1929 Voisin C16 " Hétérozygote For Sale by AuctionListed as a historic monument:
This lot was listed as a historic monument by the Architecture and Heritage department of the French Ministry of Culture in a decree dated 27 November 2008, "in view of the fact that the conservation of the designated movable objects is of public interest from a historical and technical point of view". The attention of prospective purchasers is drawn to the fact that this lot cannot be taken out of France.
Chassis number 35026
Engine number 35029
- The only 6-litre 6-cylinder Voisin C16 known to survive
- The most powerful Voisin ever produced
- One-owner car, used by Marcel Marrel
- Exhibited at the Fondation Gianadda in Martigny and the Musée du Forez
This 6-litre Voisin was the flagship of the Marrel family. According to its former owner, it was used once a year for the family's pilgrimage to Rome, accompanied by 4-litre Voisins for their staff. Its low mileage of 9337 miles (15,026km) appears to confirm this specific use. Like all the family's favourite cars, it was given a nickname, the "Hétérozygote" (hybrid). During the last world war, it was the car with which they chose to leave Lyon and take shelter near Bordeaux. The C16 chassis is the most prestigious and has the largest engine of any offered to the public by Voisin. Considered the ultimate development of its 6-cylinder models, it was also the most expensive range of chassis in the history of the company. In its standard version, as presented here, its price in 1930 was 139,000 francs, three times that of a 2.3-litre 6-cylinder. Only the lowered version cost 10,000 francs more. With the addition of 37,000 francs for its body, the total price reached 176,000 francs, making it one of the most expensive cars on the market. It was built at the Voisin works in the middle of 1929. In March 1932, it received its body at Ottin in Lyon: a four-door six-light saloon with a separate chauffeur's compartment, two/three seats in the rear and two occasional folding seats. It is presented in original condition, with unrestored black paintwork from the period and mottled velour upholstery (which appears to have been changed), thuja burl wood trim and silk sunblinds. This is a unique opportunity to acquire the only known example of the most luxurious Voisin, a "one-owner" car with just 15,000km (9300 miles) recorded and in completely original condition. The dream of any collector, it promises a unique mechanical specification. A sleeve-valved Knight-type engine with a capacity of 5830cc, no. 35029 is a 6-cylinder unit with a 4-speed gearbox and single-plate clutch. The ultimate expression of Voisin's principles, it is fitted with two fuel tanks with a capacity of 210 litres (46 gallons) mounted in the centre of the chassis to maintain the car's balance, regardless of the fuel level, while the dry-sump lubrication system for the engine is derived from Grand Prix cars. It is the only Voisin fitted with a water pump and two-speed electric fan. The distributor has been replaced by a Scintilla-type ignition, combining the functions of a distributor and magneto. Available with three rear axle ratios, it was guaranteed to reach a top speed of 150kph (93mph) when fitted with Voisin saloon bodywork. We were able to confirm that it is in running order, but it will require servicing as it has been maintained and stored without being driven for more than 20 years. The engine was completely overhauled after it was stripped down in Switzerland at the start of 1985 and has hardly been run since then.
With thanks to Pascal Courteault for his kind assistance.
The six MARREL brothers, Jean-Baptiste, Jean-Marie, Antoine, François, Etienne and Charles, master blacksmiths from Saint Martin La Plaine, constitute one of the great families of French industry of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The factory, located in the industrial valley of the Gier, were initially dedicated to the manufacture of armour and cannons, and have one of the first quenching towers that reflects the high technical quality of their steel products. In 1855, they set up a unit at La Capelette in Marseille to develop their naval business, then a factory in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Specialized in heavy mechanical construction, in armour plates for ships, and the manufacture of shells and guns, these master forgers quickly built a real empire, rivaling the great German industries. Their factories supplied the emerging fleets of Brazil, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. Their 25-ton power hammer is the biggest of its time, and the large chimney of their second factory, the Etaings à Rive de Gier factory, built in 1867, was for a long time one of the highest in Europe.
Mirroring the Schneider family, the Marrel dynasty of industrialists developed a social policy, and in 1898 financed an entire hospital, designed by Lyon-based Vernon. A sign of the Marrel's power, the prime minister Waldeck - Rousseau and his Minister of Commerce and Industry Millerand attended the laying of the foundation stone in 1902.
The six brothers will build no less than five castles in the valley, including that of Mouillon à Rive de Gier, one of the few remaining town castles with a park, which housed the collection of cars used by one of the family's branches, which Jacques Antoine Massimi, the heir, was still taking great care of until his death in 2016. The 1924 VOISIN C11 sedan was part of Jane Marrel's estate (1863-1944), and probably belonged to her husband, Henri Marrel (1859-1934). The VOISIN C3C was the personal car of Yvonne Marrel (1886-1970), daughter of Henri Marrel. The 1929 VOISIN C11, known as the "blue waltz", was the car of François Marrel (1896-1968), Henri's son. This is also the case for the VOISIN C16 limousine acquired by François Marrel in 1932, driven by his personal driver, Mr Fleury Chomienne, as well as the 1930 HISPANO SUIZA H6B called "Diane", and whose bodyworks were designed especially for the family.
All the bodyworks were ordered in Lyon at client companies that Marret delivered with sheet steel. In 1934, there were more than 11 Voisins in the Marrel family. These were the family's favourite cars, which owned at least 6 four litres, two 2.3 litres, two 3 litres and one 6 litre. The 1936 PANHARD LEVASSOR X77, standard, was Mrs. Massimi's mother's car.
Their dispersion should now benefit other amateurs, who will know how to look after them, as Jacques Antoine Massimo so devotedly did.
Photos © Yann Geoffray
Estimation 90 000 - 130 000 €
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