Tag Archives: Panhard

City To City Racer – Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R

In June 1854 on the Bristol & Exeter Railway a broad gauge steam train set an out right speed record of 82 mph that appears to have stood until July 1934 when a Milwaukee Road class F6 recorded a top speed of 104 mph to become the fastest steam train.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

The year before the Wright Brothers made the first controlled powered flight William K. Vanderbilt recorded a top speed of just over 76 mph aboard his Mors in 1902 to set the first Land Speed Record for a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine, the following year AEG and Siemens & Halske built an electric train that recorded a top speed of just over 130 mph.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

Having pioneered the Panhard System of placing the engine in front of the automobile and driving the rear wheels with the aid of a clutch operated gearbox and pioneered the use of a steering wheel in place of the hitherto ubiquitous tiller steering Panhard et Levassor were vying with their former collaborator Gottlieb Daimler to supply the best vehicles in Europe to Royalty and industrial leaders at the turn of the 20th Century.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

To ensure their clients awareness of it’s products Panhard et Levassor took part in the popular city to city races of the day, Émile Levassor crossed the line first ahead of another Panhard et Levassor in the 1895 Paris Bordeaux Paris race, but the cars only had two seats, four seats being mandated for prize eligibility.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

By 1903 Panhard et Levassor had developed it’s 70hp model to compete with the Mercedes Simplex.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

The 13672 cm³ / 834 cui 70 hp S²4M 4 cylinder motor and chain drive train was fitted to an R chassis along with two seats and a fuel tank and enough space to carry a few spare tyres.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

16 70hp Panhard et Levassors are believed to have been built, I believe Charles S Rolls, of Rolls Royce fame, drove one in the fatal 1903 Paris Madrid race, but retired before the race was abandoned at Bordeaux and city to city racing was banned in France.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

Felice Nazzaro won the 1km flying sprint at Florence in June 1903 aboard his 70hp and 2 days later won the La Consuma Hillclimb in the same car, a week later Baron Pierre de Crawhez won the 500km Circuit des Ardennes driving another 70hp and Felice rounded out his season with a win in the 10km Padua-Bovolenta Sprint and flying 1km Padua Sprint in October.

Panhard et Levassor 70hp S²4M R, Brooklands Double 12

Richard Black’s 70hp, seen in these photographs at a Brooklands Double Twelve meeting with Michael New at the wheel, was first registered in the UK on the 1st of October 2007.


Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania – DB Panhard HBR 5 #1004

It’s hard to believe that nothing is known about this DB (Deutsch Bonnet) HBR 5, seen at Brooklands a few weeks ago, between it’s export from France to the USA in 1959 until it’s discovery derelict and abandoned in Pennsylvania in 1982.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

After restoration to racing spec in 1985 it was shown and raced regularly until 1991 and then stored until 1999.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The current owner acquired it in 2001 and restored it to European road legal condition by 2005.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

HBR 5’s were manufactured between 1954 and and 1961. The 850 cc / 51.8 cui 2 cylinder Panhard motors sourced from the Panhard Dyna Z was upgraded from 42 hp to 58 hp spec by René Bonnet.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The upgraded Panhard motor which could be taken up to 6500 rpm when combined with the slippery Charles Deutsch designed body produced a vehicle capable of 140 mph though acceleration was rather leisurely with a rest to 62 mph time of 21.5 seconds.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

Available as Coupé’s, Convertibles or outright racers the DB HBR 5 had a long competition career winning it’s class in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans and Sebring multiple times.

Thanks for joining me on this “Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking into the shadow’s on Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Engine Failure – CD 3 #64/2

At the risk of appearing parochial today’s featured vehicle, the 1964 CD 3 was not by any stretch of the imagination a great success on the track but it did point the way to aerodynamic developments that took off spectacularly in 1977 with the Lotus 78 and is still in evidence in Formula One and other top motor sports categories today.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

The CD 3 would prove to be the last design to use a Panhard motor at Le Mans or indeed any non historic race. Power came from a supercharged horizontally opposed two cylinder 848 cc / 51.7 cui motor that produced up to 70 hp that drove the front wheels.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

Beneath the low drag body, which has a drag coefficient, measurement of aerodynamic drag resistance, of just 0.12 was a back bone chassis with inboard disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

This photo does not show it but beneath the rear body work is a venturi tunnel which effectively managed airflow beneath the car in such away that it was sucked to the ground, which translated means the faster it went the better it’s road holding and grip.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

Despite it’s futuristic shape and aerodynamic innovation even with a top speed of 140 mph the two CD 3’s only qualified for the last two places on the grid for the Le Mans 24 hours and both retired one with mechanical maladies. The chassis #64/2, seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed here, qualified 54th for the 1964 Le Mans 24 hours driven by André Guilhaudin and Alain Bertaut and retired after completing 77 laps due to engine failure. The 55th qualified sister car driven by Pierre Lelong and Guy Verrier made it to lap 124 before the gearbox had cried enough.

As Panhard was about to be wholly consumed by Citroën who planned to switch Panhard’s production capacity to Citroën models 1964 would be the last year the CD or Panhard names would appear at Le Mans.

Charles Deutsch, CD, who had been part of the Deutsch Bonet DB partnership went on to design the body work for the 1971 Porsche 917/20 Le Mans challenger which gained a certain notoriety after being dubbed “le Cochon Rose

Thanks for joining me on this “Engine Failure” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Au Revoir P et L – Panhard 24 bt

In 1887 French Engineers René Panhard and Émile Levassor founded Panhard et Levassor to manufacture motor cars and using a Daimler motor manufactured under license offered their first car in 1890. All of their early cars were one off designs as they introduced a string of improvements on successive models. In 1891 they built a vehicle with a front mounted motor and rear wheel drive that would become ubiquitous in the motor industry for over half a century.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

After a 48 hour 48 min drive Émile Levassor crossed the finish line first in the first mass start motor race, the 1,178 km / 731 mile which in 1895 Paris Bordeaux Paris. Panhard et Levassor was not awarded the win because the race was intended for vehicles with 4 seats and Levassor’s car only had two as did the Panhard et Levassor which came second.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

Recording many race victories Panhard et Levassor became one of the largest automotive manufacturers prior to the Great War of 1914/18. Between the two World Wars Panhard et Levassor diversified into new areas including, like Bugatti, into rail buses.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

After the 2nd World War Panhard focused on making light cars with two horizontally opposed cylinder motors and front wheel drive. Unofficial support for racing car manufacturers like Deutsch et Bonnet led to many success at Le Mans in the Index of Efficiency classifications during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

The Panhard 24 bt like the one seen here at the Malta Classic Car Collection was launched in 1964 featuring and air cooled 848 cc / 51.7 cui two cylinder engine, with origins dating back to the late 1940’s, driving the front wheels which allowed for the exceptionally low bonnet line which results in exceptional aerodynamic efficiency.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

In 1965 Panhard was absorbed by Citroen during a period of rationalisation that was rampant throughout the European motor industry, so as not to compete with Citroen’s de luxe four door, four seater AMI 6 Citroén kept the spec of the 24 bt high and vetoed the development of a four door version.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

Like, among many others, numerous BMW’s, the NSU Prinz, Stingray Corvette and Corvair from Chevrolet the Panhard 24 bt had a distinctive chromed trimmed midrift.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Classic Car Collection

Saloon / Sedan 24 bt’s and the Coupé 24 ct‘s were amongst the earliest vehicles to feature integrated front and rear bumpers which gives the cars an efficient and stylish appearance which is taken for granted on new models these days but was well ahead of the curve even when production of the 24 bt ceased in 1967 marking the end of Panhard as a passenger vehicle manufacturer.

Thanks for joining me on this “Au Revoir P et L” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking the 1955 Indianapolis Pace Car on Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Head Over Heels – Malta Classic Car Collection

The Malta Classic Car Collection, in the north east town of Qawara, don’t pronounce the Q, was founded by property developer Carol Galea who found his genetic pattern contained a deep rooted head over heels passion for cars which he has admired, driven raced and collected.

BMW 250 Isetta, Malta Cassic Car Collection

The impressive split level museum houses a cosmopolitan collection of vehicles including this 1957 BMW 250 Isetta bubble car a forerunner of the contemporary Smart Cars, the brainchild of Renzo Rivolta who was behind the Iso Grifo Super 7 I looked at some months ago.

Auto Union 1000 Sp, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Built by the Stuttgart coachbuilders Baur on the 2 stroke Auto Union 1000 chassis the 55hp Auto Union 1000 Sp was launced in 1958. Known in the German Press as “baby Thunderbird” 6,640 of these 2 door Coupés were built when production ceased in 1965 by which time ownership of Auto Union had been transferred from Mercedes Benz to Volkswagen.

ALFA Romeo Giuleitta Sprint Speciale, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Although forst seen in 1957 the ALFA Romeo Giuleitta Sprint Speciale was only in production from 1959 to 1966. With a 112hp double overhead cam motor and a drag co-efficient of just 0.28, same as a C6 Corvette the ALFA Romeo Giuleitta Sprint Speciale provided stiff competition for the Porsche 356.

Chevrolet Corvette, Malta Cassic Car Collection

The classic four taillight arrangement on this Chevrolet Corvette C1 were first seen in the 1961 – 1962 models and have featured on Corvette’s ever since up to and including the present day. The single colour paint scheme suggests this might be a 1962 model.

Borgward Isebella Coupé, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Another vehicle in the collection coincidentally launched in 1957 is the Borgward Isabella Coupé built in Bremen Germany. Unfortunately despite the success of the whole Isabella range Borgward went bankrupt when the German economy dipped in the early 1960’s.

Jaguar XJS Eventer, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Based on the lumpy but loveable Jaguar XJS coupé the vehicle above is one of 67 shooting brake conversions by Lynx known as the Eventer built during the mid 1980’s. IMHO the Eventers looks exceed the standard XJS by some considerable margin.

Panhard 24 bt, Malta Cassic Car Collection

The name Panhard goes back in the motoring world to the late 1880’s, Citroen acquired a 25% stake in the company in 1955 since when Panhard production appears to have been phased out in order to avoid competition with Citroen’s products and in order to increase production facilities for Citroen’s product lines. The Panhard 24 bt manufactured between 1964 and 1967 is a 2 door five seater powered by an horizontally opposed air cooled twin cylinder motor. Unfortunately with Citroen refusing to countenance the development of a four door model Panhard’s days as a motor car manufacturer were numbered, the company still exists as a military vehicle manufacturer.

Morris Minor 1000 Pickup, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Among the pick up’s in the collection is this cool Morris Minor 1000 which is fitted with a load space bedecked in varnished wood !

Austin A40 Somerset Coupé, Malta Cassic Car Collection

I am not sure why Austin’s marketing department took a liberal interpretation of the word coupé which usually applies to a hard top vehicle when they named the 42 hp Austin Somerset Coupé, which is actually a convertible, but 7,243 of them were manufactured between 1952 and 1954 by Carbodies, better known these days as the manufacturer of London Cabs. This particular car is said to have been used by HRH The Queen of England during her visit to Malta during a Coronation visit in 1952.

Fiat 500 Roadster, Malta Cassic Car Collection

Finally in foyer the fun roadster above looks like an original FIAT 500 but is actually based on much later FIAT 126 mechanical components from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

If you find your self in Malta I’d highly recommend paying the Malta Classic Car Collection a visit.

My thanks to Barry Boor who’s hospitality made this blog possible.

Thanks for joining me on this Head Over Heels edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Broken Promises – DB Panhard HBR

Somehow almost overlooked this photo by Ed Arnaudin of John B Mull in his DB Panhard competing in Race 1 at Thompson CT on the 20th July 1958, although John did not finish this race, we shall see this is a significant model in the world of national and international class H up to 750 cc 45.7 cui racing.

The manufacture of DB cars commenced after a promised drive failed to materialise at the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix for Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet. The following year they entered a special of their own devising using the remnants of of a Citroen Traction Avant 11 CV.

Their specials placed in the very first post war race in Paris in 1945 and with the construction of the open wheel DB7 Automobiles Deutsch & Bonnet became a business entity in 1947.

Unhappy with the supply of Citroen parts they switched primarily to using flat twin Panhard motors of 744 cc / 45.4 cui. DB Panhards took class victories at the Mille Miglia, four times, Le Mans, three times, Sebring, twice and SCCA class H, the latter in 1958 with Howard Hanna at the wheel and in 1959 with Ray Heppenstall at the wheel.

Despite their on track success after building nearly 1000 vehicles, a disagreement over the architecture of their next model led to Deutsch and Bonnet going their separate ways forming CD and Automobiles René Bonnet respectively, the latter using Renault power became part of Matra Automobiles in 1965.

Panhard which as Panhard et Levassor had been in business since 1897 was absorbed in to Citroen in 1965 with the last vehicle produced in 1967 the name is still to be found in use as a brand of French built military vehicle.

The HBR model seen here was built from 1954 to 1961 on the most common DB chassis shared with Mille Miles and Coach models of which a combined total of 660 were made.

John B Mull appears to have had a collection of vehicles to race with Evelyn Mull between them they are known to have raced a Jaguar XK120, AC Ace Bristol, Austin Healey 100 S and this DB Panhard, JB is also known to have raced an OSCA S750.

Hope you have enjoyed the Race 1 Thompson CT 20th July 1958 series, my thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the photograph and to Terry O’Neil for the race results. Join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday when we will be looking at a vehicle driven by a reigning 3 time World Grand Prix Champion on it’s victorious debut and a month later was driven to a class victory by the USA’s first future world champion. Don’t forget to come back now!


The end of the Edward Turners hemi head V8 – Daimler V8 250

The British Daimler Motor Company was the brainchild of Frederick Simms who bought the UK patent rights to Gottlieb Daimlers engines in 1891. Under the ownership of Harry Lawson the company produced the first Daimler with a Panhard engine and then went on to produce Daimler powered machines in 1897 becoming Britain’s second company to serially produce motorcars after Humber.

From 1898 Daimler supplied official transportation for the Royal Household until 1950 when an recalcitrant transmission led the Royal Family to chose Rolls Royce as it’s transport of choice. From 1910 to 1960 Daimler was owned by by the Birmingham Small Arms Company leading Daimler into various military markets alongside it’s treasured roll as preferred purveyor of motorised transport to the Royal Family.

In 1960 Daimler was sold to Jaguar who needed additional production facilities for it’s growing marque. The Daimler V8 250 was the second series based on the MK II Jaguar powered by Daimlers hemi head V8 engine it was 50 kg lighter and more compact than the competition bred six cylinder Jaguar XK engines. The V8 250 was in production from 1967 – 1969 the vehicle in the photo appears to be a 1969 model and as such represents the end of the line of hemi head Daimler V8 production. From that point on all Daimlers were badge engineered Jaguars.

Wishing Racer 187 a Happy Birthday and plenty of Chief 187’s toasted pumpkin seeds.

Slightly off topic congrats to Kyle Busch on his thrilling Talladega truck victory, glad Ron Hornaday was walked away from his wrecked KHI truck. Condolences to friends and family of Jim Hunter NASCAR’s snr vice president of corporate communications.

Here is hoping Kevin ‘Happy’ Harvick finally gets one over Dangerous Denny Hamlin and goody two shoes Jimmy Johnson in a good clean race at one of my all time favourite tracks.

Thanks for popping by, don’t forget to come back now !