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Panhard anyone?


prewarnut
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We don't see too much discussion of some of the European makes (probably this should be under the French category). I imagine parts and a "support group" is hard to come by in the U.S. Anyhow I found this to be really, really striking. It's a '38 Panhard and Levasseur X71. Carrosserie is by them at Orleans. The lines seem fully formed in the "classic" sense with a fusion of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styling.  Look at the splay of the running board ribs, the thick C pillar, the continental position of the tires. It has curved "A" pillar glass (try replacing that). The interior wood is traditional French with attention to graining. It is lean and low and looks fast. It sports a 4.6 liter sleeve valve engine. It's up for auction soon but it sounds like the engine may be stuck - not sure I'm reading it right. Does it live up to the purported upper end of the French luxury/performance cars of the era? Anyone with experience?

https://www.osenat.com/lot/117193/17044091?

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Great reports on these cars and other French machinery of similar ilk and styling in the period issues of Omnia ( especially their annual auto number) , L'Illustrasion - a huge society monthly magazine (also with an annual auto number) .

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Here is a '54 Panhard Dyna Junior I saw on display at Lane this summer. Pretty happy little car if you ask me, look at that smile! Even in a little sports car made in their less glamorous post-war years they were hanging in there with those suicide doors... 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

So the coupe is not a Dynamic.  Still very interesting. I think it is a Panoramic.

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I like the coupe but for some reason in profile I felt it is a little "blocky" - not sure if it is the size of the door I'm seeing or maybe the side-mounts.

 

Any comparison to say a Bentley 4.5 liter?

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Even C.S. Rolls knew a good car when he saw one.  Here he is shown driving his 1898 Pahard.  It's the same model that won the 1898 Paris-Amsterdam race (driven by Charron).  Here is another photo of Charron driving his Panhard to victory in the first Gordon Bennett Cup race (Paris - Lyon) in 1900. 

Terry

 

1898 Panhard, C.S. Rolls driving.jpg

Charoon 1st Gordon Benett Race Paris-Lyon.jpg

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This is the Dynamic coupe I mentioned that couldn't be removed from France.   I forget what the hammer price was , but I believe it was not cheap.  There were a couple of different size engines in these.  I think this coupe might have had the smaller one.

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Brass era Panhards were well respected cars. They even had modest sales in North America . Very up to date engineering , but like many imported cars a premium price tag. 

 The later cars are distinctly French. The Dyna was too underpowered to be taken very seriously on the North American market. 850 cc air cooled twin . Sort of a cross between a 2CV and a Renault Dauphine. Reasonably popular in France , but not what all but a handful of people were looking for in the 1950's in North America

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6 hours ago, rocketraider said:

Anyone else see Bill Mitchell's Sixty Special roofline "influence" in this car and the 38? Can't find any reference he ever went to France, but makes you go hmm.

Paraphrasing from the book: A Century of Automotive Style, 100 Years of American Car Design by Michael Lamm and Dave Holls.


While attending the 1934 Paris Salon with Harley Earl, 'Big' Bill Knudsen became enamored with the Panhard 6 CS Panoramic, particularly the roof and window treatment.  Inspiration for the delicate bright window surrounds inserted into smooth continuous roof surfaces was drawn from the luxury French passenger railcars.   Knudsen would have purchased a Panoramic but for Earl convincing him that GM Art & Color could do the style better, doubtless on a Cadillac platform.    Earl brought the idea back, turned it over to young Bill Mitchell then in the design development of what would become the 1938 60 Special.  The distinctive greenhouse treatment plus the coupe-style trunk integrated into the now 3-box sedan body came together to make the 60 Special the seminal design it is.'


 'Big' Bill Knudsen eventually got his own custom Cadillac Sixteen Fleetwood, a one-off 148" wheelbase fastback seven passenger sedan-limousine with that very elegant window treatment.  It's still extant, appeared at the Hershey show in the 1990's.
 

'38 Cadillac 16 -Knudsen's limousine.jpg

Edited by 58L-Y8
added photo (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, alsancle said:

This is the Dynamic coupe I mentioned that couldn't be removed from France.   I forget what the hammer price was , but I believe it was not cheap.  There were a couple of different size engines in these.  I think this coupe might have had the smaller one.

Panhard-1.jpg

 

 

 

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At the risk of offending the purist contingent, I find it interesting that French design may have influenced U.S. customizers. Could the servicemen in France in WWII have brought back memories of Panhards or Delahaye like the soldiers in England brought back a love for the British sports car?

 

Post WWll built Mercury customs

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44 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

 


 'Big' Bill Knudsen eventually got his own custom Cadillac Sixteen Fleetwood, a one-off 148" wheelbase fastback seven passenger sedan-limousine with that very elegant window treatment.  It's still extant, appeared at the Hershey show in the 1990's.
 

'38 Cadillac 16 -Knudsen's limousine.jpg

Here's one (originally '39 Mercury 4'door convertible)that may have been influenced by the above Cadillac.

Why would someone discriminate against the Mrec in favor of the Cadillac? They were both individual expressions of a designer, seemingly well executed, and assembled by craftsmen  from both factory and hand made custom parts.

CCC-39-40-fomoco-sedan-customs-ohanesian

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I've always admired the very early Panhards. They were clearly at the very top of automobile design before 1905...in fact, the conventional engine-transmission-rear end design used by practically everyone was a Panhard innovation. This was my very early Panhard...barely recognizable as a car. It's the one car I regret selling but who was to know that 40 years on I'd be in a position to do all sorts of work I couldn't do at the time.

 

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We guessed the date as being pre-1900 but curiously it had a chassis made of square metal tubing. It was constructed exactly as if it had a wooden chassis — which is what you'd expect. The brake linings were little blocks of lignum vitae riveted to the brake bands. The rear axle was drilled to accept a sprag — a feature that was discontinued before 1900. The original engine was missing (it would have been a 2-cylinder Phoenix) but with the chassis I got a 4-cylinder Panhard engine made in 1904 (from the serial number) that was, in its own right, quite remarkable. Not only was it in great condition, but when I pulled one of the jugs it appears to never have run. It was, effectively, brand new!

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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General Motors had a number of photographers attend the salons in Paris, London, Berlin and Brussels. They took photographs and the negatives were developed and became part of the GM styling studios files. When these files in the mid 1950s were being tossed out Warren Fitzgerald who worked for G.M. had prints made of a lot of them at the request of his friend in Brooklyn ( then Plainview, and Huntington , long island NY) Herb Lozier. Herb was a great enthusiast of scratch building model cars. Lozier was also the author of books on classic cars and editor of a short lived magazine on cars in the mid 1960s. In the early 1990s I was able to buy most if not all of the hundred or more  5 x 7 black & white prints that Herb had that came from Warren Fitzgerald . I still use these for images for the stories I write as well as the material supplied from period sales material printed in Europe, souvenir programs for the European salons, and auto show numbers of European magazines that covered the new cars at the shows and concours that were held in Europe.

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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

I've always admired the very early Panhards. They were clearly at the very top of automobile design before 1905...in fact, the conventional engine-transmission-rear end design used by practically everyone was a Panhard innovation.

And engineering as well. The Panhard Rod is still much used today to prevent lateral axle movement.

 

Craig

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1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Great project, have you followed it over the past 40 years, is in restored and running now? 

I sold - or rather traded it to Jan Bruin in the Netherlands. I took in trade a later chain-drive Panhard chassis presumably more complete but I actually sold tat, sight unseen, before it arrived, To this day, I've never seen either chassis traded for or whatever became of the one I had.

 

I bought it from Fred Hoch in the mid-70s. Those photos were taken in my old shop. Eventually circumstances dictated that I give up the business and go to work with my father so I no longer had any place to keep an old car.

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