One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010

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Lot 324Ω
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin , 1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière
Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010

US$ 900,000 - 1,400,000
£ 740,000 - 1,200,000
Amended
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin
1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière
Chassis no. CG 28917
Engine no. 53010
Voisin C28: Happy marriage of Avions Voisin construction and design

The trend-setting Clairière first appeared in 1935 and represented a fresh involvement by Gabriel Voisin in the appearance of the vehicles bearing his name. A 6-cylinder 3-liter C25 engine based on the C24 powered the first Clairière examples produced. These were soon followed by the C28 model, which had the same body, but used a larger and more powerful 3.3-liter engine—still of the Knight-patent sleeve-valve design—and a Cotal 4-speed electric transmission. The car also benefited from the Lockheed hydraulic brake system introduced on Voisin cars for 1935.

The light construction of the car body continued Voisin practices by employing aircraft techniques, with the exterior aluminum panels being attached to multiple wooden ribs. Total production of the Clairière body type—built on C25, 26, 27 and 30 chassis—was 30. The C28 was the most powerful of all these models, while its engine still provided the relative quietness and impressive torque of the sleeve-valve engine design favored by Gabriel Voisin.

The C28 driver started his car with Voisin’s superbly engineered "Dynastart" combination starter motor/generator, then monitored the car’s speed and systems status through instruments placed on a dashboard that was pleasurably aeronautic in origin. The controls for the Cotal electric pre-selector gearshift system, mounted on the unique Voisin steering wheel, further distinguished the car.

The C28 Clairière is considered to have the finest bodywork of all the cars in the series.
When seen from a profile view, the balance and harmony of the design is particularly appealing. The quality design of door handles, fender lights, and various controls make it very enjoyable to examine the car in detail.

This is one of the two remaining 3.3-liter C28s in existence, the other one being held by the Schlumpf Museum. The offered C28 has an especially distinguished and interesting history, summarized as follows:

In 1936, the C-28 Clairière was delivered to the French Embassy in Berlin, where it would be assigned to a Mr. Le Feule, an Embassy attaché, until 1938. According to H. Bernard, son of Voisin technical director Marius Bernard, the attaché directed the factory to apply hot water to the car’s leather seats for several hours prior to delivery, to ensure they were properly broken-in.

M. Le Feule reportedly enjoyed zipping up and down the German autobahns in his sleek and powerful Voisin.

After World War II, the C28 was returned to France, where it came into the possession of Gabriel Voisin, who used it for his own requirements. By the late 1960s, Serge Pozzoli, who was at the time planning to create a French automobile museum, had acquired the Clairière. It was subsequently resold, still in unrestored condition, to two major French collectors in 1980.

The car was repurchased by family members in 1998. These owners saw the necessity of returning the car to its original glory and commissioned a full restoration.

This Voisin was used in the 1962 Henri Verneuil film, Le Président, and was more recently utilized by the makers of the 2004 film, Sahara, to create a rather noteworthy replica. (Also being offered for sale during this auction; see lot 327.)

The stylish original Clairière won its Louis Vuitton Concours class in Bagatelle in 2001 and has also participated in several car rallies in Europe. This Voisin was also shown in a major design exhibition in Italy (Mitomecanica) for a six-month period during 2006—and it has been portrayed on the jacket of a Glenn Miller record.

The Voisin C28 Clairière is one of the most appealing and recognizable cars of its era. It is perhaps a shock to discover that only two exist today, but that fact makes the Voisin offered here all the more alluring, as it underscores that this car represents an opportunity not to be missed.

The Voisin C28 Clairière is offered with 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 existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
One of two existing, once owned by Gabriel Voisin ,1935 Avions Voisin C28 Clairière  Chassis no. CG 28917 Engine no. 53010
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