1964 Voison Biscuter 100

Gabriel Voisin was one of the great, forward-thinking, innovative designers of the early decades of the last century. His aircraft were instrumental in the Allies' victory in the First World War. He turned his attention to automobiles after the war and created, once again, some of the most individual, creative automobiles of the classic era. Voisin believed, first and foremost, in practicality but what his automobiles may have lacked in grace and aerodynamic efficiency (strange as that was for an accomplished aircraft designer) they more than made up for in style, luxury, innovation, functionality and ingenious details -- abundant ingenious details. Aircraft engine manufacturers Gnome et Rhone took over Voisin's company in 1935. Gabriel stayed on until 1945. His final design was this diminutive creation. Originally called the Biscooter, crediting its simple, elemental character, manufacture moved to Spain where it continued into the 1960's under the name Biscuter. And it was nothing if not cute and imaginative. This was postwar Europe where transportation was precious, as were resources and gasoline. Voisin's Biscuter was powered by a 197cc two-stroke single made by Hispano-Villiers. It drove a single wheel, the right front through a 3-speed gearbox. The chassis is an aluminum monocoque with four-wheel independent suspension and a combination of transmission and rear wheel brakes. This Biscuter comes from the famed microcar collection of Bruce Weiner. Restored to good driving standards, the exterior is natural aluminum while the interior is red vinyl under a blue (denim?) folding top. It looks like a micro, soft topped, Citroen Deux Chevaux, an observation that is in itself something of an oxymoron. Anyone who says they've seen one before should be treated with extreme skepticism, but it will be received with enthusiasm bordering on glee by onlookers for its cheeky attempt to squeeze full size adults and their week's groceries into a 5 foot 9 inch wheelbase.

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