Panhard Levassor Coupe Chauffeur Type X12 from 1912, four cylinders, 4084 cc, 22 HP, 90 km/h

In 1891, the company built its first all-Levassor design, a “state of the art” model: the Système Panhard consisted of four wheels, a front-mounted engine with rear wheel drive, and a crude sliding-gear transmission, sold at 3500 francs. (It would remain the standard until Cadillac introduced synchromesh in 1928.)

This was to become the standard layout for automobiles for most of the next century. The same year, Panhard et Levassor shared their Daimler engine license with bicycle maker Armand Peugeot, who formed his own car company.

In 1895, 1,205 cc (74 cu in) Panhard et Levassor vehicles finished first and second in the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race, one piloted solo by Levassor, for 48¾hr.

However, during the 1896 Paris–Marseille–Paris race, Levassor was fatally injured due to a crash while trying to avoid hitting a dog, and died in Paris the following year. Arthur Krebs succeeded Levassor as General Manager in 1897, and held the job until 1916. He turned the Panhard et Levassor Company into one of the largest and most profitable manufacturers of automobiles before World War I.

Panhards won numerous races from 1895 to 1903. Panhard et Levassor developed the Panhard rod, which came to be used in many other types of automobiles as well.

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