A beautiful and unique ‘art deco’ 1935 Voisin C-27 Aérosport will be showcased at this year’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace…
Designed by one of the pioneers of powered flight, Voisin automobiles were lightweight, advanced, aerodynamic and one of the most sophisticated cars of their day with only the rich and famous ever witnessing the luxurious trimmings of the jaw-dropping cabin area.
This particular Voisin has never been showcased before in the UK and was designed built by arguably one of the greatest automotive minds of the 20th Century, Gabriel Voisin achieved just as much for aeronautics as the Wright Brothers. The incredible C-27 Aérosport displays everything relative to Voisin’s aviation background, including the innovative sliding roof system and wiper arrangement. A plane of his design was the first to fly more than 1km under official observation and another was the first to travel from one planned point to another; a 17-mile journey from Buoy to Reims in 1908.
Following World War I, Voisin had a change of heart, switching his passion for all things aeronautical to the four-wheeled variety of transport, creating some of the most advanced and beautiful cars ever seen.
Most of his creations were hand-built and bodied in-house, producing stunning lightweight bodies rarely entrusted to coachbuilders, as many other manufacturers did at the time. Equally, a Voisin automobile was traditionally bodied in aluminium to ensure it was as light as possible – a decision that led to many being scrapped during World War II while aluminium was in short supply. Out of approximately 11,000 units built, only around 150 Voisin cars remain intact.
The body itself is beautifully aerodynamic with a low-slung coupé roofline, stunning aluminium accents and intricate pentagon windows. The ingenious roof itself slides backwards at the flick of a switch using a complex mechanism powered by its own separate engine.
When stowed it sits neatly in the passenger compartment. The interior itself is finished in a striking black and white geometric pattern, able to accommodate passengers and their luggage in absolute comfort.
The powertrain was equally innovative, using a 3.0-litre engine with a set up known as Knight sleeve-valves. Producing 104bhp, this engine used moving sleeves around the pistons rather than traditional valves, creating a quieter and smoother drive – although it was known to burn more oil, creating a subtle cloud of smoke from the exhaust.
The gearbox is an ingenious electromagnetic manual design, with four speeds – including two overdrive gears – and even reverse. A lever in the cabin allows the driver to change gears without using the clutch should they wish.
Tickets for the event can be accessed via this link.
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