Sold for $137,500 at 2008 RM Sothebys
Sold for $96,250 at 2009 RM Sothebys
The work performed by the French firm of Panhard et Levassor aided in the technical evolution of the automobile. The work that they did and the innovations that they produced helped acceleration the popularity of the automobile.
Automobile production in France had its advantages. The roadways were far superior to many other countries which led to a quicker acceptance of the automobile. Racing soon became popular, as did car clubs. Racing became one of the major means of advertisements, and it was often said that how an automobile finished during the weekend dictated the sales during the weekday.
There was a close working relationship between Emile Levassor and Gottlieb Daimler. Both were mechanically gifted and together designed and created some of the earliest known examples of the combustion engine. Experimentation and perfection continued during the 1890's. Levassor preferred placing the engine in the front of the vehicle while Daimler's designs had the engine located under the seat.
During an automobile race in 1897, Levassor was seriously injured and died a short time after. The company continued to produce automobiles but their importance in the automotive industry declined. In 1965 it was taken over by Citroen SA.
Though their importance in history was destined to decline, their period of innovation was truly remarkable. The vehicles they produced during the early 1900s were among the best in the world, with their top of the line being the 50HP model. It was debuted at the 1904 Paris Salon and drew its design and mechanical inspiration from their 13.5- and 15.5-liter racing cars. The '50HP' was powered by a 10.6-liter engine that meant each of its four cast-iron cylinders had a displacement size of 2.6-liters each. The engine was mated to a four-speed gearbox with a cone clutch similar to the setup used in Panhard's racing program. Two very sturdy chains were used to turn the rear wheels.
The 25/30HP cars followed in the 50HP's footsteps, by offering refinement and luxurious touches that were virtually unmatched. The four-cylinder engine breathed through a Maybach spray carburetor and fitted to a four-speed manual gearbox. The power from the engine was sent to the rear wheels through twin-chains. Braking was performed by operating a hand-brake on the shaft.
This example is the product of a recent restoration. It is finished in blue paintwork with shiny brass accents and a tufted leather interior. It has been updated with an electric start and fluid rear brakes making it suitable and more convenient for 'Brass Tours.'
It was brought to the Automobile of Amelia auction performed by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $150,000. It was offered without reserve and sold for $137,500 including buyer's premium.
In 2009, this example was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $150,000.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009
This original Grand Prix chassis (only one) was shipped to Harvey du Crox in London. He was the Chairman of Gordon Bennett Races. This was his personal automobile and it was the most expensive car built in 1906. The chassis alone was $12,250. The coachwork came from Regent Carriage Co., and ran the total cost to $16,750. Harvey also owned Mercedes-Benz of England, Dunlop tires, and the