Back to C11 Torpedo Page To C12 page
C11 Aquitaine Manessius

Few of the great coachbuilders of the 1920s met with Gabriel Voisin's approval. In order to be accepted (and for the car to qualify for a factory warranty), the carrossiers of Levallois had to conform to Voisin's criteria as to body weight and its distribution.

Gabriel Voisin himself had switched from timber to metal for the construction of Voisin aircraft as far back as 1911.

The Issy firm's advertising of the time emphasised the characteristics he sought: lightness, comfort, strength and visibility. Voisin bodies were claimed not only to be lightweight, practical and noiseless, but also 'lumineuse' and of 'an elegant simplicity'.
If you want to go far, take care of your car...

The semi-industrial coachbuilder Manessius, specialists in all-metal construction, followed the patron's precepts to the extent of their bodies were catalogued alongside the factory styles.

This is one such creation by Manessius on the C11 chassis. It lines are indeed neat and simple, and largely reflect Voisin's ideas regarding weight distribution, with the rear trunk balanced by running board-mounted spares and capacious side luggage boxes.

There was certainly no doubt that it was a Voisin.


The Aquitaine on a Manessius ad (PMA)

But the car shown here is notable for more than the coachwork; its history is equally interesting. After years of loyal service, this Manessius 'Aquitaine' undertook a European grand tour in the summer of 1949.

According to the meticulous log kept of the trip, the car covered 4,177 kilometres across Switzerland, Austria and Italy before returning to its home base in Toulouse, with an average fuel consumption of 13 litres of petrol and 0.75 litres of oil per 100 kilometres.

"Who said that Voisin were not reliable...?"

Somewhere in Europe, a country stop for the Aquitaine
Thanks to PMA and his friend, the owner's nephew, for kindly allowing these splendid photographs to be reproduced online, along with details of the car's picturesque history.

Retour C6 Vers C8