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 Clement Rear Entry Tonneau photo

1903 Clement Rear Entry Tonneau

1903 Clement Rear Entry Tonneau 1903 Clement Rear Entry Tonneau 1903 Clement Rear Entry Tonneau Sold for $631,270 (£415,900) at 2015 Bonhams : London to Brighton Run Sale.
Voiture Legere means a lightweight car, mostly referring to a racing car, that had a size that was in-between a small car and a heavy car. The term was used during the early 1900s and not after 1914. There were few manufactures producing this type of vehicle in the late 1890s and early 1900s in France. Panhard-Levassor saw an opportunity for creating a car that met these requirements. The large, powerful, and elegant car segment was being filled, as was the small car market, but the in-between was seen as an un-tapped resource. The strategy worked well for Panhard-Levassor, as demand quickly overshadowed production. They licensed the manufacture of their Voiture Legere to Adolphe Clement, who was one of their directors at the time. The result was the Clement-Panhard beginning in 1899 and continued until 1902 when they had completed the construction of the planned 500 cars. The chassis numbering had begun with 101.

Adolphe Clement had made a fortune building bicycles before moving on to automobiles, airplanes, and airships.

The cars were giving a tubular chassis frame and a single-cylinder engine capable of producing a modest four-horsepower. There was a constant-mesh gear train that drove the wheels and a center-pivot steering wheel which controlled the front wheels. A transmission brake and a hand brake were used to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Initially, three Clement-Bayard models were offered - with 9, 12, and 16 hp engines - but the range of vehicles expanded greatly in the following years. The name Clement-Bayard celebrated the Lord of Bayard, Pierre Terrail, who saved the town of Mezieres in 1521. A statue of the Chevalier was incorporated into the company logo.

This example is a Rear-Entry Tonneau with seating for four adults. It was brought to the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was among many other brass-era cars. It returned in 2012 to the Pebble Beach Concours (labeled as a 2005 Clement SD Sedan).


By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2012



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Clement
1908Ford (10,202)Buick (8,820)Studebaker (8,132)
1907Ford (14,887)Buick (4,641)Maxwell (3,785)
1906Ford (8,729)Rambler (2,765)REO (2,458)
1905Oldsmobile (6,500)Cadillac (4,029)Rambler (3,807)
1904Oldsmobile (5,508)Rambler (2,342)Cadillac (2,319)
1903Oldsmobile (3,924)Cadillac (2,497)Locomobile (1,897)
1902Locomobile (2,750)Oldsmobile (2,500)Columbia (1,583)
1901Locomobile (1,561)Columbia (1,427)Winton (686)
1900Columbia (1,393)Locomobile (767)Winton (218)
1899Columbia (387)Locomobile (337)Winton (106)
1898Columbia (73)Winton (22)Duryea (12)

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