Tag Archives: Voisin

Aerodynamic Lift – Bugatti Type 32 #????

The 1923 French Grand Prix at Tours is usually remembered as the occaison on which a rare British 1-2 victory was recorded for the manufacturer Sunbeam for whom Sir Henry O’Neil de Hane Segrave was at the wheel of the winning car.

The race should also be remembered for two of the strangest designs ever to take part in Grand Prix racing namely the Type 32 Bugatti featured today and the even more outlandish Voisin Laboratoire.

Bugatti Type 32, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The streamlined bodywork of the Type 32 had one major draw back, it created lift which made the short wheel based 2 litre / 122 cui 8 cylinder car exceptionally difficult to handle in the corners.

Bugatti took five Type 32 cars to the 1923 French Grand Prix Ernest Freidrich scored the teams best result 3rd behind Seagrave and Albert Divo in the second Sunbeam, André Lefebvre was the first Voisin home in fifth place behind Kenelm Lee Guinness in a third Sunbeam.

Bugatti Type 32, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The Musée de l’Auto which own’s today’s featured car seen at Goodwood Festival of speed believe they own chassis #4057 which was driven Pierre Marco and retired on the fourth laps of the 1923 French Grand Prix with engine problems.

However Bugatti expert Pierre Dumont is convinced this car is actually #4061 which is considered to be the original prototype taken along as a spare to the 1923 French Grand Prix. Spaniard Pierre de Vizcaya took over #4061 for the race after crashing his designated car #4058 during practice.

Bugatti Type 32, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The unfortunate Pierre proceeded to crash #4061 on the opening lap of the 1923 French Grand Prix. Bugatti never officially raced the type 32 again, but it is believed that after being sold #4061 was driven by Pierre to a speed record at Arpajon in 1924.

Thanks for joining me on this “Aerodynamic Lift” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Brighton Speed Trials. Don’t forget to come back now !


Pneumatic Sunroof – Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne

Successful pioneer aviator and aircraft manufacturer Gabriel Voisin turned his back on aviation after the Great War of 1914-1918 to focus on the manufacture of automobiles some of which, including his 1923 C6 Labortoire monocoque Grand Prix car count as some of the most innovative, exotic, distinctive if not plain idiosyncratic and outlandish ever seen.

Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Cd'E

The prototype C-25 first seen in 1934 included a radial 7 cylinder motor that was dropped in favour of a 2994 cc / 182.7 cui straight 6 cylinder motor for the production models such as the one seen in Geoffrey Horton’s photographs taken at this years Dana Point Concours d’Elegance.

Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Cd'E

The aluminium panels of the wings / fenders of the C-25 Aerodyne are not the only ones supported by struts in the Avions Voisin range.

Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Cd'E

No expense was spared in the interior appointments, the bespoke cloth to a Voisin design is just as distinctive as the rest of the car as are the René Lalique designed ashtrays.

Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Cd'E

The C-25 was also fitted with a pneumatically operated sunroof,

Avions Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Cd'E

the carrier rails for which can be clearly seen in this photograph.

This particular car is one of 3 or 4 known to exist from a total production believed to have been no more than seven. After a six year restoration by the Californian Mullin Automotive Museum the car won Best in show at the 2011 Pebble Beach and 2012 Dana Point Concours d’Elegance, events.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his fabulous photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Pneumatic Sunroof’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


43rd Wedding Anniversary – Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

Such is the inclement weather here at GALPOT Towers that when my landlady asked for a theme for her 50th Birthday Party I had no hesitation when I suggested having a Diving Suit Party, dry wit after all is an Englishman’s stock in trade, so it’s always a pleasure to receive photo’s from Geoffrey Horton’s adventures in the sunny world of the California Concours d’Elegance scene.

Dana Point, California

Above is Dana Point where Geoffrey and his wife Gayle spent the weekend celebrating their 43rd Anniversary a couple of weeks ago.

Bentley Hawkeye Special, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

During their stay they entered their Jaguar XK140 FHC SE in the Concours d’Elegance in which this 8 litre / 488 cui 1924 Bentley Hawkeye Special was also taking part.

Mercedes Benz 130 Cabrio Limosine, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Among the Mercedes Benz vehicles entered was this 25 hp rear engined 1935 130 H Cabrio,

Mercedes Benz 540 K, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

and class winning 1937 540K W24 Roadster with up to 180 supercharged hp capable of reaching 110 mph.

Mercedes Benz 320 Cabriolet B, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Marginally more modest from 1937 was this 320 Cabriolet B W124 similar to the four door type used as German military staff cars in films including The Great Escape, The Longest Day, The Train and Schindler’s List.

Mercedes Benz 230 S / W153, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

The Mercedes Benz 230S W153 above was developed for taking part in trials and rallies, hence the unusual bumpers which feature front and rear designed for co drivers to stand on should a redistribution of weight be required to aid traction or steering. Only 52 of these cars were ever built.

Kurtis 500M Roadster, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Leaping into the post ’39-’45 War era I believe this 1953 Kurtis 500M has appeared in a previous GALPOT post, I find it’s chunky styling even more appealing from the rear.

Arnolt Bristol, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Like wise an Arnolt Bristol has appeared on these pages before, the green example above is from the final 1959 year of production which totaled just 200.

Chevrolet Corvette Italia by Scaglietti, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Only three Chevrolet Corvette Italia’s were built in 1959 with coachwork by Scaglietti in Italy. The idea for the car was born out an expensive to replace Ferrari crankshaft required by Gary Laughlin who turned to Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby to help in realise an exotic hand built car with affordable and reliable mechanical components. The example, above, owned by the Peterson Automotive Museum is the only one of the three built with a manual transmission.

Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Not for the first time this 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, from the Mullin Automotive Museum, won the best in show award, it won at Pebble Beach last year too ! Among it’s novel features are a radial engine as used more commonly in aircraft, and a pneumatically operated retractable roof.

Jaguar XK140 FHC SE, Dana Point Concours d'Elegance

Finally I hope you will join me in congratulating Geoffrey and Gayle not only on their 43rd wedding anniversary but also on winning their class at the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance with the faithful Jaguar XK140 FHC SE that has been a part of their lives for 26 years.

My thanks to Geoffrey for his photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “43rd Wedding Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !