The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026

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Lot 326Ω
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin, 1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé
Chassis no. 60026

Sold for US$ 166,500 inc. premium
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin
1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé
Chassis no. 60026
C30 S Coupe: Reaching for a future that was not to be

In 1937, following the restructuring of the Avions Voisin company, SADAV, the company’s new principal shareholder, asked Gabriel Voisin to create a new model.

Because the traditional Voisin Knight-patent sleeve-valve engine had become too expensive to produce, several varieties of American engines, from Packard to Lycoming, were considered. Ultimately, the supercharged 6-cylinder Graham engine, a Continental Motors design, was chosen for its smooth, quiet performance—qualities for which the Voisin sleeve valve engines were especially prized, as well.

There were even more innovations on its sports cars, but the Second World War stopped the restructured company’s momentum and its production. Though produced by a new organization, the Voisin C30 was designed to excel in its performance, silence of operation, safety and comfort. Those attributes were the very ones stressed by Gabriel Voisin in all of his passenger car designs, from his innovative C1 of 1919 forward.

The C30 chassis had two large beams, divided by felt outgrowths to provide soundproofing. Its sturdy, patented sliding suspension system (and hydraulic shock absorbers) allowed for better control of its running gear and greater stability on the road.

The supercharged 6-cylinder Graham engine powering the C30 series was said to provide a maximum speed of 145km/h (90mph).

The war put a stop to the brief production run of the C30 (around 30 were made; only five examples built on the chassis survive). The C30 cars were the last Voisin automobiles.

A derivative of the C30 chassis can be found in the design of the later Citroën DS, whose chief engineer, Andre Lefèbvre, began working at Voisin in 1917 in aviation. Lefèbvre founded and managed Avions Voisin’s technical sections until the early 1930s. He left Voisin to work at Citroën, on the advice of Gabriel Voisin, whose factories were at the time experiencing financial problems. The old friends remained very close until Lefèbvre’s death in 1958.

The only example of its type, the C30 S Coupé was displayed at the Avions Voisin stand in 1938, alongside the Dubos Cabriolet (which is also offered at auction during this sale; see lot 325).

The body Gabriel Voisin designed for the Coupé is made entirely of aluminum. As with all his designs, it benefits from his long-held technical principles of centering and lightness. With the C30 S Coupé, the incomparable Voisin once again created a car that was ahead of its contemporaries, both in appearance and construction.

In 1945, the illustrious C30 S Coupé was owned by a doctor in Brittany. He sold it in the 1960s to a famous collector who lived in the same region. As part of his will, the collector bequeathed the car back to the doctor in 1994, and it was restored at the Tessier workshop in Tours before it was added to the present owners’ collection in 1998.

The C30 S Coupé is a historic vehicle in that it singularly represents the final automotive work of one of the best-known and most innovative industrial designers of the 20th century. The car reflects the emerging design trends of the late 1930s with the expressive and distinctive flair that was always the signature of a Gabriel Voisin creation.

The Voisin C30 S Coupé has a French title designating it to be a 1939 model.

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.
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
The final car designed by Gabriel Voisin,1939 Avions Voisin C30 S Coupé  Chassis no. 60026
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