Monday, 2 April 2012

1908 Panhard Levassor

This 12.5-litre, double-chain drive leviathan is something of a legend in historic racing circles, not least for the fact that it's still used on track with the same ferocity as it was over a century ago. This, folks, is meta-retro.
One of three Panhards built to compete in the 1908 Grand Prix de Dieppe, it represents the last of the big-engined GP racers; owing to manufacturer disputes, there wasn't another Grand Prix until 1912, at which point a maximum displacement of 3.0-litres was agreed.
The 1908 event was an endurance race - ten laps of a circuit of approximately fifty miles, largely on loose gravel, with average speeds of 80mph; the Panhard was capable of a top speed of over 100mph, which must have been gobsmacking in the horse-drawn era. The car's history in a nutshell is that it raced until 1930, at which point it was laid up; it was rediscovered and fully revamped in 1972 by a chap who enthusiastically raced it for a full four decades. And now it's up for sale. Fancy a proper, proven slice of motorsport history? Have deep pockets? Click here.

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