Panhard Dyna X

The Panhard company, which is based in Paris, France, was one of the very first automobile manufacturers in the world, and they remain in business today. (Though these days they are focused on the production of vehicles intended for use in military applications.) Panhard was founded in 1887, and it was originally a partnership between René Panhard and Émile Levassor. They were able to debut their initial model in 1890, and they are widely considered to have pioneered the transmission as we now know it, which first appeared in the 1895 Panhard. A Panhard driven by Émile Levassor took home the top two spots in the first automobile race in history, the Paris to Bordeaux to Paris event that was held in 1895. He covered the distance of about 732 miles in just under 49 hours.

Panhard continued to innovate until production was stalled during the Second World War. After the conflict, the company recognized the fragile state of the French economy, and they wanted to help further the cause of the aluminum industry.  To that end, they introduced the aluminum-bodied Panhard Dyna X prototype at the 1946 Mondial de l’Automobile.  Aside from being made of lightweight aluminum, it was also diminutive in size and considered to be a sub compact. It was a front engine vehicle with front-wheel drive, and it was offered as a four-door saloon, a three-door estate, a two door cabriolet, and a light van.  The original engine in the Panhard Dyna X was a 610 cc air-cooled two-cylinder that was good for about 24 horsepower; as the engine was upgraded during the car’s production run, it eventually grew into a 851 cc capable of 40 horsepower and a top speed of 81 miles per hour.

The Panhard Dyna X was in production from 1948 through 1954, after which it was replaced by the Dyna Z. The Panhard Dyna X is a rare vehicle considering how long it has been out of production coupled with its low production numbers. In all, just over 47,000 units were built, and almost 34,000 of them were the four-door saloons, so the other body styles are all the more scarce. Pictured in the top left inset is the Panhard Dyna X light van; though exact production figures are unavailable, it is safe to assume that there are very few of these still in circulation.

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