were the third-largest motor manufacturer in the U.K. They built motorcycles and nearly 40,000 cars during their existence. Yet, few remain today.

This car is powered by a 1.4-liter straight-four making 10 horsepower. It was produced between 1922 and 1928 and was far and away Clyno’s biggest seller, with approximately 35,000 built. Clyno got too big too quickly and their reliability suffered. When the Depression set in, bankruptcy came. This example was restored in 2012 and should bring between $19,000-$23,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,261.

1902 Flint Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Flint Roadster (yes, that was the name of the marque) was built by A.B.C. Hardy and his Flint Automobile Company between 1902 and 1904 in Flint, Michigan (if that wasn’t obvious). Only one model was available and it cost $850 when new.

The engine is an eight horsepower single-cylinder displacing 2.3-liters. Hardy didn’t play by the rules of the day and faced numerous lawsuits that effectively shut his business down. Only 52 Flint Roadsters were ever built. It is unknown how many remain but this car is entirely original (although the tires look to have been replaced). It spent much of its life in storage and would need a thorough mechanical overhaul to become roadworthy. It should sell for between $34,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,273.

1910 Star 15HP Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Star Motor Company of Wolverhampton should not be confused with the entirely separate make that operated in the U.S. under the Durant Motors corporate umbrella. The English Star was active from 1898 through 1932. At one point Star was one of England’s largest automobile companies, peaking prior to WWI.

The 15HP model was built between 1909 and 1913 and was offered with a range of four-cylinder engines. This one was restored in the 1980s and is a driver. It should bring between $55,000-$63,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $42,024.

1927 Voisin C12 Tourer by R. Duvivier

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Voisin automobiles are fascinating. Gabriel Voisin is widely recognized as an engineering genius and his cars reflect that. Many of them feature Knight sleeve-valve engines, unique (and sometimes outrageous) coachwork and Jazz Age interiors.

The C12 was built between 1926 and 1933 and uses a 4.5-liter straight-six. Only 60 C12s were built and only three are known to survive. This is the only one that has a body on it (the other two are bare chassis). The body is by R. Duvivier of Levallois-Peret and has been meticulously restored (in 2004). It has covered nearly 2,000 miles since – meaning it’s ready for you to enjoy on the open road. It should cost its new owner between $310,000-$390,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Beaulieu sale lineup.

Update: Sold $334,825.

Voisin C3 Transformable

1925 Voisin C3 Cabriolet Transformable by Rothschild et Fils

Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 4, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Voisins are highly desirable cars because they’re just so unique. Gabriel Voisin was an aviation engineer but he was also a former student at the Fine Arts School of Lyon. So the combination of art and engineering really came together with his cars.

This C3 is a long chassis model powered by a 4.0-liter sleeve-valve straight-four making 80 horsepower. The body is by Rothschild and features a convertible passenger section behind the open driver’s compartment.

Delivered new to an American architect living in Paris, the car is being offered from the collection of John Moir, who had the car restored. Look for it to sell for between $200,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Paris.

Update: Sold $243,656.

Voisin C14

1930 Voisin C14 Berline

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Make sure to head over to Gooding & Co.’s site and check out the interior on this car. Like many other Voisin automobiles, it’s wild. If you take a quick glance at this car, it looks like an old, boring, upright sedan. But then you look closer and start to notice all the quirky little details: the weird positioning of the doors, the fender-to-radiator connectors, the strange proportions. And that’s just the exterior.

Under the hood is a 2.3-liter straight-six sleeve-valve engine making 66 horsepower. This certainly isn’t the most intensely Art Deco Voisin ever built but it’s still super rare. This car was discovered in the 1990s in France and the restoration was finished before 2007.

Like most Voisin’s, the body is lightweight aluminium. Only 1,795 C14s were built between 1927 and 1932 – making it one of the company’s most popular models. This one should sell for between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Amelia Island.

Update: Not sold.

Voisin C25

1935 Voisin C25 Aérodyne

Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 17-18, 2013

1935 Voisin C25 Aerodyne

Voisins are some of the most stylish and advanced cars from the coachbuilt era (except that Voisins weren’t coachbuilt – they didn’t need to be). They’re an easy ticket to car show super-stardom, too. Judges (and everyone else in attendance) go crazy over their outlandish features and unconventional design. And rightfully so.

I’m not getting into an argument with myself or anyone else about my decision to refer to this as a “Voisin” and not an “Avions Voisin” as the catalog does. G.M. Georgano refers to it as simply “Voisin” and if you don’t know who that is, then you aren’t in a position to argue against my decision. Anyway, Gabriel Voisin was a French aircraft pioneer who turned to motorcars in 1919.

He valued lightness in his cars and worked with a lot of aluminium and alloys (all that aircraft knowledge came in handy). The cars weren’t supposed to be beautiful – but “rational” – that is, functional and efficient. The lines are angular and supposed to serve a purpose. He wanted to build the world’s most perfect automobile. The engines were also efficient – this car uses a 3.0-liter Knight Sleeve-Valve straight-six making 90 horsepower. And it’s a big car, so speed obviously wasn’t a priority.

The Aérodyne was introduced at the Paris Auto Salon at the end of 1934. The car was marketed at the most well-heeled clients and was fabulously equipped. The interior is wrapped in a crazy Art Deco print design and the fastback roof is full of portholes for sunlight and the whole thing actually slides back like the world’s first giant sunroof.

voisin c25 aerodyne top

This car was owned by the same man from 1963 until his death in 2008, when the car was sold and restored by its new owner. He, the current owner, only displayed the car once – meaning it is ripe for 2014 Concours season. Only 28 Voisin C25s were built and only eight had Aérodyne coachwork. Only four of those are believe to survive today and you can buy one (and you might as well) as it is expected to bring between $2,000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Co. in Monterey.

Update: Sold $1,925,000

S/N: 50023

March 2013 Auction Round-Up

The first auction that happened in March was Bonham’s Oxford sale. Top sale went to this 1968 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Re-Creation that was converted from an original 1968 Ferrari 365GT. It sold for $382,700. A real 250 GT would’ve brought much more.

Other interesting cars included this 1975 Lotus Elan +2S 103/5 Coupe, which for $15,600, seems like a bargain for a Lotus Elan.

Our feature cars both sold. First, the 1922 Benjamin cyclecar brought $29,500. And the Charron Charronette sold for $12,150. Other cool cars included this 1927 McLaughlin-Buick Model 28.496 Master Six Tourer. It sold for $90,200.

This 1989 Royale Sabre Roadster was a throwback car built in the U.K. in the early 1990s based around a late 1980s Ford. It’s definitely interesting for $5,200.

And finally, this 1918 De Dion-Bouton Model HD 15CV 2.9-Litre Charabanc may not have been too expensive. It also wasn’t the cheapest car at the sale. But for the sheer number of doors on this thing, it qualifies as interesting. It could’ve been yours for $13,800. Click here for full results.

Next up was Gooding’s sale at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The top sale there was this 1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer for $2,750,000.

Among our four feature cars, only the Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante failed to sell. Of the two Duesenbergs, the Model JN brought $594,000 and the Model J brought $462,000. One interesting car was this 1938 H.R.G. Airline Coupe with coachwork by A. Crofts. It sold for $253,000.

The rest of our highlights are all million-dollar cars, most of them Ferraris. At the low end, a 1969 365 GTC brought $1,072,500.

Then there was the 1966 275 GTS for $1,127,500 followed by a 1995 F50 for $1,375,000 (second below).

Two similar million dollar Ferraris – see if you can tell the difference (for $750,000). First, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for $1,650,000 (first below). Then, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy for $2,365,000. They look identical but aren’t (obviously).

Our featured Fiat 8V Supersonic brought $1,760,000. The final million dollar car was this 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster with coachwork by Brewster. It brought $1,980,000. Full results can be found here.

Then we move on to RM Auctions’ sale also held at Amelia Island. The top sale was out featured Duesenberg SJ by Walker-LaGrande for $4,510,000. Our featured Pegaso was the only one of our feature cars that failed to sell. As is normally the case, the million-dollar club featured a few Ferraris including a 1965 275 GTB (below) for $1,375,000 and a 1952 225 Sport Tuboscocca by Vignale for $1,237,500.

The only other million dollar cars were our featured Lozier, which more than doubled the lower end of its estimate and sold for $1,100,000. The other was this 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston which sold for $1,512,500.

Interesting sales were highlighted by this gorgeous 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Langenthal that I so desperately wanted to feature but ran out of time. It sold for $330,000.

A couple of our older feature cars were the Derham Tourster Duesenberg for $825,000. And the beautiful Hispano-Suiza Transformable Torpedo brought $495,000. This 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Convertible Sedan by Floyd-Derham sold for $473,000.

The three oldest cars we featured all sold. First, the Tribelhorn Electric brought $77,000. The unrestored Locomobile sold for $176,000. And the big, brilliant Austin Touring car sold for $379,500 – shy of its estimate. There were a trio of rare Cord L-29s at this sale and these two were very interesting. First, this 1930 L-29 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck sold for $990,000.

Then there was this 1929 L-29 Town Car by d’Ieteren Freres that sold for $154,000. Our featured Marmon Two-Door Prototype sold for $407,000. Check out full results here.

Now on to Osenat’s auction, where the top sale was a 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman convertible, of which there was no reasonably good picture I could snag. It sold for $129,000. Both of our feature cars sold. The Darracq-Italiana brought $32,985 while the the Voisin Flatbed Prototype sold for $23,220. The other most interesting car was another Voisin prototype, a 1956 Biscooter C31 Prototype with bodywork I haven’t seen before. It brought $25,800. Check out full results here.

And finally, Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. Our featured Ron Fellows Edition Corvette sold for $52,800. Our featured Baldwin Motion Phase III Corvette brought $136,400. The 1977 Panther DeVille did not sell. Top sale went to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that sold for $880,000, which sounds like a new high sale for Auctions America.

Our other feature car, the Lexus LFA, sold for $319,000. Other cool cars included this 1960 Chevrolet Nomad for $26,400.

And finally, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight sold for $106,700. Check out full results here.

Voisin Flatbed Truck Prototype

1957 Voisin Camionnette Prototype

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 17, 2013

1957 Voisin Camionnette Prototype

We featured a pair of post-war Voisin prototypes during our coverage of the Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection. As wide and as complete as that collection was, it didn’t have one of these. This trucklet is a testament to the changes in France between the 1930s and 1950s. Pre-war Voisins were extravagant as can be. This is about as utilitarian and as basic as can be.

Voisin exhibited this very vehicle, the prototype, at an auto show in France in 1957. As you may know from the other Voisin prototypes, no one wanted them and they weren’t put into production (at least not in France, anyway). This car uses a 200cc single-cylinder engine, weighs in at 400kg and can carry 500kg. It is also front-wheel drive.

A man who knew Gabriel Voisin and who saw this car on the auto show stand in 1957, contacted SNECMA, the company that Voisin worked for and owned his post-war prototypes, and asked if there was anything he could get. They told him “come take this little truck that’s taking up space in our warehouse.” Well, sort of. He was able to save this truck though, which is nice because it is likely the only one like it. It should sell for between $13,000-$19,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Osenat’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $23,220.

Artcurial Retromobile 2013 Highlights

Artcurial’s sale at Retromobile in Paris had way too many interesting cars to be able to feature them all here on this site. We covered some of them – the Talbot-Lago T150C we featured was the stop sale at $1,861,738. The second-highest selling car was the Duesenberg we featured from this sale at $1,319,888. The oldest car in the sale, our featured 1898 Fisson, sold for $311,050. The second-oldest car in the sale was this 1908 Hispano-Suiza 12/15HP Double Phaeton for $72,831.

The other Hispano-Suiza in the sale, our featured H6C by Saoutchik, sold for $424,849. The only other million-dollar car was this 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet for $1,077,481.

One exceptionally rare car was this 1975 Bentley Corniche Convertible. While the Rolls-Royce Corniche is well-known, the sister Bentley version is very rare, with only 77 convertibles built. It sold for $133,524.

Other interesting cars included two wonderful French cars from the 1940s. First, a 1949 Citroen 15-Six Traction Avant Cabriolet by Worblaufen (below). It sold for $242,771. Then there was the 1946 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet (second below) for $455,195.

The coolest American car in this sale (of the few that were offered) was a 1955 Chrysler ST Special Coupe by Ghia. It sold for $273,117.

The rest of our highlights are French cars (French auction house + French auction location = lots of French rarity). Our feature C.G. 548 failed to sell. This 1928 Voisin  C11 (below) did sell – for $103,177. And finally, this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Vanvooren (second below) brought $746,472. Check out complete results here.