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The six-wheel light commercial (1957)

With very modern lines for the time, this astonishing vehicle was designed by Gabriel Voisin on his return from Spain, where he had been advising on the production and launch of the Biscuter. It was one of several late projects that Gabriel Voisin developed while while based at his company Aéromécanique at rue des Patures in Paris. The vehicle was displayed with a moped on the pick-up bed on the Gnome & Rhone stand at the 1957 Paris Salon.


The "six wheels" at the 1957 Salon

Interactive drawing of the commercial (F.M. - unknown source)
A front wheel drive machine with independent torsion bar suspension on all six wheels and a 600kg payload, it was powered by a 200cc engine fitted with an oil-cooled cylinder head (three litres' capacity) of his own design to supplement conventional air cooling.
As a utility vehicle, driver and passenger comfort was notably spartan, right down to the minimal dashboard which characterises all Gabriel Voisin's 'petits transports' of the postwar years. Only one gauge is visible in the cockpit, a speedometer with a little switch, both fitted in a device looking like a tin can inserted in the steering column.

The spartan cockpit of the commercial and above the "tin can"...

...with its speedometer and switch
Between the seats, which seems to conceal storage aera, is a "console" covering the Gnome-Rhone engine and allowing a better access than via the front bonnet.
As a worthy heir to the Biscooters, this small van shares its DNA, very visible on the manual wipers, the small wheels, the pedals, the doors hinges, and the aluminium skin, but also the windscreen, being put on joints (very tired nowaday) stuck on the A pillars of the cabin.
A model of simplicity, as the closures of doors: a simple tongue of metal on each side of the opening, the internal one coupled with a spring fitted in a tube, while little spheres of Bakelite allowing the system to operate.
The cabin, curiously opened in the back is formed on a very fine tubular structure fixed to the chassis, a "superleggera" Voisin in other words.
When the bonnet removed, one has a fantastic view over the engine and the low part of the passenger compartment

Although it was advertised, it never went into production..
All my thanks to Francis Metzger who was lucky enough to see this machine a few years ago and allowed me to initialize this page. As well as to Stéphane Pavot (from Osenat auction house) who allowed me a shooting photo session in Mars 2013 before the sale of this surprising vehicle.
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