1920 Panhard et Levassor X36

1920 Panhard and Levassor X36 Coachwork Limousine by Henri Binder

With his business partner, Émile Levassor, engineer René Panhard experimented with horseless carriages using engines licensed from Daimler. In 1891, Panhard et 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 with Système Panhard, which embodied the now familiar layout of a front-mounted engine driving a rear axle via a clutch, gearbox and differential. The modern motor car had been born.

Panhard et Levassor swiftly established a reputation for fine engineering, excellent craftsmanship, superior reliability and outstanding performance. 1911 was a landmark year for the French manufacturer, seeing the introduction to its range of the Knight double sleeve-valve engine, and this type of power unit would characterise the firm's larger offerings well into the 1930s.

This Binder-bodied X36 limousine is powered by a four-cylinder Knight-Type sleeve engine displacing 3,180cc. The car is known to have been in Argentina in the 1970s, as evidenced by an attached plaque engraved: 'Al Club de Automoviles Clasicos En reconocimento 75 Aniversario A.C.A. 1904 - 11 de Junio 1979'. Online research suggests that it had been restored in Argentina and was sold to a new owner in Switzerland in the early 1980s.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams & flickr & historicmotors

Production Start 1920
Country of origin France