Plane to See
Tne of the most forward-thinking marques of coachbuilding’s golden age was Voisin, whose cars featured novel details and an art deco flair that typified the French design aesthetic of that era. Brothers Gabriel and Charles Voisin began as aircraft manufacturers in 1906. After World War I and following the death of Charles in a car crash in 1912, Gabriel focused on building automobiles and in 1919 established Avions Voisin. He did not completely abandon aviation. Its principles informed the designs of Voisin cars, with light weight, aerodynamics, and speed always top of mind.
Voisin made only two examples of the C27. The first was the cabriolet shown here, which features coachwork by Giuseppe Figoni. The second was a coupe with a body made at the Voisin factory. Both were powered by Voisin’s 3-liter, 6-cylinder, sleeve-valve engine, which was paired with a 4-speed Cotal gearbox.
The cabriolet’s original owner was Reza Shah Pahlavi, the shah of Persia (today known as Iran); it was later acquired by a Persian attaché based in Paris. The car was discovered in derelict condition in southeastern France in the late 1970s. Claude Figoni, the son of the car’s original designer, supervised a complete restoration that was completed in 1991.
The C27 cabriolet was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2006, alongside its coupe sibling, and is now on display at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Calif.