Avions Voisin was established by Gabriel B. Voisin, who was a pioneering force in aviation. His Voisin 3 is credited with the being the first aircraft to shoot down another aircraft. This happened at the beginning of World War I. After WWI, he turned his attention to automobiles. His automobiles are noted for the use of Knight-type sleeve engines and the extensive use of light alloys. He made particular use of aluminum when every other manufacturer used steel. He also championed ”rational” coachwork that stressed lightness, central weight distribution, large capacity luggage areas, and distinct angular lines.
There is very little known about the Avoins Voisin C28. Very few were produced and most were destroyed during WWII in order to use the metals for the war effort. Some of the known facts are:
- Two models available: the C28 was available as the plain C28 and the C28 Aerosport.
- Limited production: as with most luxury brands of the time, production was very limited. There were only 30 C28s made and even fewer C28 Aerosports were produced.
- Engine: both models were powered by an inline 6-cylinder sleeve engine. This engine produced limited hp by today’s standard, but had a top speed of 87 mph.
- Power: power was provided to the rear wheels through a 4 speed electromagnetic Cotal gearbox.
By 1939 Avions Voisin had begun to layoff workers and was having a great deal of trouble selling his high-end vehicles. There were a number of factors contributing to the decline of the company. The first was the financial depression gripping the entire world, the second being the start of WWII in Europe, and the final blow came from a need to re-tool for war efforts.
Today, there are only a handful of Voisins known to exist. Clive Cussler, the author of the book Sahara is based on, owns one of them. The car driven and destroyed in the movie is a reproduction based on the car in his collection, and the model was sold for $23,400 via this Bonhams auction in 2008.
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