Sunday, January 29, 2012

PANHARD and LEVASSOR - Father(s) of Modern Automobile ?

Louis Francois Rene Panhard ( 1841 - 1908 ) and Emile Levassor (1843 - 1897) formed a car making company in 1887 with the engine licensed from Daimler.

In 1890 , they produced their first car powered by a 2 cylinder Daimler engine, mounted in the middle.

In 1891 , they produced the next car with a completely new layout , with the engine & radiator in the front , driving the rear wheels through a clutch and transmission. This layout became the standard architecture for the automobile for the next 100 years, called the Systeme Panhard.

The logo of Panhard et Levassor

Panhard and Levassor has been involved in many automotive innovations including using the famed Sleeve Valve, Kinight engines in their cars in the 1920s. Another major innovation was the invention of the track bar to locate the rear axle in multi-link suspension designs, aptly called the Panhard rod.

Panhard & Levassor was taken cover by Citroen in 1965 and the car brand was retired in 1968. One of the last cars made by Panhard & Levassor was a Panhard 24 CT.

Panhard & Levassor continued to make tactical & military equipment for the French Army and was merged with PSA group when Peugeot took over control of Citroen during 1974 . In 2005, Panhard was acquired by Auverland, another major military equipment manufacturer and the Panhard name lives on.

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