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*Updated* A Monday Morning Mystery Car from the AACA Library


*Updated* This unique car is a circa 1904 Panhard et Levassor, a high-quality French car that was produced in Paris from 1890 until 1967, when the firm built its last passenger car. Thanks to: Ariejan Bos, Mark Walker and Coburn Benson who were all able to identify it, you can read their comments below. You can also view another interesting early Panhard here.

Today’s mystery car photo from the AACA Library & Research Center shows an impressive early automobile that appears to be from the pre-1906 period. The only clues that can be found in the photo are the Connecticut license plate and the flags, which would lead one to believe that the date the photo was taken might have been the Forth of July. Check out the attractive pair of magnifying-lens headlamps and do not miss checking out the dog’s hat.

  •                  Mystery3                          Mystery2

The two enlargements above will help you with your quest to identify this vehicle. The maker of this car has been determined, but we are unsure of the exact year in which it was manufactured. We are going to hold off on posting comments on this post until Friday to give everyone a chance to work on it. Please let us now what you may find out about this machine and its date. Photo courtesy of the AACA Library & Research Center.

12 responses to “*Updated* A Monday Morning Mystery Car from the AACA Library

  1. Even from a far distance you can recognize a Panhard & Levassor by the asymmetric placement of its cranking handle (for the viewer to the left). It is coupled to the crank shaft by two chain wheels and a chain.This particular model dates from 1903 or 1904 and is probably a tonneau. There is a still existing 1903 type H hotel omnibus with a similar radiator, but this radiator style was not often used. According to my data there were no exports of the 1903 type H model, but there were some in 1904.

  2. Another minor clue…… is a pre 1960. How do we know for sure?
    The flag has 48 stars. Snicker……..every little bit helps in solving the mystery

  3. Hi David

    Surely Panhard-Levassor. Clues include track rod in front of axle, offset starting handle, and very distinctive hand controls on the steering wheel. As for the date I’m going to guess 1903 as it has a similar flavour to the Paris-Madrid car.

  4. Hi,The offset crank would say early and the large engine,not the 30cv
    engine, which was good size I think was 5×6,yes I know,,metric
    but that is close,check against pics of say,05–06,not later I think, Note also the vin tag on firewall just below dogs nose,,
    The windshield and lamps also appear to be American Gray-Davis,The Panhard-Levassor at Owls Head has similar details as I recall,Cheers,,Ben

  5. Can’t resist this,
    The absolutely fantastic CGV in the Lars Anderson collection in Brookline
    has a monster engine and has the off-set crank handle.

    I suspect this Panhard well may be a special,MOST of the offset cranks were used on the very large engines,to whit,racing engines.
    I would also expect this car to have water cooled brake drums on the countershaft,for crossing the Alps. Has anyone seen the optional air starter offerd around this time?? aaaah luxury where its needed

  6. The 46th state was Oklahoma in 1907- before that, 45th state was Utah in 1896- so I suggest the photo could have been taken on November 16, 1907 – the OK statehood admission date, or else any of the July 4 dates in 1908, 1909, 1910 or 1911. 1912 saw AZ and NM admitted.

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