Gabriel B. Voisin was an aviation pioneer and manufacturer who in 1919 started producing cars using Knight-type sleeve valve engines at Issy-les-Moulineaux, an industrial suburb to the South West of Paris. Former student of the Fine Arts School of Lyon and enthusiast for all things mechanical since his childhood, Voisin's uncompromisingly individual designs made extensive use of light alloys, especially aluminum. One of the company's most striking early designs was the Laboratoire Grand Prix car of 1923; one of the first cars ever to use monocoque chassis construction, and utilising small radiator-mounted propeller to drive the cooling pump. The characteristic Voisin style of 'rational' coachwork he developed in conjunction with his collaborator André Noel-Noel prioritized lightness, central weight distribution, capacious luggage boxes and distinctively angular lines. The 1930s models with underslung chassis were strikingly low.
In the early 1930s, Gabriel Voisin could not pay all of his draughtsmen any more and a young creative engineer called André Lefèbvre quit, recommended by Gabriel to Louis Renault. Lefèbvre finally entered Citroën where he conducted the three most profitable car projects of the firm: the Traction Avant, the 2CV and the DS, using a lot of Gabriel's lessons.
After the Second World War
After the war Voisin presented the little "Biscooter Voisin" at the Paris Motor Show of 1950. This was a small voiturette intended for an impoverished age, with a front mounted 125cc engine from Gnôme & Rhône. The business had by now been nationalised in the period of political turmoil that directly followed the Liberation, however. Government installed directors had no appreciation of the company's engineering traditions. The Voison company failed to progress with the Voison designed Biscooter and instead mandated a Mr Moglia, previously employed by Hotchkiss to develop an alternative voiturette. Moglia's design appeared at the 1952 Paris Motor Show fitted with the same Gnôme & Rhône engine, but on Moglia's design the engine was moved to the rear of the little vehicle. The braking and suspension systems on the Moglia vehicle were also quite different from those on Gabriel Voison's "Biscooter Voisin" offering from two years earlier. The Moglia design was nevertheless presented as the new "Biscooter Voisin", a nomenclature which at least one angry commentator found "abusive".
The vehicle was later adapted for Spanish conditions, and about 12,000 were produced in Catalonia, where the little car was known as the Biscúter, between 1953 and 1960.
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