- ph: Museo Nicolis

A rare artifact: the 1921 "Avions Voisin" C1

10w ago


You may have never heard of it but Avions Voisin, founded in Issy-les-Moulineaux (suburb of Paris, France) by Gabriel Voisin in 1919, pioneered a few safety and design features you take for granted today, like the rear brake light, for example.

Voisin had started his company in 1905 to make airplanes and decided to turn to cars after World War I. He had breakthrough ideas for the time, he made extensive use of light alloys, including aluminium, something nobody had done before. In 1923, Voisin built something called the V6 Laboratoire Grand Prix car; one of the first cars ever to use monocoque chassis. He prioritized things like lightness and weight distribution, which was revolutionary.

In 1921, Avions Voisin built this: the C1.

It had a 4-cylinder 4-litre engine with 81 hp and a top speed of about 75 mph, though I doubt it can actually achieve that today. It is very rare, as only 1000 were built, and if you happen to be in Verona in Italy, there's a museum that has one of those.