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The Clément Panhard was a car ahead of its time.  Well, the concept was even if the engineering was a little outdated.


The idea behind the Clément Panhard was of a small, inexpensive, and reliable automobile - sounds familiar? Something that Henry Ford went on to perfect 10 years after the first Clément Panhard was produced.


Over five hundred were built between 1898 and 1903, which was quite a high number at this stage of motoring history. Today around 20 are still going strong.... well almost!

The Clément-Panhard was designed by Arthur Krebs who was the General Manager of Panhard et Levassor. It was designed as a “voiture légère” or “lightweight car” and featured a tubular chassis and a nearly horizontal rear-mounted 4 hp engine. Unusually it also had centre-pivot steering making the car easy to identify.


Panhard et Levassor did not have the space to manufacture the car so fellow industrialist and Panhard & Levassor board member, Adolphe Clément started producing the cars under license at his Levallois-Perret factory in Paris.


From mid-1901 Stirling's Motor Carriages of Scotland (a former coachbuilder) started to import the Clément-Panhard's and sell them initially as “Stirling Parisian” and then “Stirling-Panhard” or “Clément Stirling” often without much alteration to the bodywork.

Also, in late 1901 a “Mark-II” Clement Panhard was introduced without the centre-pivot steering and several other improvements.

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