1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141

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Lot 138A
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon
Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141

€ 80,000 - 100,000
US$ 90,000 - 110,000
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon
Coachwork by Bionier

Chassis no. 80141
Engine no. 80141
Immatriculée pour la première fois le 7 février 1931, cette Panhard et Levassor six cylindres (à conduite à droite) avait été exportée au Royaume-Uni. Réputée être la voiture inscrite au Concours Louis Vuitton de 1932, elle affiche sa carrosserie « Art déco » typique de l’époque avec poignées de portes et tableau de bord dorés. Une photo jointe montre Mme Bionier, épouse de Louis Bionier responsable de la carrosserie chez Panhard, avec la voiture neuve.
La Panhard fut achetée par l’actuel propriétaire à la célèbre Sharp Collection de Chelmsford (Essex) dont elle faisait partie depuis 1978 avant sa dispersion. La distance apparaissant au compteur, environ 29 000 miles (46 000 km), est estimée correcte. Entre 2002 et 2005, la voiture fut restaurée en profondeur (moteur compris) pour un coût de plus de 60 000 livres sterling par le spécialiste de Rolls-Royce Overtons de Leigh-on-Sea (Essex), firme ayant 50 ans d’expérience dans la restauration des voitures classiques. (Dossier de photos disponible).
Conduite occasionnellement depuis sa restauration, cette rare et techniquement intéressante automobile se présente en excellent état général avec sa plaque d’immatriculation d’origine, son ancien livre de bord, des photos d’époque, diverses factures de travaux et son document d’immatriculation V5 de Swansea (Royaume-Uni).




René Panhard was an engineer whose business, based in Paris, made woodworking tools and built engines under license. With his partner, Emile Levassor, he experimented with horseless carriages using engines licensed from Daimler. In 1891, Panhard et Levassor offered for sale what was arguably the world’s first production car, using a Daimler engine. Above all, the firm was responsible for bequeathing the automobile world with Systeme Panhard, which embodied the now familiar layout of a front mounted engine driving a rear axle via a clutch, gearbox and differential. The modern motor car had been born.
Panhard et Levassor quickly established a reputation for fine engineering, excellent craftsmanship, superior reliability and outstanding performance. A Panhard travelled from Paris to Versailles and then on to Etretat in 1892 with no serious mechanical difficulties, while another won the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race in 1895, further cementing the marque’s reputation for excellence.
The first decade of the 20th Century saw Panhard et Levassor forge ahead in automobile design with mechanical inlet valves standard by 1904 and giant multi-cylinder cars being marketed in 1905 and 1906. While not neglecting the smaller models, Panhard et Levassor were clearly aiming their products at exactly the same quality of clientele that Rolls-Royce, Napier and Lanchester were cultivating in England.

1911 was a landmark year for Panhard et Levassor, seeing the introduction to their 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. It appeared first on the 4.4-litre 25hp model, the X14, which featured four cylinders cast separately and a most practical four-speed gearbox with a choice of chain or shaft final drive. Smooth and silent, if a little smoky, the Knight engine placed Panhard in the same league as Daimler in the UK, although Panhard’s light steel sleeves gave better performance. Panhard built its first sleeve valve six in 1927 but few cars of any kind during the mid-1930s. Then, for 1937, the firm introduced the startlingly styled Dynamique, a sleeve valve six built in capacities of 2.5, 2.7 and 3.5 litres, but after WW2 reinvented itself as the maker of small-capacity cars of utilitarian appearance but exceptional performance.

First registered on 7th February 1931, this six-cylinder Panhard et Levassor features right-hand drive and has been in the UK since new. Reputed to be the car that was entered in the Louis Vuitton Concours in 1932, it boasts ‘Art Deco’ styled coachwork typical of the period, with gold-plated door handles and instrument panel. An accompanying photograph depicts Mme Bionier, the wife of the coachbuilder, Louis Bionier, with the new car.
The Panhard was purchased by the current owner from the celebrated Sharp Collection in Chelmsford, Essex (prior to the Collection’s dispersal sale) where it had been stored since 1978. (The total of circa 29,000 miles recorded on the odometer is believed correct). Between 2002 and 2005, the car was extensively restored (engine included) at a cost of over sixty thousand pounds by well known Rolls-Royce marque specialists, Overtons, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, a firm with 50 years experience in rebuilding classic vehicles. A photographic record is available.

Driven on only a few occasions since its restoration, this very rare and technically interesting car is presented in very good condition throughout and offered with its original number-plate, old-style logbook, period photographs, sundry restoration invoices and UK Swansea V5 registration document.
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
1931 Panhard et Levassor 3½-Litre SS Special Saloon  Chassis no. 80141 Engine no. 80141
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