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Lot 327: Avions Voisin C28 Sahara Convertible Recreation

Exceptional Motor Cars, Bonhams & Butterfields (15 August 2008)

This special vehicle is based on the 1936 Voisin C28 and was created to play a key role in the 2004 movie, Sahara, starring Matthew McConaughey and Penélope Cruz. It was built by the Tessier workshops in Tours, France, using the C28 Clairière once owned by Gabriel Voisin as a pattern for the bodywork. The roof on the film car was removed so the actors would be more visible. This alteration gives the finished vehicle the intriguing appearance of a mid-1930s 4-door cabriolet.

The well-known British special effects expert and stunt vehicles coordinator, Steve Lamonby, designed the film car’s 4WD chassis, equipping it with a 4.2-liter Jaguar engine and Rover automatic gearbox. The replica was created in just four months.

Sahara is the film version of the Clive Cussler novel of the same title, one of the immensely popular “Dirk Pitt”® action adventure stories from the famous author. The Voisin has a colorful life in the large-scale film. Dirk Pitt must save the planet from a catastrophe, fighting against an unscrupulous industrialist and a bloodthirsty tyrant—the heroes steal the Voisin from the dictator and, after many adventures and challenges, bring it to California. The film also features actors Steve Zahn, William H. Macy and Rainn Wilson.

Clive Cussler is himself a great collector and maintains a genuine 1936 Avions-Voisin, similar to the C28 that inspired the replica, in his Colorado museum—along with many other spectacular classic automobiles.

For cinema lovers, the Voisin C28 Sahara, as it has become known, will remain a tangible artifact of film history; the car is already pictured and discussed on the leading Internet film buff site. The builder of the Sahara cabriolet body, D. Tessier, is well known for his superb restorations of Avions Voisin automobiles and brought to the recreation a level of authenticity in appearance that will ensure the vehicle’s enduring appeal to collectors. This authentic detail is complete to the Voisin Cocotte radiator ornament—and the “GV” letters on the registration plate are of course an insider tribute to the original C28’s legendary manufacturer, Gabriel Voisin.

Visible traces of the C28 Sahara’s film usage still remain, adding to its charisma. The consigner reports that the vehicle runs well. A selection of replacement parts is included with the sale.

Without reserve

Lot Details
Auction Exceptional Motor Cars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel
Lot Number327
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$20000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$23400
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberTBD
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors