Panhard et Levassor is one of the founding names in the history of the automobile, tracing its origins to Emile Levassor's 1891 prototype with an engine licensed from Gottlieb Daimler.
The layout of the modern rear wheel drive automobile was conceived by Panhard et Levassor, the 'Systeme Panhard' that today defines the longitudinal engine, gearbox and shaft drive that is universal.
Panhard pioneered Charles Y. Knight's nearly silent sleeve valve engines, four-wheel brakes, constant mesh transmissions and the transverse live rear axle locating link still known as a Panhard rod.
In the mid-Twenties Panhard's chief engineer, Louis Bionier, augmented his designs for speed record cars with advanced concepts of safety and visibility culminating the dramatic Panoramique in 1933 of which this 1936 X73 is a premier example.
Righthand drive, as all 'proper' French automobiles were during this period, it is a simply magnificent expression of the quality, refined design and distinction that characterized the automobiles of Panhard. The luxurious body is by Panhard's own coachworks with black paint and sumptuous beige cloth upholstery and interior trim.
Equipped with dual enclosed side-mounted spare wheels and tires, a three-piece windshield with curved glass front quarter windows that expressed Bionier's concept of full panoramic driver's vision, it has Cibie headlights, steel spoke wheels, a hat net over the chauffeur's compartment, woodgrain dashboard, jump seats, a rollup division window, a separate metal luggage trunk and a rear window shade that rolls up and down on a cord accessible to the chauffeur.
Under the hood, the Knight-patent sleeve valve engine has dual carburetors and there is a jack, wheel nut hammer and other road equipment. The coachwork abounds in choice details, including back-lighted number plate and French 'F' panel on the rear fenders both with integrated turn signals and brake lights and an intricate fuel filler cap securing mechanism.
The body is straight and sound and its older repaint is quite average. The interior is sound, as is the chrome trim. The interior and woodgrained trim is good and the chassis and engine don't look like they've ever been apart. Its details, from the door handles to the dashboard and steering wheel, are sublime.
There are few examples of Thirties' Machine Age design so artistically presented with such craftsmanship, style, and imagination.