The Choose of the Day is a 1961 Panhard PL17, and the Lavergne, Tennessee-based dealership promoting the automobile on ClassicCars.com notes that “in case you didn’t already know the 1961 Panhard PL17, now’s the time to dig slightly deeper.”
“Panhard is French in all the very best methods,” The supplier continues. “The corporate was a part of the pre-war period the place the nation was the epicenter of automotive design and engineering. However the post-war vehicles like this PL17 sedan was all about showcasing a streamlined economic system automobile.
“The profile looks like pure French artwork because the overhangs on the entrance and rear flirt with symmetry. And the aluminum bumpers and wheel covers fell like a nod to earlier alloy-bodied Panhards.
“So when there’s a automobile that’s each distinctive and has quite a lot of historical past, it’s fascinating to search out one as full as this instance.”
Louis Panhard, together with son Adrien and cousin Joseph, was among the many car pioneers, and with yet one more, Emile Levassor, his former classmate on the Central College of the Arts and Manufacturing, launched Ste Panhard & Levassor in Paris in 1890 and the next yr turned the primary to supply motorcars in a collection, albeit at first of simply 4 equivalent autos.
These autos, with 4 wheels, the engine mounted in entrance however driving the rear wheels, would grow to be the usual in automotive structure. A number of years later, the corporate launched the Panhard rod, a suspension hyperlink that prevented an axle’s lateral motion.
Panhard would produce its final passenger automobile in 1967, when it was absorbed into Citroen.
The PL17, more-streamlined successor to the Panhard Dyna Z, was in manufacturing from 1959 by means of 1965, and was provided as a 4-door sedan, a convertible and as a station wagon. The PL identify was a tribute to the corporate’s unique identify, Panhard et Levassor, and the 17 got here from including the automobile’s 5CV French horsepower score, its 6 seats and its fuel-economy determine of 6 liters per 100 kilometers traveled (39 mpg).
“The suicide entrance doorways with every little thing hinging on the B-pillar actually will make you successful at automobile exhibits,” the vendor supplier notes. “It should entice individuals over simply to get a greater view inside.
“The 2-tone pink with stylized white insert on the bench seats and flowing throughout the door panel is the right sample. It’s simply one other reminder of the artwork of French vehicles. In reality, the symmetry of the steering wheel and full instrumentation pod is an elegantly easy design the place every little thing is introduced collectively in a single central space. And you are feeling just like the ignition was purposely positioned beneath the steering wheel only for steadiness and concord.
“The clear sprint provides this a surprisingly spacious nature for a small automobile, and that exhibits how the French put an emphasis on snug driving. Many items have the sensation of originality, for higher or worse, however there are lots of people who will get excited for such an entire instance like this.
“Panhard liked engineering,” the supplier notes. “In spite of everything, you need to no less than know them from the Panhard Rod suspension design. And the engine bay actually showcases that type of cleverness. It’s an 848cc flat-two motor. This twin cylinder boxer is the type of factor you could count on in a European bike, however they had been capable of extract a number of extra horsepower than Volkswagen did from the Beetle (and VW had double the cylinders and nearly 50 % extra displacement!).
“It’s that type of uniqueness that makes a operating and driving instance like this so alluring. As a front-engine, front-wheel drive automobile it has the perfect structure for effectively transferring the ability to the pavement. In reality, you’ll take pleasure in telling individuals you could have a 1961 mannequin as a result of that was the yr the Panhards used their traction benefit to win the complete podium on the Monte Carlo Rally.
“It’s not an general velocity demon, however as a substitute, the enjoyable is about getting probably the most out of the motor and totally using the distinctive column-mounted four-speed guide transmission. And as you are taking this one into the upper rev ranges, the air-cooled powerhouse has a terrific tone that has hints of the very best European motorbikes. It has the anticipated small automobile nimbleness, and the experience feels a bit extra snug than anticipated. In different phrases, the overall expertise is uniquely French.”
The 1961 Panhard PL17 is obtainable for $13,995. To view this automobile on ClassicCars.com, see Choose of the Day.
A former each day newspaper sports activities editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek journal earlier than making the transition to writing for the net and changing into the writer of greater than 15 automotive books. Along with being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Occasions and The Detroit Information and was an adjunct honors professor on the Walter Cronkite College of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State College.