The Voisin C27 Aérosport that won the Concours of Elegance Best in Show

The Voisin C27 Aérosport that won the Concours of Elegance Best in Show

Wed 08 Sep 2021

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: Tim Scott 

The origins of the C27 Aérosport lie in the Aérodyne – a provocative car created for the 1934 Paris Motor Show that didn’t quite hit the mark in terms of sales. After the expo, two roadsters were built on shortened Aérodyne chassis, which became known as the C27. Powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine, it was good for 105bhp.

However, it is the glorious Art Deco styling that captivates the heart. Its distinctive look was a collaboration between Gabriel Voisin and André Noël-Noël Telmont, an architect who had met Voisin during their education.

Using the basic outline of the Aérodyne as a start, the pair lowered the body and added more luggage space, pentagon side windows, piano-hinged doors and aluminium accents. The car also features a sliding roof powered by its own motor that works off the main engine’s vacuum.

After displaying the model at the Geneva and Madrid Motor Shows in 1935, Telmont kept hold of the Aérosport for ten years. In the immediate aftermath of World War Two, he sold the C27 to Jean, the son of painter Moïse Kisling, who had piloted a P47 Thunderbolt during the conflict.

Jacques Terramorsi, a rally driver and the founder of Renault Sport, subsequently acquired the car. In the mid-1950s it was offered for sale in France by marque expert Robert Saliot and the Saliot Garage. The garage owned all of Voisin’s spare parts, and Robert’s student son used the C27 for day-to-day transport. At this stage, the coachwork was modified, with poor metal-sheet patch repairs to the roof. Stewardship was then passed to a scrap dealer, and the Aérosport disappeared for some time.

One day, Phillip Moch, a Voisin expert and hoarder of marque parts, acquired an ailing Voisin that had a second body. Removing this outer layer, he found the distinctive underslung chassis and the remnants of the C27 Aérosport.

In 2004, Moch charged Dominique Tessier with the task of rebuilding the car – an arduous process that took three years using only a trio of period photographs as reference material. In 2010, Peter and Merle Mullin of the Mullin Automotive Museum in California purchased the car from Moch – and in September 2021 Merle collected the award from Prince Michael of Kent for Best in Show at the Concours of Elegance Hampton Court, as voted for by the event’s entrants.

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