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1891 Panhard-Levassor Vehicle

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1891 Panhard-Levassor

The photograph above is of the 1891 Systeme Panhard.

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In June 1891 the second Panhard-Levassor car was ready, still a rear-engine design. Levassor drove the vehicle 225 km (140 miles) from his works on the avenue d'Ivry in Paris to his summer home on the coast at Etreatat, covering the distance in 23 hours 15 minutes. Levassor started the trip on July 31, ended on August 1, 1891. He also made the return trip, the car performing "without much trouble" over the entire excursion. The average speed was 10 km/h (6 mph) and at times reaching a peak speed of 17 kmh (10 mph). "The greatest annoyance he found was the need to stop every so often and refill the surface carburettor, which also acted as a fuel tank, and only held 1.3 liters (about 1/3 of a gallon). Levassor made use of the frequent stops to fill the water tank and grease the car." In addition, the petrol Levassor used "did no good to the sparking plugs".

Levassor's cars were built heavy and strong. Levassor was quoted as saying "build heavy and you build strong". His reliable cars also included the Daimler hot-tube ignition engine.

In 1891, Levassor also began experimenting with a different arrangement for the automobile. The design of the car was different than anything prior to it. The Daimler engine was mounted in the front of the car, with a front mounted radiator under a square bonnet and a pedal operated clutch between the engine and transmission. The transmission was a crude "exposed-to-air" (having no gearbox or lubrication) two-speed slide-gear transmission and chain driven rear-wheels. The layout, known as the Systeme Panhard became the standard for car manufacturers, providing "better balance and improved steering".

Panhard et Levassor placed the world's first production car on the market. The company sold its first two cars in 1891, each sale priced at 3,500 francs.


Reference Material:
Automobile of the World by Joseph H Wherry - pp 34.
Pictorial History of the Automobile by Peter Roberts - pp 15-16.
The Automobile the First Century by David Burgess Wise, William Boddy, Brian Laban - pp 13.
website: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blPanhardLevassor.htm
website: http://www.carfolio.com/specifications/models/car/?car=123046
website: http://medlibrary.org/medwiki/Panhard
website: http://www.panhardusa.org/aboutpdb.phtml
website: http://www.ritzsite.nl/Cent/Cent3.htm

 

Vehicle: 1891 Panhard-Levassor

Measurements

CHASIS

 

Wheelbase

65 inches

Track - front/rear

information not available

Wheel-Tire Size front/rear

information not available

ENGINE

 

Number of Cylinders

2

Horse power

4 bhp

Displacement

65 cubic inches

Bore x Stroke

3 x 4-3/4 inches

Engine Location

rear
front

OTHER

 

Weight

information not available

Total Produced

2 units

Sale Price

3,500 Francs

 

 

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Last modified: October 6, 2010