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12/17 2015

ART DECO AVIONS-VOISIN C14 LUMINEUSE LEADS EARLY ENTRIES FOR RM SOTHEBY’S 2016 AMELIA ISLAND SALE

  • Sotherbys

BLENHEIM, Ontario (December 17, 2015) – RM Sotheby’s will reprise its role as the official auction house of Florida’s renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, March 12, with the presentation of its 18th annual collector car sale at the Ritz-Carlton. The 2016 event follows RM’s remarkable performance at the venue in 2015, an event that generated an outstanding $60 million in sales—the highest ever total for an auction held during the Amelia Island motoring week—with an unprecedented 100 percent sell-through. The 2016 event is set to build on these results, presenting a handpicked roster of 100 coachbuilt classics, important sports and racing cars, and late model collectibles.

Early highlights for the March sale comprise a group of prewar classics, led by a fascinating 1927 Avions-Voisin C14 Lumineuse, chassis no. 28578, the ultimate incarnation of Voisin innovation. Aerodynamic force and center of gravity were of the utmost importance to French aircraft manufacturer Voisin, who were the first to take these factors into consideration when the company began constructing automobiles following World War I under the name Avions-Voisin. Using aluminum panels over wooden ribs, their bodies were light, sturdy, and functional.

Derived from the company’s first six-cylinder engine model, the C11, the C14 was introduced in 1927 and featured many patented components, including its unique door mechanism, window mechanism, horn controls, and pneumatic relay on its transmission. The C14 also featured unusually large window openings, as well as strategically-placed side baggage compartments to balance the vehicle’s weight.

This stunning design was the car of choice for some of the most famous artists of the era, including Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker, and Paul Morand. One of just four known surviving examples, 28578 is certainly the most interesting of the group in terms of provenance and presentation. It was originally owned by none other than Avions-Voisin co-founder Gabriel Voisin, before later making its way into the collection of cutting-edge architect “Le Corbusier”, a pioneer of modern architecture, who often included the car in the photography of buildings he designed. The featured C14 passed through the hands of numerous other respected collectors in the ensuing years, before landing with the current vendor in 1992. In the years since, the car has actively participated in several car rallies, as well as been displayed at numerous exhibitions, including “100 Years of Design” at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1993. More recently, the owner commissioned a meticulous restoration to return to the car to its original configuration, a project that included the masterful recreation of the car’s eye-popping original Paul Poiret Art Deco upholstery (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,500,000).

“With its stunning looks and evocative Art Deco styling, the 1927 Avions-Voisin C14 Lumineuse is a perfect fit for our Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance sale, and one that can be easily pictured on the concours lawn,”  says Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “A true work of art, the design itself was very advanced for its time. The unusually large windows, which maximize the amount of light entering the car, were behind its name ‘Lumineuse’ and differentiate it from other vehicles of the era. Add in a magnificent provenance—including original ownership by Gabriel Voisin—and the result is a very special car, worthy of close inspection.”

 

On offer from the same era, RM’s Amelia Island sale will present the 1932 Ford Model 18 Edsel Ford Speedster, the very first collaboration of young stylist E.T. “Bob” Gregorie and Edsel Ford, just four owners from new (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,400,000); and, a concours-quality 1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan, chassis no. 16 145 593, formerly part of the S. Ray Miller Collection (Est. $600,000 – $750,000).

For collectors with a penchant for later styling, early entries also include an as-new 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo, chassis no. 050623, showing just over 1,100 miles (Est. $240,000 – $300,000); and, a 2003 Aston Martin DB AR1, chassis no. 800089, with less than 700 miles on the odometer (Est. $225,000 – $275,000).

For further information on RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction, to view a frequently updated list of entries, or to learn more about limited consignment opportunities, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or call +1 519 352 4575.

  • Event information and a frequently updated list of entries available at rmsothebys.com