Panhard rebirth

It has been a long time coming, but since clearing the old shed, I am rediscovering some long lost projects, and some of these are Panhard related.

Back in the late 90’s I was working on a few things for these cars, like crankshaft rebuilding, electronic ignition, driveshafts, brakes and different engine internals, but I never managed to finish any of these off. This was due to other things taking centre stage, and to be honest a lack of resources to see them through.

I don’t think I am generalising too much, but all but a few Panhard owners in the UK don’t want to spend money on bespoke items, and in fact there is a strong movement of thinking that wants to keep these cars original. The point that most people miss is these cars died in 1967, but if they were still being made today, they wouldn’t be any different from the Peugeots, Citroens or Renaults of this world, and it’s likely, if they were still producing them, an equally dated car, like the air cooled VW Beetle would be a probable development cycle for a Panhard. After stripping a 24, it would appear the production costs of the 24 model were even greater than the outgoing 17, which was never profitable, so Panhards fate was sealed as soon as the 24 was designed and it was only a matter of time before the factory gates closed. Nowadays, if you find one, condition is all important, as body parts are scarce, the cars are getting tired and they will need a lot of time & money to bring them up to scratch. However if you like quirky cars with their little idiosyncrasies, owning one can be worth all the effort, and they do stand out from the crowd.


Sitting in one again really is an odd experience, that has passed me by for a lot of years now, but the other day I got to drive the 24CT in the picture above and I had forgotten how good and bad they are in todays traffic. After talking to the owner it was obvious not a lot has changed in the 10 years or so since I stopped working on them, and this has kickstarted me into thinking about what I can offer now, as all this time I have been dormant on all things Panhard hasn’t been lost, because I have been working on other projects, which has given me a better understanding and a greater knowledge base to pursue Panhard interests further.

I was so close to producing a short run of electronic ignitions using an OEM board and a bespoke distributor design, that when I dig the prototypes out and look at them, it’s shameful that nobody got to benefit. In another instance, I reworked a Panhard engine complete with a few prototype parts, all turned on the lathe, and this engine has never been seen since, but hopefully somebody will benefit from it one day.

One of my next projects will be to make an engine stand, so I can develop & test the engine ancillaries & other modification against a standard engine in a controlled environment and quantify the improvements!

blog comments powered by Disqus