1902 Panhard et Levassor Type A Voiturette Bicylindre 7CV Coachwork by Clément-RothschildSOLD

Two family ownerships since 1903, offered from the Guihéry le Rolland family

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Estimate 120,000 - 160,000 Euros
Result (incl.) 152,750 Euros

Engine: Two cylinder monobloc, 90 x 130mm bore and stroke, 1,654cc. Automatic inlet, side exhaust valves, trembler coil ignition. Transmission: cone clutch, 3 speed and reverse gearbox with right hand quadrant change, side-chain final drive. Chassis wood and steel flitch-plate, 1.8m wheelbase, 1.22m track; Suspension: semi-elliptic springs to front and rear; Brakes: contracting bands on back wheels from side lever and on transmission from foot pedal. Right hand drive.

Model history

The early history of the Panhard marque is charted in the description for the later 1911 example in this sale (see lot 345).

In the earliest days Panhard engines had a bore and stroke of 80 x 120mm, but a ten millimeter addition to both dimensions soon became most frequently used. For twins this gave about 7bhp at 1,000rpm.

The late John Bolster of 'Bloody Mary Special' fame, commentator of renown, owned a 1903 7hp Panhard-Levassor from 1934 and drove it annually on the London to Brighton Run. In 1962, writing in Veteran and Vintage Magazine, he commented on the Panhard:

"to the sympathetic it is a sheer joy to handle. . . the ride is comfortable, although the short wheelbase allows some pitching. The roadholding is excellent by any standards, particularly on wet and slippery surfaces. . . For a journey 20mph is a fair average." Bolster concluded: "Lacking the sheer drama of the big four-cylinder Panhards, the two cylinder car must be regarded as one of the most reliable and best made machines of the Veteran era. Above all, it will give its ultimate performance only to the man who can feel its sensitive controls and interpret the sound of its engine."

This 7hp car is a 1902 example of the make and type about which Bolster felt empowered to write so emphatically and passionately. By no means prolific in their manufacture, these hand tailored and beautifully engineered cars have always been coveted by collectors.

Specific history of this car

According the Panhard ledgers, of which copies are on file, car number 5139 was a Type A with a KA three speed gearbox, and was supplied new to the Christy, Médecet et Cie, of 1 place d'Helvétie, Lyon - Agents for PANHARD-LEVASSOR and RENAULT Frères on 25th April 1902. Also on file is a copy of the original confirmation from the Service des Mines certifying the car for road use.

No mention is made of the bodywork fitted to the car, but it is thought that it would have been supplied in chassis form to Clément-Rothschild whose coachwork it still wears today.

One year later it was sold to the former owner's family, in whose hands the car is illustrated. At this time the car had its standard radiator modified to enable it to cool successfully in mountain regions.

For the next 70 years, the car resided in this same family ownership until it was discovered in rather tired order by the father of the present owner in Lyon in 1972.

It was subsequently restored and then continually campaigned on rallies and events, particularly on those of the Teuf-Teuf club of which the owner's late father was President. One year the car was illustrated on the poster for their Rallye des Ançetres event and it was on this event many years ago that the car first caught the cataloguer's eye as being one of the most elegant and sporting veterans.

The Panhard is today in tidy, though nicely aged and mechanically well-used order throughout. The button back leather has that mellowed feel that only time can create, while the bodywork is in good solid order and paintwork good.

Its purposeful sporting bodywork is equipped with a cape cart hood and big brass dash-mounted sidelights.

With its remarkably uncomplicated and fully documented ownership, this attractive Panhard-Levassor will make an excellent addition to any collection of motor cars. It will enable its purchaser to enter the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in the U.K. (where it would receive a good early starting position by way of its date), as well as the increasing number of events offered by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain and of course the Teuf-Teuf Club in France.

An exceptional veteran car with an exceptional provenance.

Reference Number 6925

as of 2/1/2007

Car 1902 Panhard et Levassor Type A Voiturette Bicylindre 7CV Coachwork by Clément-Rothschild
VIN 5139 
Exterior / Interior Color      Blue /      Black 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
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