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In 1901, a new car was introduced by the duo which had their very own front-mounted engine. The Panhard Levassor partnership, however, would tragically come to an end in 1897 when taking part in an auto race between Paris and Marseille, Emile Levassor lost control of his car near Avignon, sadly losing his life.
René Panhard continued to develop new models equipped with a wide variety of engines; both for daily use and competition.
In 1909, Panhard introduced pinch valves to his four-cylinder engine; a technology developed by the American Charles Knight. Panhard only adopted the valves for his larger cars, owing to some drawbacks associated with the technology; namely high oil consumption and characteristic blue smoke emission.
At the end of the First World War, Panhard fitted the valves to his 2280cc, 3178cc and 4849cc engines. They remained in production until 1930 along with some smaller models, such as the 10HP, which had a 1188cc engine.
Time passed and at the end of World War II, Panhard was forced to abandon production of the luxury vehicles which had been synonymous with the brand. He settled instead for the manufacture of much smaller cars, equipped with two-cylinder air-cooled engines.
The Panhard & Levassor 16/18HP in the Museu do Caramulo was purchased by João de Lacerda in December of 1955. It was purchased from the car’s first owner, Marquis de Santa Iria, D. José Luiz de Vasconcelos.
As is fitting for a Panhard & Levassor, the car was finished at the request of the Marquis himself at the Carrosserie Jansen in Paris, where it was fitted with a six-seater “brougham” body, and the passenger cabin lined in velvet. The elegant Panhard & Levassor then entered Portugal on April 12, 1927.
Since its acquisition by the museum, the French car has had a minor mechanical restoration and an exterior paint touch up. Currently, the odometer reads 55,000 km.