1962 Panhard et Levassor CD Le Mans


1962 Panhard et Levassor CD Le Mans

Charles Deutsch and aerodynamics engineer Romani, made plans project for a Grand Tourisme car with a Panhard engine to succeed the DB HBR5. Paul Panhard gave the green light at the end of January, and a technical team set to work urgently to produce five prototypes (nos 101-105) with mechanics and aerodynamics engineers from Le Moteur Moderne and coachbuilders Chappe & Gessalin (future constructors of the CG), involved in manufacturing the laminated plastic bodywork, with Panhard supplying the mechanical elements. Contracts needed to be signed with an oil company, BP; suppliers of suitable fittings to be found; and, above all, a valid drivers’ team formed. Selection took place in Montlhéry on April 7/8, and eight drivers were chosen. All these tasks were completed inside two months while construction of the cars continued.

In under 70 days, a car with steel bodywork (chassis n°101) was ready for test-driving at Montlhéry, then at Le Mans in early April 1962. At the end of May it was entered in the Nürburgring 1000 Km for trials in racing conditions, with a 702cc engine prepared by Le Moteur Moderne (driven by Boyer/Guilhaudin, who came 2nd in the 1000cc class and 24th overall). A second car in laminated plastic also took part.

1962 Panhard et Levassor CD Le Mans

Four cars with fibreglass and polyester bodywork were built (chassis nos 102-105) and test-driven at Le Mans. They had Tigre engines reduced to 702cc, and prepared by Le Moteur Moderne (MM) with a view to Index classifications (Performance/Energy Efficiency). The impossible challenge had been met by an extremely motivated and competent team, managed by Etienne de Valance.

Three cars took part in the 24 Hours in 1962:
n°53 (chassis n°103): Guilhaudin/Bertaut – 1st, Index of Performance
n°54 (chassis n°104): Lelong/Henrioud – abandon sur sortie de route
n°55 (chassis n°105): Boyer/Verrier – abandon (engine problem, as the engine had been set ‘very low’ to win the Energy Efficiency Index)

Story by Articurial

1962 Panhard et Levassor CD Le Mans

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeRacing Car