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Lot 556: Panhard et Levassor Type X14 25hp Tourer

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

In 1891 Panhard et Levassor offered for sale what was arguably the world's first production car, and the company swiftly established a reputation for fine engineering, excellent craftsmanship, superior reliability and outstanding performance. The year 1911 was a landmark year for the French manufacturer, seeing the introduction to its range of the Knight double sleeve-valve engine, and this type of power unit would characterise the firm's larger offerings well into the 1930s. This engine first appeared on the 4.4-litre 25hp Type X14, which featured a four-speed gearbox and could be ordered with either shaft or chain final drive. The current owner purchased this X14 at Brooks' auction at Ascot Racecourse in July 1995 (Lot 564). At that time it was stated that the car had come to the UK from South America, its outstandingly original condition suggesting only minimal use since 1911. Wisely, the vendor chose not to restore the Panhard, instead entrusting the conservation of the original grey paintwork and deep-buttoned leather upholstery to a specialist. Over the last 17 years the car has been driven many hundreds of miles without any mechanical problem. The seven-seater coachwork is by Vanvooren of Paris and the generous equipment includes a folding brass windscreen, convertible hood, two folding occasional seats, spare detachable wheel rims/tyres and BRC self-contained acetylene headlamps, with oil side and rear lamps from the same maker. Since acquisition, the vendor has added a Birmingham-made rear-view mirror (from a 1911 Rolls-Royce); an adjustable, brass-framed rear screen (pre-1914) with small adjustable side windows and a cover for the rear-seat passengers' legs; and a modern steering damper. The latter is fitted between the front axle and the tie-rod using original fixings, making an enormous difference when driving and steering this heavy car. All the aforementioned items can be removed relatively easily. Offered with Netherlands registration papers and a complete set of original tools, this has to be one most original and best-preserved pre-1914 Panhards in existence, as well as a strong contender for top honours in the concours d'´┐Żlegance circuit's emerging 'Preservation Class'.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number556
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberX14 27065
Engine number27065
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors