View Full Version : 1923 voisin laboratoire

10-31-17, 02:27 AM
This is going to be fun!!! I do not have too much information on this car. (And I don't want it, so even if you have the original blue-prints . . . )
I think that I will make a paper model (Cardboard is in the paper family), make a plastic model, and brass. All will be in 1/12th scale.

I hope to have fun and learn or re-learn some techniques!

I wasn't sure where to post this thread? It seems exotic?


11-12-17, 03:28 AM
To All Paper Modelers! I'm Sorry! But I can't do it! My significant other says that my techniques are losing the "Paper-ness" of the model! -And I have to agree! -I can certainly glue up the cardboard as I had planed, coat that with resin or glues, to stiffen it and give it some stability, but then I might as well be working in fiber-glass or plastic or metal! I could make the tires as indicated in the "kit" but why?, why accept a compromise that I don't need to? I have several lathes, a mill, drill presses, basically I have a complete shop to make almost anything, so why tie my hands? I was hoping to have a quick modeling distraction, but I realize that going THAT basic won't satisfy me. -So? So, I've decided to take what information I've gathered and go for a simple wood/metal build.

Today I cut up some sections in oak, tomorrow I'll continue to dimension the wood, and cut out the wheel wells.http://www.scalemotorcars.com/gallery/data/959/IMG_5058.JPG

11-12-17, 03:47 AM
. . . for my two cents? I used to sell Pocher kits, about twenty years ago, when they were $200 to $300! And I never sold one without first explaining that they were not "state of the art" models. That they offered a great foundation to work upon, and that they were the only models available (at that time) of the cars that the customer wanted to model. And to this day are the only large scale models of those subjects.

Obviously, judging from this forum, Pocher kits offer some satisfaction, (shared trauma?)(misery loves company?) and I think more? I think that there is more satisfaction from working on a larger scale. The subjects are of some the most beautiful cars made. And when you gentlemen are through with your builds, I think that you'll have something to be proud of!


11-12-17, 05:21 AM
I used to sell them too. My favorite technique was to ask how much they spent on a hobby in a year. It was always more than the cost of a Pocher. So, it will take a year to finish it- it's a cheap hobby! It usually worked.

And when they asked about tools that were needed the answer was - a small screwdriver-and a good psychiatrist 😁

11-12-17, 02:04 PM
Hello! This is the best photograph in profile that I have found. Based on this photograph, I've redrawn the silhouette of my model. The plans in Model Racing Replica News #13 are closer than the paper model, except that the seat and cockpit is rendered as a "church pew", (very up-right). The paper model gets the cockpit right, however is, I believe too short over-all.


11-14-17, 12:51 AM
Using the above photograph, I've redrawn the profile. I hope to every day or so make some progress on this model.

Some questions about the exhaust? How is it routed? On the "Hill Climb" version of this car, the exhaust looks to terminate right in-front of the driver!! (probably just to his left?), but on the "Racers" the exhaust must drop down from the engine and exit?

-Another question is about the "Clover Leaf" access panels? How do they work? In one photograph you can see one on the bulkhead above the seat back, and on most of the other photos, the seat back continues all the way up the bulkhead.

And a final question is regarding the drive shaft and brake lines that run straight back through the rear seat's lower cushion, making one continuous seat back with two seat cushions.


David Cowin
11-14-17, 04:20 AM
I've just checked my database of specs and sources and found only two:
Racing Car Pocketbook (Jenkinson)
Wheelbase 106 in
Model Car Prototype Parade 220
Wheelbase 106 in; front track 56 in; rear track 28 in

I hope this helps a little

11-14-17, 10:54 AM
​THANK YOU! David!

11-14-17, 11:22 AM
The design maxim for this car seems to have been to embrace the unconventional wherever possible!


Roger Zimmermann
11-14-17, 11:43 AM
To All Paper Modelers! I'm Sorry! But I can't do it!

When I was a boy, I had a "Meccano" which of course, offered very limited possibilities to make a car body. I used some cardboard which, by nature, can be bent in one direction. Later, I tried to do a '63 Chrysler but this time, I noticed that, when the cardboard is humid/wet, it possible to have compound curves.
For the model you choose, this technique is not required, but cardboard offers limited properties. Good luck with your project!

11-15-17, 01:54 AM
Thank you Roger! Was the Avanti (your original Avanti model) was it cardboard?

I like working in wood, especially oak. (I have a very long list of woods that I like to work with.)(not poplar) . . . (it has its place.)


Roger Zimmermann
11-15-17, 02:48 AM
Thank you Roger! Was the Avanti (your original Avanti model) was it cardboard?

No, Don. It was a big departure for me as I did the body with fiberglass and polyester. I had no experience with these products, I had to learn quickly!
It seems that you are well equipped to work with the wood, I'm not...

03-30-20, 12:54 PM
Hello, no I am not returning to this project at this time, but I discovered some new to me photos, of another marque, of the same period, that were also experimenting with aerodynamic designs.



These were made by the firm, B.N.C.

Perhaps a trio of Voisin, Bugatti, and B.N.C. would make for an interesting collection?

10-06-20, 01:34 AM
Hello, I keep on falling in love with French cars!

This is the Panhard "Razorblade". This is one of the four that were built. They had Aluminum clad bodies, and a very strange steering wheel arrangement.

I don't read French, so? Could one of you gentlemen help me?




I also would like to know where the exhaust was routed? But I can live with that remaining a mystery. -The steering "Wheel" is the feature I would like to understand.

In the last picture you can see a large circular gear, running to the edge of the cockpit. That is the steering wheel!

From the location of the pedals, it looks to me that the driver would have his legs laying through the center of the steering wheel?

I read that the angle of this assembly could be changed to suit the driver's preferences.

Unfortunately, because of a tire failure, and perhaps the difficulty in egress for the driver, there was an accident and a fine driver was lost. -the program was stopped, and nothing of these cars remains.

Just these pictures.

10-06-20, 01:52 AM



Roger Zimmermann
10-06-20, 03:31 AM
Don, this is the translation from the second text. The first one is too small, I cannot read it.

Extraordinary slim, the 1500 cc used for speed records which name was “razor blade”, had a power of 80 hp @ 4450 RPM. The 4-cylinder engine, without valves, had 3 carbs and allowed a top speed of 200 km per hour. As you can see on the drawing, the driver had his legs through the steering wheel; the transmission lever and emergency brake were located between his legs.

10-06-20, 06:41 AM
Thank you Roger!

What do you think of the design?

Roger Zimmermann
10-06-20, 07:12 AM
The front view or radiator surround is fantastic; the steering wheel design is interesting, but not for the driver!

10-06-20, 09:24 AM
And? A picture of the front leaf springs, with something "sandwiched" in between the leaves?


Roger Zimmermann
10-06-20, 11:48 AM
Spring which is self-amortizing in both directions, eliminating the conventional shock absorbers. Thin steel bands (A) were installed between each leaf, allowing for smoother movement and/or friction. The self-amortizing effect was obtained with the small adjustable coil springs (B). On the picture, you can see the generator/starter motor located directly at the end of the crankshaft.

10-06-20, 06:49 PM
Thank you Roger!

Beautiful sheet metal work on the body. I wish I knew how it was made. I see recessed lines that follow along much like wooden planking might, and it might just be that? Aluminum clad planks? -but the seems are not continuous? So I wonder if they are not decorative / functional? -giving some rigidity to those body panels?

10-07-20, 09:57 AM
The driver who had died driving one of these cars was Marius Breton. He was also the designer of the cars, and was the impetus for Panhard's returning to racing. One of the oldest of the car companies, they had been involved in the early racing scene, but had pulled out after a fatal accident. -and now with the death of Mr. Breton, the designer, overseer of the construction of the racing cars, and the one person most responsible for Panhard's participation in racing, his death meant cancellation of any other immediate races, and certainly company sponsored racing for a while.


Mr. Breton died while driving at Montlhery, when a tire failed and he and the car crashed, crushing him.

Roger Zimmermann
10-07-20, 10:06 AM
Sad story; there were a lot at that time.

10-07-20, 04:50 PM
Knowing how small that cockpit is, and the unusual posture of the driver, one can see how difficult getting in or out would be!

Addendum; I have just received a copy of MODEL CARS, March 1968, within which is a short article about these cars.

I guess Ms. Breton was very much the Tim Birkin of France. He and a Ms. Ortmans were testing the cars. Four cars were made, two had 1 1/2 litre engines, two had 5 litre.

Of note is the front axle set low, lowering the CG, I assume.

The front brakes are completely contained within the wheel discs, and the rear brakes were inside the body of the cars, -differential brakes. Cooling wasn't a consideration?

Springs were contained in the frame. -all this must have been done to reduce atmospheric drag? Presenting as clean a design as possible. Notice the low set of the drivers location, -he is sitting just above the chassis rails, or within them! These cars were intended to be record breaking cars. Not really racers.

And again, notice the unique steering wheel! A large hoop attached to a ring gear, through which the driver's legs actuated the usual pedals. Very strange!

And most obvious, the beautiful forming of the body shell. -of polished Aluminum, set onto planking? The appearance giving rise to the "Razor Blade" nick-name.

The engineer most responsible for theses design innovations was a Ms. Bionier.

With the death of Marius Breton, Ortmans was ordered to terminate further trials. The remainder of the cars were probably destroyed by 1940, and the 5 litre engines, or at least one of them was thought to have remained in the factory till 1955.

The estimated speed that Marius Breton had achieved at the time of the accident was 230 kph! 142 mph!

10-10-20, 10:44 PM
Some more pictures of an unusual car.




Roger Zimmermann
10-11-20, 03:13 AM
With the springs installed within the body, this had a major inconvenient: the axles were not very well guided. Who knows, this was maybe the reason of the accident at this fantastic speed for that time.

10-11-20, 12:48 PM
Very probably!

Also, tires were often the weakest link during these "early days." Many manufacturers were able to build engines and drive-trains that just tore the tires apart!

So many of the engineers and designers were working intuitively, and in some instances making decisions based on an aesthetic sense rather than on good mechanics, or material choices!

Have you ever seen the films made of how much deformation tires go through when taken to very high rpm? Its amazing!

11-19-20, 02:00 AM