One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599

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Lot 323Ω
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design, 1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"
Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599

Sold for US$ 667,000 inc. premium
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design
1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"
Chassis no. 28674
Engine no. 28599
Voisin C14: At the summit of a golden era

The Voisin Chartre—the name coming from its factory code designation—was offered during 1931-1932. Its styling achieved the pinnacle of Art Deco design. The Chartre was created by the legendary car designer, Andre Lefèbvre, who penned the bodywork for both six-cylinder and slightly larger 12-cylinder versions simultaneously. The purity of his highly original design, combined with Voisin technical concepts and construction, resulted in a vehicle justly proclaimed to be, “…a diamond of the car industry.”

The Voisin C14 chassis was produced, in various permutations, from late 1927 into 1932, A total of 1,795 were manufactured over that period, making the C14 one of Voisin’s most popular offerings ever.

The C14 utilized a 2.4-litre 6-cylinder engine featuring the patented Knight-type sleeve valve design, which helped the engine operate in relative silence. The valving permitted great intake transfer, comparable to a modern multi-valve engine. Gabriel Voisin also discovered that it could take higher compression ratios than poppet-valve contemporaries of the period, so he continued to refine his sleeve-valve engines after numerous other luxury nameplates abandoned them for layouts that were less expensive to produce.

The C-14 drive-line utilized the famed Voisin-developed transfer box system in conjunction with a conventional transmission to effectively provide a low- and high-speed range for each forward gear. It was controlled by Cotal electric relays operated via switches on the steering column. Additional technical features included power assisted braking and Voisin worm-gear steering.

This C14 Chartre was discovered in 1967, lying unused at the house of an elderly lady who had owned it for many years. It was bought by a family who held it until around the year 2000. During the period of their ownership, it was restored to its original state.

This Chartre is especially rich in the sort of details that characterize Gabriel Voisin’s most magnificent automotive creations: the safety door handles, tail lights and luggage compartment fixtures on the sides are all expressive of the great designer’s quest for artistic functionality.

Befitting its artistic significance, the interior was re-upholstered in fabrics identical (in structure and colors) to the original Paul Poiret fabrics found in the car—the very detailed work being carried out on a Jacquard loom.

The powerful 6-cylinder Voisin engine and well-balanced chassis make this C14 Chartre a very comfortable and enjoyable car for its era.

The C14 Chartre is a veritable summation of everything that makes a Voisin one of the world’s most interesting and distinctive cars. The innovative systems of its chassis and powertrain equipment will certainly fascinate those of a technical bent. And the eccentricities of the car’s accoutrements will delight those with an eye for the extraordinary (the safety door handles, for example). But it is the sheer, unmistakable audacity of its lines and the breath-taking modernism of its Art Deco interior that make one almost gasp with amazement—if certain cars are ever to achieve the status of great works of art, surely this Voisin will be among them.

This car is one of two C14 Chartre models known to exist, the second being kept in a Swiss foundation. (In addition, one 12-cylinder example survives.) This car received a Best In Class award for amateur restorations when shown in a special Voisin exhibit at Pebble Beach in 2006.

It could be many years, if ever, before an opportunity to obtain an example of the fabulous Voisin Chartre presents itself again.

The vehicle is offered on a French title.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this lot is applicable to an import duty calculated at 2.5% of the hammer price. This duty will be invoiced to the purchaser but may be refunded if the lot is exported within certain criteria.
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
One of two built, a Masterpiece of Art Deco design,1931 Avions Voisin C14 "Chartre"  Chassis no. 28674 Engine no. 28599
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