Monday, 10 February 2014

Avions Voisin C6 Laboratoire

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Gabriel Voisin was, to say the least, an innovator - a man keen to apply aerospace tech to road cars, and we can see this all over the C6 Laboratoire. Wheel discs, flat-bottomed steering-wheel, swoopy aerodynamics - much of it is commonplace in various forms of motorsport today, and yet this car first turned a wheel in anger back in 1923.
The C6 has an aluminium-blocked 2.0-litre, six-cylinder engine offering 75bhp. The propeller you see on the nose harnesses kinetic energy to turn the coolant circulation pump, although this system wasn't always enough to allow the C6 to actually finish races; in its debut Grand Prix in 1923, four C6s started but just one finished, in fifth place. However, being the first Grand Prix car to feature lightweight monocoque construction, it certainly set a precedent for innovation. Just, er, not in terms of weird propeller set-ups.

This C6 ran up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013 - click here for more photos.

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