Gabriel Voisin's records

To achieve his objective, Gabriel Voisin decided to revert to the efficient 4-litre as the basis for the new car; he reasoned that mounting two of the four-cylinder blocks on a common crankcase would yield the output required.

The resulting 7,938 cc straight eight duly delivered some 210 horsepower, its twin Zeniths breathing through a large Tecalemit air filter. Two lateral oil coolers were fitted, with the oil and fuel tanks concealed in the tapering tail. This impressive power unit was fitted to the chassis of the 1926 car.

More aerodynamic than its predecessor, the new car ran on Dunlop tyres with wheel discs at the rear. In his relentless quest to minimise weight, Gabriel Voisin saved some 50 kilos by eliminating the gearbox entirely, relying on an oversize clutch and the engine's huge torque to effect the required standing starts despite the high final drive gearing.

On Monday April 11, the Issy engineers saw their endeavours rewarded by an encouraging turn of speed in the first track test. After a few fine tuning sessions, the car took to the track two days later with Marchand at the wheel.

Marchand at the wheel of the 8-cylinders.

Success soon followed, with two world records falling: 100 kms in 29 minutes 13 seconds at an average speed of 205.35kph, and 100 miles in 46 minutes 40 seconds (206.89kph). The one-hour record was thwarted by a puncture, but this proved only a temporary setback.


Six weeks later, on the 27th of May, Marchand shaved nearly 3 kph from the hour record with an average of 206.56 kph compared to the previous 203.72 kph. On July 12th, he and Morel alternated 90-minute stints on the banking to secure five new world records: 500kms in 2 hrs 38 mins 48 secs at 188.9 kph, 500 miles in 4 hrs 14 mins 49 secs at 189.459 kph and 1000 kms in 5 hrs 20 mins 53 secs at 186.98 kph. The three-hour record fell at 568.758 kms at 189.59 kph, and the six hours at 1,120.57 kms at 186.76 kph. By the end of the summer, Gabriel Voisin had succeeded in capturing no less than eight world records. But with the Paris Salon approaching, he had no intention of resting on his laurels, and set his sights on the big prize in terms of publicity potential: the 24-hour record.

Marchand and Morel, accompanied by Serge Kiriloff, went once again to Montlhery on Septembre 26 and took to the circuit at around 3pm. With driver and tyre changes every 90 minutes and refuelling stops every three hours, the 24 hours passed largely without incident, adding nine more world records to the already impressive tally the marque had achieved: 1000 miles in 8 hrs 54 mins 5 secs at 180.8 kph, 2000 kms in 11 hrs 3 mins 54 secs at 180.75 kph, 2000 miles in 17 hrs 43 mins 8 secs at 181.51 kph, 3000 kms in 16 hrs 29 mins 42 secs at 181.87 kph, 3000 miles in 26 hrs 31 mins at 182.07 kph, 4000 kms in 21 hrs 58 mins 53 secs at 181.97 kph, 5000 kms in 27 hrs 30 mins 39 secs at 181.74 kph, 12 hours (2,178.92 kms at 181.58 kph, and 24 hours: 4,383.85 kms at 182.66 kph.
The 1927 world records

13th Avril
Average speed
100 kms
205,352 kp/h
29mn 13s 8/100
100 miles
206,885 kp/h
46mn 40s 41/100
27 mai
Average speed
1 hour
206,558 km
12th July
Average speed
500 kms
188,903 kph
2h 38mn 48s 69/100
500 miles
189,459 kph
4h 14mn 49s 95/100
1000 kms
186,980 kph
5h 20mn 53s 33/100
Average speed
3 hours
189,586 kph
568,758 kms
6 hours
186,761 kph
1 120,569 kms

Le ravitaillement est terminé, la ronde infernale peut reprendre.
26th September
Average speed
1000 miles

180,795 kph

8h 54mn 5s 11/100
2000 kms
180,746 kph
11h 03mn 54s 66/100
2000 miles
181,51 kph
17h 43mn 8s 38/100
3000 kms
181,870 kph
16h 29mn 42s 90/100
4000 kms
181,969 kph
21h 58mn 53s 95/100
3000 miles
182,073 kph
26h 31mn 0s 52/100
5000 kms
181,744 kph
27h 30mn 39s 85/100
Average speed
12 hours
181,576 kph
2 178,917 kms
24 hours
182,660 kph
4 383,851 kms

Voisin therefore went to the 1927 Salon with a total of 17 world records, with the glorious 8-cylinder car taking pride of place on the firm's stand.

NB : the record statistics reproduced here are based on the pages on this subject published in 'Toutes les Voisin' by René Bellu and a three-part article by Serge Pozzoli in 'Le Fanatique de l'automobile' N°23, 24 and 26.

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