1928 Voisin C11 Cabriolet " Valse bleue " par Simon Pralavorio 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 26913
- Unique bodywork by Simon Pralavorio
- Voisin chassis with all available options
- Rare one-owner car with under 25,000km (16,000 miles)
- Car used by François Marrel
This charming and original cabriolet on the Voisin C11 chassis number 26913 was built in 1928 and delivered in May of the same year, before being registered at the start of 1929. Its body, to design no. 1212 proposed at the end of 1928 by the Lyon coachbuilder Pralavorio, was ordered for François Marrel. No other model produced to this design is known, and it is presented in original condition with its incredible imitation boa leather upholstery. It has 2 seats under the hood and two dickey seats at the rear with a leather-style hood. Its ease of driving and colour led to it receiving the nickname of "Valse bleue" (blue waltz) in the family. It is virtually impossible to find a car which has had only one owner and where only the paintwork appears to have been redone. As with all the cars from this collection, this is a unique opportunity to acquire a "one-owner" Voisin with less than 25,000km (16,000 miles) recorded. This C11 chassis was ordered from Voisin with all the options available in 1928: twin spare wheels, a brake servo and reduction gear acting on the transmission controlled by the engine vacuum, as well as aluminium wheel discs. The Knight-type engine is a 2326cc six-cylinder sleeve-valved unit, mated to a three-speed gearbox with a pneumatically operated reduction gear, giving six speeds in all. Its driving characteristics made the C11 the marque's best-selling model, thanks to its impeccable steering, roadholding and servo-assisted braking. All the numbers noted on the car prove that it has been preserved in original condition. We were able to confirm that the car is in running order, but it will need to be overhauled before undertaking a long journey: like many cars in this collection, it has been maintained but has not moved for more than 20 years.
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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