1954 Panhard PMS, front-wheel-drive/mid-engine racer [TOO LATE, SOLD]SOLD

One and only racing car in History with Front WD and mid-engine.

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This very original racing barchetta is a survivor of the fifties/sixities, a very active and creative period for motor racing. The manufacturer is Paul Ménissier, a racing driver and Citroën dealer, based in the South of France.

This PMS (Paul Menissier Special) was built on a modified Panhard Dyna X coupé chassis, and raced by Paul Ménissier himself, among other events, at the famous Course de Côte du Pin (picture). Power came from an Alfa Romeo twin can engine, then by a Ford.
The most original feature of the car is its mid-engine / front -wheel drive structure, probably unique in History. The car is fitted with an interesting rear suspension including spring coils. The front wheel train receives power from a transmission shaft running through the cockpit. A very unique car.

Ménissier chose the mid-engine configuration for a better balance, whilst retaining the front-wheel drive road-holding qualities of the Dyna-X. The mid-engine technology was really new at that time in 1959-60(Ferrari only moved from front-engine to rear-engine sports cars in 1963...). Matched with the front-wheek drive, the PMS is really revolutionnary.

The first bodywork was designed following advanced aerodynamics conceptions, inspired by racing Porsche spyders. The bodywork was eventually further refined with a longer front part (probably designed to generate more downward force), as well as rear "fins" not far from the contempoorary state-of-the art cars (Stanguellini).

Sold as it is, in original and authentic condition, this racing PMS (for Paul Pénissier Spéciale) is a fascinating automobile, ready for a restoration, that should be relatively easy, affordable, and very exciting.

Reference Number 59648

as of 5/16/2014

Overview
Car 1954 Panhard PMS, front-wheel-drive/mid-engine racer [TOO LATE, SOLD]
Small Series  1 of 1 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red /      Light Grey 
Registration French 
Condition Restorable 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Competition: Racing Seats 
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Known History

Our research revealed that this extremely interesting racing car was built by Paul Ménissier, in the South of France in the late 50s, probably in 1958-59.

Originally the car has had a Panhard, then a VW engine. After a while, a more powerful twin-cam Alfa Romeo engine was fitted.

 

The PMS history file includes a coudment from the French Registration Authorities dated 1959, about the modification of the car, as a "Transformed Panhard X84".

 

It was raced in French competitions, including the famous Course de Côte du Pin, in 1962, and later in 1965, where it finished 7th of its class. The car had then more rounded bodywork, reminding of the Porsche Spiders of the fifities.

 

It was eventually modified, the Alfa engine beeing replaced by a Ford, still in the same amidship position, and still with front-drive wheel system.

 

It was sold to a collector in the Netherlands, and was more recently bought by Autodrome.