Gabriel Voisin's aircraft manufacturing business located in Issy les Moulinxeaux was very successful during the Great War. Once war time subsided, the company's resources were diverted into the production of automobiles. The first model was the 'C1'. Instead of 're-inventing the wheel', Gabriel purchased the rights from André Citroën to build a larger horsepower, luxury model of the prototype designed by Artault and Dufresne. The engine was also licensed resource, a patent 'Knight' sans soupapes or valveless 'sleeve-vale' motor. The engine was mechanically silent and was a suitable power source for his upscale C1 model. The four-cylinder engine displaced four-liters and was mated to a four-speed gearbox. There were four-wheel brakes which was another luxury of its day.
The Voisin Company also built racing cars. In April of 1927, a Voisin fitted with an 8-liter, eight-cylinder, sleeve-valve engine broke the speed record over 160 km. It reached a speed of 128 mph.
Within a short amount of time, the Avions Voisin cars became associated with the social elite, the wealthy, and royalty. There were 70 examples of the C1 produced before the introduction of the C2 in 1920. Gabriel Voisin, however, realized that specializing in expensive luxury cars may not have provided the necessary funds to sustain the company's financial health. In 1921, he introduced what was to be the smallest sleeve valve Voisin. Dubbed the C4, it had a short wheelbase and given a functional angular torpedo style coachwork with seating for four individuals. For 1923, the C4 was given only minor cosmetic improvements and horsepower grew by two. Buyers could purchase the C4 with optional front wheel brakes. Additional body styles also became available, including the sports torpedo and coupe de ville.
In 1924, the C4S was introduced. Its larger 1328cc engine capacity boosted horsepower to 33 BHP. To help combat this extra horsepower, front wheel brakes became standard. Other improvements included a Dynastar dynamo/starter motor which was attached to the front of the crankshaft. A new sports torpedo body style became available and styling changes to the interior and exterior were visible throughout the lineup.
The final year of production for the C4 and C4S was in 1925. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2016