Monterey

18-19 August 2017

1938 Avion Voisin C28 Cabriolet by Saliot

  • Chassis no. 53002
  • Engine no. 53018

$800,000 - $1,000,000


  • Offered from a prominent private collection
  • One of two known Voisins commissioned for Saliot
  • Exceptional modern one-off styling
  • Fully restored in the early 21st century


Very few of Gabriel Voisin’s fascinating, idiosyncratic automobiles, with their sleeve-valve engines and elaborate mechanical workings, were produced with custom coachwork.

The C28 offered here, the second such chassis produced, is one of just two Voisins known with coachwork attributed to R. Saliot, a facility originally established in 1920 in Levallis-Perret, and later moved to Neuilly in 1938. Saliot was one of the foremost Voisin service and maintenance depots, and occasionally “produced” a “Saliot Special” body on the chassis, with rather flamboyant coachwork, the actual building of which was always contracted to another shop; Saliot itself had no coachbuilding facilities.

Exactly which shop produced the body on this particular C28 is not known, but it is believed to have been installed for the Neuilly facility in 1946 or 1947, as the second body on this 1938 chassis, and its lines bear strong resemblance to period works by Faget-Varnet and Van den Plas (Belgium). A history of Saliot, a copy of which is on file, describes the car as Saliot’s attempt to build an entire new automobile after the war, something that never came to fruition.

Saliot eventually gave the cabriolet to Father Jean Gehard, a Benedictine monk and longtime confidante of Gabriel Voisin, who enjoyed it for many years. In 1967 it was sold at auction, reportedly to a film producer, in order to fund the building of a new monastery! Later it was acquired by a German enthusiast, Hans Bitterwold, from whose collection it was sold in the early 1990s to a longtime Voisin historian. This owner performed considerable research into the Saliot company, while overseeing a complete restoration of the car – first in metallic blue, then in the present livery. It was shown throughout Europe as well as, in 2006, at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Accompanying the car today are various historical documents and research, including the aforementioned history of Saliot, various photographs of the C28 throughout its long history, and assorted restoration photographs and videos.

Presently part of a well-known private American collection, this ranks among the most modern examples of the scarce custom coachwork on the fascinating Voisin chassis. It would be a superb addition to any collection of Art Deco French automobiles and is sure to entrance all who see it.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more