Panhard & Levassor

Panhard & Levassor

Panhard & Levassor Automobiles

 

Established
1887
Predecessor
Rene Panhard, Emile Levassor

Headquarters
Paris, France

 

Panhard was originally called Panhard et Levassor, and was established as an automobile manufacturing concern by Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor in 1887. Panhard was a French motor vehicle manufacturer that began as one of the first makers of automobiles. It was last a manufacturer of light tactical and military vehicles. Its final incarnation, now owned by Renault Trucks Defense, was formed by the acquisition of Panhard by Auverland in 2005, and then by Renault in 2012. Panhard et Levassor sold their first automobile in 1890, based on a Daimler engine license. Levassor obtained his licence from Paris lawyer Edouard Sarazin, a friend and representative of Gottlieb Daimler's interests in France. Following Sarazin's 1887 death, Daimler commissioned Sarazin's widow Louise to carry on her late husband's agency.

The Panhard et Levassor license was finalised by Louise, who married Levassor in 1890. In 2004, Panhard lost a competition to another manufacturer of military vehicles, Auverland, for the choice of the future PVP of the French Army. This allowed Auverland to purchase Panhard, then a subsidiary of PSA Peugeot Citroen, in 2005. However, the fame of Panhard being greater, it was decided to retain the name the PVP designed by Auverland would bear a Panhard badge. 

 

History

Panhard was originally called Panhard et Levassor, and was established as an automobile manufacturing concern by Rene Panhard and Emile Levassor in 1887. Panhard et Levassor sold their first automobile in 1890, based on a Daimler engine license. Levassor obtained his licence from Paris lawyer Edouard Sarazin, a friend and representative of Gottlieb Daimler's interests in France. Following Sarazin's 1887 death, Daimler commissioned Sarazin's widow Louise to carry on her late husband's agency. The Panhard et Levassor license was finalised by Louise, who married Levassor in 1890. Daimler and Levassor became fast friends, and shared improvements with one another. In 1895, 1,205 cc (74 cu in) Panhard et Levassor vehicles finished first and second in the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race, one piloted solo by Levassor, for 48hr. However, during the 1896 Paris–Marseille Paris race, Levassor was fatally injured due to a crash while trying to avoid hitting a dog, and died in Paris the following year. Arthur Krebs succeeded Levassor as General Manager in 1897, and held the job until 1916. He turned the Panhard et Levassor Company into one of the largest and most profitable manufacturers of automobiles before World War I.

By 1925, all Panhard's cars were powered by Knight sleeve valve engines that used steel sleeves. The steel sleeves were thinner and lighter than the cast iron ones that had been fitted in Panhard sleeve valve engines since 1910, and this already gave rise to an improved friction coefficient permitting engines to run at higher speeds. To reduce further the risk of engines jamming, the outer sleeves, which are less thermally stressed than the inner sleeves, were coated on their inner sides with an anti-friction material, employing a patented technique with which Panhard engineers had been working since 1923.

Models:

Panhard Dyna X:

The Panhard Dyna X was a lightweight berline designed by the visionary engineer Jean Albert Gregoire and first exhibited as the AFG Dyna at the Paris Motor Show in 1946. During the 1920's and 1930's Gregoire had become known for his expertise in two particular areas of automobile construction, these being lightweight bodies and front wheel drive. The AFG Dyna, planned under difficult circumstances in occupied France, had an all-steel tubular frame chassis, to which was attached a lightweight aluminium four-door superstructure. The style of the berline was modern and aerodynamic. Contemporary press photographs showing the car with three elegant young women seated in the front and three more in the back were presumably designed to emphasize the car's interior space, and the Dyna X certainly was usefully wider than the Renault 4CV.

 

Panhard Dynavia:

The Dynavia is a concept automobile built by Panhard in 1948. It was built as an experiment in aerodynamics. The Dynavia was built on the Dyna X chassis. Power came from Panhard's two-cylinder OHV GM600 boxer engine with a bore of 72 mm, a stroke of 75 mm and total displacement of 610 cc (37.2 cu in). The engine was front-mounted and drove the front wheels through a four-speed manual transaxle. Suspension was independent on all four corners. Steering was by rack-and-pinion. Brakes were drums front and rear. The 2-door bodywork was executed in Duralinox, an aluminum/magnesium alloy. The car was designed to seat four people although the narrow body and curving
roof-line limited passenger space. The tall greenhouse with its two-piece windscreen and backlite offered good outward visibility. A single floodlight was mounted in the centre of the nose of the car, while the headlamps were Cibie "zero dazzle" units housed in tubes in the fenders and projecting flat beams out through slots on either side of the nose.

 

Panhard PL 17:

The Panhard PL 17 is an automobile made by the French manufacturer Panhard from 1959 until 1965. Presented on June 29, 1959, as successor to the Panhard Dyna Z, the PL 17 was developed from the older car, but with an even more streamlined body than its predecessor. The four-door saloon was joined by the Cabriolet in 1961, and by the Break, a five-door estate version, in April 1963. The Break, developed by Panauto, sat on a longer wheelbase but was of the same overall length. It was built in very small numbers, only about 2,500 being produced overall. The Panhard saloons produced after the Citroen take-over were not priced aggressively. In 1962 there were five different versions
of the PL 17 offering 42 hp (31 kW) or 50 hp (37 kW) of maximum power and priced in France at between 6,990 and 8,240 francs for the standard sedan bodied versions. The similarly sized Simca Aronde came with power outputs ranging between 42 hp (31 kW) and 70 hp (52 kW), priced between 6,340 and 7,450 francs.

 

Peugeot P4:

The P4 is an unarmoured off-road vehicle used by the military of France. It was manufactured by Peugeot but is now manufactured by Panhard. It is to be replaced with the PVP by Panhard. The P4 is a derivative of the Mercedes Gelandewagen military version built under license by Peugeot for the French military. Peugeot did not have a licence to export the vehicle anywhere else than to the countries bound to France by defence agreements. It's scheduled to be replaced by the ACMAT Light Tactical Vehicle Station Wagon.

 

 

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