On the Road in an 1897 4-1–h.p. Panhard
IN the January issue of Mayon Svoirr, as will be remembered by the nwre inveterate readers of this series of articles, I discoursed at some length on Mr. A. Hodsdon’s 1001 7-h.p. Panhard ct Lavassor, and described how Mr. Cecil Clutton took me to Brighton on it. Of course, it never rains but it pours, and in my neighbourhood recently it has been pouring Panhards : the article had hardly seen the light of day when the opportunity presented itself to sample an even earlier example of the famous marque. It was, indeed, a rare opportunity and one not to be missed, as it arose only because Mr. John D. Clayton of Gilberdyke at present has mule’ his eare a car belonging to the Kingston
upon-Hull Museum which has been putting into running order mid on which he very kindly invited us to aecompany him in the course of one of his test runs. Accordingly an early Marelk morning, whose invitation was far less pressing than Mr. Clayton’s, saw the Editor, the Mown. SPORT photographer and myself speeding northwards in 8 snowstorm and a Jowett Javelin.
Having said my piece about Panhards_ or a large instalment of it, in Junttaly. do not propose now to repeat it, hol o confine myself largely to a compari-.,:n of the two earS which. have come ii our notice in recent mont1is. MaS1-11111 authorities date their speciown ” circa 1897.•’ and on the whole I think that this dating is pretty well justified. One would eert aunty expect tiller steering, whereas the car actually has a wheel ; but there are strong indications that its presence is the result of a later modification. One would not expect electric ignition. but again there are indications that this tuts replaced the original platinum tubes at some early dale. One would certainly not expect a earlituretter with a throttle ; but in this ease its presence is very easily explained, as it has been fitted by Mr. Clayton himself for test purposes, as he felt that t he governor allowed so antique all engine to run too continuously at rather dangerously high speed. Finally, one would not expect a radiator, even one hung. as this is, at the back of the car ; butt, like the steering wheel and the electric: ignition, this may easily have been fitted by all early owner who liked to keep his car up-to-date. !laving thus cleared flue ground to some extent, one may profitably compare the 1001 car with its ancestor of ” circa 1807.— In both eases there is. of course, a two-cylinder vertical ‘• Phknix ” engine at the front ; a sliding-pinion gearbox amidships. giving four speeds in the older and three in the newer car, with, a differential on the countershaft ; and final drive by side chains. Instead of pneumatic tyres on equal-sized wheels, however. the older car has solid tyres with back wheels very Marl i larger -Bum those in front, the latter mounted on an axle insulated front tlw chassis by fullinstead of half-elliptic springs. NVith solid tyres. the springs have perforce to be very flexible, and do in tact giVe quite a comfortable ride at low spCed,
!Atomic smite’. phningraph OU7′ Poll A 1M11../t;.-l’he Editor conducts, aided by John I). Clayton, while Kent Karshrhe (right), author of the accompanying article, occupies the tonneau with the Northern Secretary of the Veteran C.( –
even Oa a rough road ; but as a reSult when the unbalanced engine is running light they permit the whole car to I rouble in a most alnuidonvd ‘winner. The controls of the older car are far twine complicated than in its descendant of four years later. Titere are Itirec brakes : a hatt-brake operating on the transinisSion ; a push-ou side lever, which also withdraws the tlitteli. and
:11 operates Lai lke IiallaS Oil the rear hubs ; awl a rod with a senav-thread Oa it. which, when turned by laVailS of a crank, draws spoon brakes on to the rear tyres. There is also a sprat!, when all else failed and the car ran liackwards. Instead of the single change-speed
quadrant. moreover, and the single lever giving three forward speeds and reverse, as on flue 1901 car. the older Panleird has two side levers, (ale of whielt gives roman! or reverse motion. with a neutral not iii between them. while the /alter. on a separate quadrant, gives four sI””1 s in eitlwr direction, and has no neutral notch. It is in perburinanec, however, that the Iwo ears differ so fundamentally. ‘The engine of the 1807 car tins a bore, according to Mr. Clayton. of at least 00 nun., and he believes that its stroke is longer tient the lan nun. itt the 1001 engine. Nevertheless. although the design is basically similar, the older car atithratiheS by its Continued out page ‘232 impotence compared with its younger descendant. The 1901 Panhard will cruise comfortably at 30 m.p.h., whereas
I should put the top speed of the 1897 model at. little more than twelve. In all the circumstances, however, this is quite fast enough, for while the younger car can be safely steered down hill at say 443 m.p.h., the older one is a handful at ten. The steering, in fact, has no castor action, and the car has no directional stability, with the result that at little more than walking pace it requires the full attention of the driver to keep it on the road. The enormous advance in speed and roadworthiness made in these four years is a revelation even to the converted of the amazing benefits which were derived from the early races. One feature, which is easily apparent to the driver, the two Panhards have in common—their tremendous sturdiness ; and, building on this sound foundation, nineteenth-century
racing was to convert a rather lumbering horseless carriage into a thoroughly roadworthy motor car.
Mr. Clayton is at present rebuilding a 1903 four-cylinder Panhard of his Own, and in this we hope one day to sample the effects of tae evolutionary process carried one stage further. In the meantime our drive on the 1897 wagonette has taken U.S back to the very start of the modern motor car, and for this experience we are particularly grateful to him. —KENT KARSLAKE