Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139

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Lot 325
Panhard & Levassor 7 HP type A voiturette 1902

Sold for € 253,000 (US$ 282,651) inc. premium
Panhard & Levassor 7 HP type A voiturette 1902
Carrosserie Clément-Rothschild
Châssis n° 5139
Moteur n° 5139
Carrosserie n° 299

•Seulement deux familles de propriétaires entre 1903 et 2007
•Autrefois propriété de la famille Guihery Le Rolland
•Restauration professionnelle de la mécanique (2007)
•Huit participations au London-Brighton Run (2007-2014)

René Panhard était un ingénieur dont la société, située à Paris, fabriquait des machines à bois et des moteurs sous licence. Avec son associé Émile Levassor il se lança dans les voitures sans chevaux, équipées de moteur sous licence Daimler. En 1891, Panhard & Levassor commercialisa ce qui fut incontestablement la première voiture de série du monde, avec un moteur Daimler. Surtout, c'est cette société qui légua au monde de l'automobile le « système Panhard » qui se caractérisait par le schéma traditionnel du moteur avant entrainant l'essieu arrière via un embrayage, une boîte de vitesse et un différentiel. La voiture moderne était née.

Panhard & Levassor se fit rapidement une réputation avec ses mécaniques raffinées, bien fabriquées, fiables et performantes, des qualités qui plaçaient la société sur le devant de la scène sportive automobile naissante, notamment dans les grandes courses de ville à ville de l'époque. Inutile de chercher pourquoi des sportifs aussi connus que l'honorable C. S. Rolls, le chevalier René De Knyff, Maurice Farman, Léon Girardot et Fernand Charron sont associés à la marque.

Cette Panhard & Levassor, une voiturette type A des débuts, est animée par un bicylindre de 1 654 cm3. Donné pour 7 ch, cet ensemble monobloc est équipé de soupapes d'admission et de soupapes d'échappement automatiques et d'un allumage par bobine. La transmission se compose d'un embrayage cônique, d'une boîte à trois vitesses et marche arrière avec levier sur secteur à main droite et d'une transmission finale par chaîne latérale. Le châssis à longerons d'acier à conduite à droite fait 1, 80 m d'empattement pour des voies de 1, 22 m et la suspension se fait par ressorts semi-elliptiques aux quatre roues. Un levier latéral commande des freins à ruban aux roues arrière et on trouve également un frein sur la transmission, actionné par une pédale. Bleu de France avec les ailes noires, des filets beiges et une sellerie en cuir noir, sa carrosserie sportive est équipée d'une capote et de grosses lanternes latérales en laiton montées sur l'auvent.

Selon le registre Panhard dont une copie figure au dossier, la voiture n° 5139, une type A avec boîte de vitesses à trois rapports KA, a été livrée neuve le 25 avril 1902 à Christy, Médecet et Cie, 1, place d'Helvétie à Lyon, les agents Panhard & Levassor et Renault Frères. Aucune indication de carrosserie n'y figure, mais on pense que la voiture a été livrée en châssis nu chez Clément-Rothschild pour recevoir la carrosserie (numéro 299) qu'elle porte encore aujourd'hui et qu'elle fut achetée sous cette forme par son premier propriétaire.

Un an plus tard, la Panhard a été vendue à son second propriétaire dont la famille la conserva pendant les 70 années qui suivirent. En 1972, la voiture a été découverte, toujours à Lyon, par le troisième propriétaire, feu Guihery Le Rolland, ancien président du club Teuf-Teuf. La voiture était alors très fatiguée et M. Le Rolland entreprit une restauration complète. Par la suite, la Panhard a été régulièrement engagée dans des rallyes jusqu'au début du XXIe siècle.

En 2007, la voiture fut achetée à Paris par l'actuel propriétaire qui l'exporta au Royaume-Uni où une restauration châssis nu de toute la mécanique fut effectuée par le spécialiste des vétérans, Henal Engineering Ltd d'Hailsham, dans l'East Sussex. On trouvera les factures dépassant 50 000 £, détaillant la rénovation complète du moteur, de la boîte, de la direction, de la chaîne et autres pièces en mouvement. À cette époque, un démarreur et un carburateur Zenith ont été installés avant que la voiture ne participe à son premier Londres-Brighton cette année-là (2007). Profitant d'un horaire de départ très matinal, en raison de son millésime de 1902, la Panhard termina l'épreuve septe fois de suite (jusqu'en 2014) – dont la plus arrosée de l'histoire – sans le moindre problème.

À d'autres périodes de l'année, la voiture a participé avec succès à des rallyes réservés aux ancêtres, comme l'Ashdown Ambles Run et le Best of West Kent Run, ainsi qu'aux manifestations du Teuf-Teuf club en France. C'est uniquement son âge avancé qui a poussé le propriétaire à mettre sa Panhard en vente aujourd'hui.

Au dossier on trouvera les documents comprenant un certificat d'immatriculation UK V5C (sous le numéro EA 941), le certificat de datation du VCC n°2535 confirmant l'année 1902, les certificats du MoT jusqu'en 2012, un reportage photographique 1902-2007, une photocopie du registre Panhard de 1902, les factures de restauration de 2007 (voir ci-dessus) et les huit certificats confirmant que la voiture a accompli les London to Brighton Runs.

Avec son historique parfaitement documenté, cette exceptionnelle Panhard & Levassor fera un excellent complément à n'importe quelle collection de voitures historiques.

1902 Panhard & Levassor 7 HP Type A Voiturette
Coachwork by Clément-Rothschild
Chassis no. 5139
Engine no. 5139
Body no. 299

•Owned by only two families between 1903 and 2007
•Formerly the property of the Guihery Le Rolland family
•Professional restoration of the mechanicals (2007)
•Eight successful London-Brighton Runs (2007-2014)

René Panhard was an engineer whose business, based in Paris, made woodworking tools and built engines under license. With his partner, Émile Levassor, he experimented with horseless carriages using engines licensed from Daimler. In 1891, Panhard & 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 the Système Panhard, which embodied the now familiar layout of a front-mounted engine driving the rear axle via a clutch, gearbox and differential. The modern motor car had been born.

Panhard & Levassor swiftly established a reputation for fine engineering, excellent craftsmanship, superior reliability, and outstanding performance, qualities that placed the company at the forefront in early motor sport, notably the great Continental city-to-city races of the time. Little wonder therefore that such notables and sportsmen as the Hon C S Rolls, Chev R de Knyff, Maurice Farman, Léon Girardot, and Fernand Charron were associated so closely with the marque.

This early Panhard & Levassor Type A Voiturette is powered by a 1,654cc twin-cylinder engine. Rated at 7hp, this monobloc unit features automatic inlet valves, side exhaust valves, and trembler coil ignition. The transmission consists of a cone clutch; three speeds and reverse gearbox with right-hand quadrant change; and side-chain final drive. The right-hand drive chassis is of timber and steel flitch-plate construction, with a 1.8m wheelbase and 1.22m track, while suspension is by means of semi-elliptic springs all round. A side lever operates contracting-band brakes on the rear wheels and there is also a transmission brake operated by a foot pedal. Finished in French Blue with black wings, cream coachlines and black leather upholstery, the sporting body is equipped with a cape cart hood and features large, brass, dashboard-mounted sidelights.

According the Panhard ledgers, a copy of which is on file, car number '5139' - a Type A with KA three-speed gearbox - was supplied new on 25th April 1902 to Christy, Médecet et Cie of 1 place d'Helvétie, Lyon, agents for Panhard & Levassor and Renault Frères. No mention is made of the coachwork fitted, but it is believed that the car would have been supplied in rolling chassis form to Clément-Rothschild, whose body (number '299') it still carries today, and purchased by the first owner in this form.

One year later, the Panhard was sold to the second owner, in whose family's possession it resided for the next 70 years. In 1972 the car was discovered, still in Lyon, by the third owner, the late Guihery Le Rolland, past President of the Teuf-Teuf Club. By now the car was in rather tired order, and Mr Le Rolland commissioned a thorough restoration. Thereafter the Panhard was continually campaigned on rallies and events until the early 21st Century.

In 2007 the car was acquired in Paris by the present owner, who brought it to the UK where a 'body off' restoration of all the mechanicals was carried out by Veteran car specialists Henal Engineering Ltd of Hailsham, East Sussex. On file are the bills exceeding £50,000 detailing the complete overhaul of the engine, gearbox, steering, chains and other moving parts. At this time a self-starter and period Zenith carburettor were fitted before the car completed its first London-Brighton Run that year (2007). Benefiting from an early starting time, as a 1902 car, the Panhard subsequently completed the Run a further seven times (up to 2014) - including one of the wettest on record - without a single problem.

At other times of the year, the car was used successfully in annual Creepy Crawly rallies, Ashdown Ambles, and Best of West Kent runs as well as Teuf-Teuf events back in France. It is only the vendor's advancing years that have compelled him to offer the Panhard for sale now.
On file are documents including a UK V5C Registration Certificate (for the number 'EA 941'); VCC Certificate of Date No.2535 showing 1902; MoT Certificate up to 2012; photographic record 1902-2007; photocopy extract 1902 Panhard ledger; 2007 restoration bills (see above); and eight London-Brighton Veteran Car Run Completion Certificates.

With its fully documented ownership, this exceptional Panhard & Levassor would make an excellent addition to any collection of important motor cars.
Contacts
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
Three family ownerships since 1903,1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Two-Cylinder 7HP Voiturette   Chassis no. 5139
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