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Lot 152

2019   |   Pebble Beach 2019

1927 Avions Voisin C11 Open Torpedo

Coachwork by Belvallette & Cie

SOLD $224,000

Estimate

$450,000 - $550,000

Chassis

25753

Engine

25705

Car Highlights

Held for 72 Years in Single Family Ownership
One-Off Dual Cowl Torpédo by Belvallette & Cie
Remarkably Preserved in Largely Original Condition Throughout
Accompanied by Fascinating Documentation, Including Its Bon de Commande
A Very Rare Survivor with Continuous History

Technical Specs

2,327 CC 6-Cylinder Inline Sleeve-Valve Engine
Single Zenith Carburetor
65 HP
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
Front Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

Joseph Christe and Family, France (acquired new in 1927)Private Collector (acquired from the above in 1999)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2006

On April 7, 1926, Gabriel Voisin announced: “Gentlemen, we have the privilege of informing you that we are putting on the market the first French chassis fitted with a 6-cylinder Knight-type sleeve valve engine.” This innovative chassis was to become Voisin’s C11. With a top speed of 120 km/h (nearly 75 mph), it became a popular model, and in the ensuing years, some 950 examples would be built. This C11, chassis 25753, was commissioned by Joseph Christe, founder of the famous Técalémit Company of France, known for pressurized automotive lubrication and an adjustable damper system that was fitted to elite cars of the period. Mr. Christe’s engraved metal card, bearing his name and address in Suresnes, just west of Paris, remains affixed to the Voisin’s dashboard.

The prestigious coachbuilder Belvallette & Cie was commissioned to design and build a striking four-door Torpédo with a twin V-windshield configuration in the coupe-vent style, an aluminum bonnet, strapontins (jump seats), and commodious fitted luggage mounted on both running boards. The coachwork was finished in medium blue, and dark chestnut leather was chosen to enhance the front and rear interior compartments. Marchal lights were fitted, the fuel gauge was mounted atop the scuttle, and the radiator features Voisin’s distinctive, riveted “La Cocotte” mascot.

From 1927 through 1934, Mr. Christe used his lovely Torpédo regularly, accruing some 42,000 km (or about 26,000 miles) on the car. From 1934 through 1950, 25753 was stored in the garages of his company, Técalémit, at 56 Rue Arago in Puteaux, outside Paris. From time to time, Georges Maurin, Mr. Christe’s son-in-law, would take the car out for a short drive in order to keep it operating properly. In 1970, the Torpédo was finally put on blocks and under cover in Mr. Christe’s country property in the Sologne area of north central France.

As a result, this exceptionally rare automobile can lay claim to an extraordinary 72 years of continuous single family ownership. The earliest history of this unique Avions Voisin is confirmed by its original handcompleted Bon de Commande, dated May 10, 1927, when it was delivered 92 years ago.

In 1999, when the Christe family finally parted with the car, it was sold to a private collector, and its amazing condition was recognized in 2006 when it was displayed in the Prewar Preservation Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. Acquired by the consignor in 2017, the Voisin continues to present in glorious, substantially unrestored condition. In addition to its sporting one-off body and patinated state, 25753 is one of the rarest survivors of a significant European marque, and it will be a highly coveted addition to any sophisticated collection.