Amazing Photos of the 1948 Panhard Dynavia
Before the end of World War II, French automaker Panhard et Levassor foresaw that post-war demand for their typically large and expensive cars would be limited and that a smaller less expensive model would be needed. Designer Louis Bionier began development of a small two-box “voiture populaire” (people’s car) that would be powered by engineer Louis Delagarde’s new air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine driving the front wheels.
Bionier and Delagarde developed a new car called the VP2. The VP2 entered production as the Panhard Dyna X. Following the introduction of the Dyna X, Bionier returned to those early studies and built a concept car to explore how they might be applied to a full-sized vehicle. This car was the Panhard Dynavia.
The Dynavia was built on the Dyna X chassis. The engine was front-mounted and drove the front wheels through a four-speed manual transaxle. Suspension was independent on all four corners. Steering was by rack-and-pinion. Brakes were drums front and rear.
At 650 kg (1,433.0 lb) the Dynavia was heavier than the equivalent Dyna X. Its engine produced 28 hp (20.9 kW) @ 4000 rpm which enabled the car to reach a top speed of 131 km/h (81.4 mph). This was about 18 percent faster than the Dyna X with the same drive-train. The Dynavia’s fuel consumption has been reported to vary from 3.5 l/100 km to 5 l/100 km.
The Dynavia was first shown at the 1948 Paris Auto Salon and was favorably received by both the public and the press. This car remained the property of Panhard and was eventually permanently loaned to the Cité de l’Automobile museum in Mulhouse.