Think of some French cars and you'll most likely think of Citroens and Renaults - affordable, mass-produced vehicles that cater to anyone and everyone, from first-time drivers to families of 6 to high-flying company executives. The French motoring industry goes back many years. In fact, in 1796, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the world's first self-propelled mechanical vehicle, over a century before the first 'automobile' was unleashed on the roads. French cars aren't just Citroens and Renaults; a lesser-known brand known as Panhard was founded in 1891.
Originally named Panhard et Levassor, Panhard established itself as a car manufacturer as early as 1887, headed by Émile Levassor and René Panhard. Its first car - with an engine from a British Daimler - was available in 1890. Panhard's first vehicles went on to set a lot of modern standards, although each Panhard was a one-off design. The chain-driven gearbox was operated by a clutch pedal and also had a front-mounted radiator. In 1895, a Panhard is actually credited with having the first modern transmission.
In 1895, Panhards took the first 2 places in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race. In 1897, Arthur Krebs took over from Levassor as the general manager of Panhard and held the position until 1916. Prior to The Great War, Pahard was one of the most profitable and largest automobile manufacturers in the world.
Winning many races between 1895 and 1903, Panhard developed something known as the Panhard rod, which was also adopted by many other automobiles of the time. The Panhard rod is a suspension component, designed to prevent lateral movement.
In 1925, Panhard's 4.8 litre model broke the world record for a car's fastest hour run, averaging 115mph. Outside of the car industry, Panhard also produced railbuses.
Following World War II, Panhard produced some light cars, including the Dyna X and 24 CT. Many of the cars at the time were made from aluminium, later models being made from steel. They featured smooth, rounded styling that helped Panhards stand out from the crowd. The 24 CT, a stunning 2+2 seater, was a guaranteed head-turner and the 24 BT was a comfortable cruiser that could easily seat 4 people.
Panhard's last passenger car was produced in 1967. Following 1967, Panhard was dedicated to making armoured vehicles and Panhard's civilian brand became absorbed by Citroen. Panhard's marque was then retired. In their 70+ years of production, Panhard were pioneers. They created many varied models, from beautiful luxurious Rolls Royce rivals such as the 1927 Panhard-Levassor X74, to a Jaguar E-Type match, the 1955 DB Panhard HBR.
Displaying 0-0 of 0 Classic Cars For Sale