The Choose of the Day is a 1961 Panhard PL17, and the Lavergne, Tennessee-based dealership promoting the car on ClassicCars.com notes that “should you didn’t already know the 1961 Panhard PL17, now’s the time to dig a bit of deeper.”
“Panhard is French in all one of the best methods,” The seller 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 automobiles like this PL17 sedan was all about showcasing a streamlined economic system automotive.
“The profile appears 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 automotive that’s each distinctive and has loads 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 one more, Emile Levassor, his former classmate on the Central Faculty of the Arts and Manufacturing, launched Ste Panhard & Levassor in Paris in 1890 and the next yr turned the primary to provide motorcars in a collection, albeit at first of simply 4 equivalent automobiles.
These automobiles, with 4 wheels, the engine mounted in entrance however driving the rear wheels, would turn into the usual in automotive structure. Just a few years later, the corporate launched the Panhard rod, a suspension hyperlink that prevented an axle’s lateral motion.
Panhard would produce its final passenger automotive in 1967, when it was absorbed into Citroen.
The PL17, more-streamlined successor to the Panhard Dyna Z, was in manufacturing from 1959 by way 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 automotive’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 part hinging on the B-pillar actually will make you successful at automotive reveals,” the vendor seller notes. “It’s going to entice individuals over simply to get a greater view inside.
“The 2-tone crimson 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 automobiles. In actual fact, the symmetry of the steering wheel and full instrumentation pod is an elegantly easy design the place every part is introduced collectively in a single central space. And you’re feeling just like the ignition was purposely positioned underneath the steering wheel only for stability and concord.
“The clear sprint offers this a surprisingly spacious nature for a small automotive, and that reveals how the French put an emphasis on comfy 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 cherished engineering,” the seller notes. “In any case, it is best to at the least 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 motorbike, however they have been capable of extract a couple of extra horsepower than Volkswagen did from the Beetle (and VW had double the cylinders and virtually 50 p.c extra displacement!).
“It’s that type of uniqueness that makes a working and driving instance like this so alluring. As a front-engine, front-wheel drive automotive it has the perfect format for effectively shifting the facility to the pavement. In actual fact, you’ll take pleasure in telling individuals you will have a 1961 mannequin as a result of that was the yr the Panhards used their traction benefit to win the total 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’re taking this one into the upper rev ranges, the air-cooled powerhouse has a terrific tone that has hints of one of the best European motorbikes. It has the anticipated small automotive nimbleness, and the experience feels a bit extra comfy than anticipated. In different phrases, the whole expertise is uniquely French.”
The 1961 Panhard PL17 is obtainable for $13,995. To view this car 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 turning into the creator 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 Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State College.