Imagine that an automaker was displaying more than ten percent of its existing production under one roof - a manufacturer like Ford would have millions of cars on display. Yet Voisin automobiles, the iconic French luxury brand from the 1920s and 1930s, needs to display just 17.
Gabriel B. Voisin began producing cars in 1919. As an aviation pioneer (he is credited with developing Europe's first heavier-than-air engine-powered aircraft capable of sustaining controlled flight) who eventually focused his talent in the automotive sector, his designs were technically detailed, aerodynamically efficient and with an art deco aesthetic – it is easiest to simply consider them stunning.
While more than 10,000 automobiles were assembled in the suburban Paris factory, fewer than 150 are known to still exist. Amazingly, the famed Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, has more than a dozen of his masterpieces (plus original artifacts) on display through April of 2013. This unprecedented show is the first opportunity to see so many examples of Voisin's work in the United States.
Notable examples include the 1935 Type C25 Aerodyne that won the coveted Best of Show award at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as well as a reconstruction of the 1923 Type C6 Course "Laboratoire" race car that experimented with a double wedge-shape airfoil for improved aerodynamics.
The curators opened the doors to Autoblog the other day, so we sent Drew Phillips in with his camera for a closer look. The pictures are amazing, but the real beauty of a Voisin is in the small details. It should go without saying that this is the type of automotive exhibit that is truly worthy of a road trip to view.