1928 Voisin C11 "Bijou " carrosserie Achard et Fontanel For Sale by Auction
Listed 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.
Sold without title
Chassis number 26915
Engine number 26976
- A rare low-mileage, one-owner Voisin
- Clear history
- The successor to the "big" Voisins
- Car owned by Jane Marrel
A four-door saloon with 4/5 seats and 4 windows, fitted to Voisin C11 chassis number 26915, built in 1928. Its body, to a design put forward by the Lyon coachbuilder, Achard and Fontanel, was ordered for Jane Marrel and delivered in 1929. It was given the nickname "Bijou". It is presented in original condition with two-tone blue paintwork, set off by a white pinstripe, its opening windscreen and leatherette roof covering. The luxurious inlaid wood interior trim goes together perfectly with the peccary leather upholstery. This C11 chassis was ordered from Voisin with the following options: 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 2326cc sleeve-valved Knight-type engine is a six-cylinder unit mounted in an aluminium crankcase containing the 3-speed gearbox and clutch. All the numbers noted on the car prove that it has been preserved in original condition. It was in running order in the 1980s. During a service about ten years ago, the entire dashboard and the circuit-breaker coils were removed and will need to be refitted. The distance recorder has been reset to zero. As with all sleeve-valved engines which have been laid up for so long, a mechanical overhaul of the engine will be required before driving the car again. The C11 was kept and maintained in the garage of its owner's home.
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 60 000 - 90 000 €
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