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Citroën and Panhard's swan song

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In 1955 Citroën a 25% stake in Panhard. Traditionally, France's longest-standing automobile manufacturer has been good at providing exceptional solutions. And after the Second World War it was no different, albeit that under the supervision of Louis Delagarde very special 2 cylinder boxer engines were in service in the front of the often convex cars. Those cars fit the time of reconstruction, instead of prestigious automobiles. Panhard had a patent on this before the war.

With Citroën it had already been seen that the special solutions (motor, technical and aluminum body construction) led to separate creations. They also led to financial difficulties. At the same time wanted Citroën create additional capacity to answer the demand for the order version of the 2CV. That had become a loss, the production of the 2CV AZU cost a lot of money. That particularly voted Citroën not really satisfied, and there were more factors affecting the relationship between Citroën and Panhard chilled.


Citroën is gaining more and more influence

The Double Chevron also got more and more to tell Panhard over time and it banned a new sedan. Citroën wanted to work on a new car with such a body variant. Panhard did renew the Dyna X and that resulted in the PL17, a fairly inexpensive solution to fill the gap between the 2CV and the ID / DS series. In any case, the PL17 was simply fused through it in 1956 Citroën-Panhard distribution network traded. So had Citroën a four-door middle class in the range.

Four-door models for Citroënnot for Panhard

Panhard, however, was not allowed to work on a four-door sedan or sedan for the future, anxious as Citroën was for internal competition. Launched in 1961 Citroën the Ami 6, and already worked on Project C-60, which started in 1960. This was a sedan with the same roofline as the Ami 6, which continued in 1961 Citroën was introduced. Hydropneumatic suspension and larger engines were also benchmarks in that project.

24 C and 24 CT. Jewelery from cars, varying enthusiasm

While Citroën was busy developing the four-door middle class for the future, the designers of Panhard were forced to develop the 24. That saw 24 C (coach) and 24 CT (Coupé Tigre) born. The 24 B and BT (sedan) followed later, in October 1964. The first 24 versions were received with varying enthusiasm. The innovation and the streamline captivated, but it became increasingly clear that critics no longer thought a two-cylinder engine would fit a car of such allure. With that engine, Panhard still won its category in the Monte Carlo Rally with the PL17, but Panhard actually did not get away with it, despite the excellent performance of the faster Tigremotor in particular. for the ultramodern and dynamic lined 8.

At the last moment streak through NSU engines

Panhard also thought about a new four-cylinder engine for the 24. Citroën hesitated. It did, however, tighten ties with NSU and in 1964 resulted in the joint venture Comobil. NSU had the Ro80 in development, Citroën worked with Project F on the mid-sized car of the future, and experimented with the development of the Wankel engine, among other things. The collaboration between NSU and Citroën almost caused the air-cooled NSU Type 110 engine to end up in the Panhards. The manufacturers had already devised the adjustments to place the NSU engines in the front of the Panhard 24. When Panhard was ready to start using the engines, he pulled up Citroën a line through that intention. And that, while it had made a commitment to Panhard that the air-cooled NSU engines could be used by them.

Rally results do not encourage Citroën

In addition, it was still not charmed by a new four-door Panhard. Panhard continued to believe that it would one day get the chance Citroën. But that was still stuffy for competition at home. It permanently stopped the arrival of Panhard's four-door middle class. Meanwhile it was Citroën from April 23, 1965 100% owner of Panhard et Levassor. The engineers with Citroën blood meanwhile saw that Panhard achieved good rally results with the 24 CT, which was an encouragement to further develop the specific Panhard properties, but Citroën remained cautious. In order to attract more customers, Panhard was allowed to launch the 24 BA - a stripped-down version, but it did not catch on: too bare for a car brand that pretended luxury.

Financial position Citroën worse and worse

Meanwhile, the financial position of Citroën severely deteriorated. The investments in new technology and projects had cost a lot of money. In addition to that Citroën decided on April 14, 1967 to cancel Project F, also to avoid patent problems with Renault. That introduced the R16, and Project F had some of the features of the R16. Citroën wrote off millions of Francs and threw himself into Project G. This resulted in the GS. The four-door 24 never saw the light of day, as did the station wagon and the production-ready convertible.

End of Panhard with beautiful memories

Citroën stopped the passenger car production of Panhard on July 20, 1967. Citroën incidentally, only announced this on 28 August 1967 via a press release. What remained for Panhard was the production of armored vehicles and the historical influence on future ones Citroën models. And the memory of cars that showed how bright the future could have been for the oldest car brand in France. Certainly with today's science and the contemporary marketing strategy of car companies.

2 Comments

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  1. Small addition to the beautiful Panhard story:
    The Dyna X was succeeded in 1953 by the Dyna Z with a self-supporting aluminum body.
    The PL17 was launched in 1959.
    24CT and 24C: the C stands for coupé; the T stands for Tigre.
    24BT: the B stands for sedan; the T for Tigre

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