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Engines & Automobiles – The First Trials

Émile Levassor leads a group of friends for a drive, all in Panhard & Levassor automobiles, 1891. Photo: Bernard Vermeylen Collection

Who invented the motor car, or automobile? There have been several claimants to this title over the years; some justifiable, others hoping for a bit of glory. What is not in doubt is that Gottlieb Daimler and his associate, Wilhelm Maybach, were joint creators of the first lightweight, powerful, internal combustion-powered engine that used a liquid fuel, petroleum or paraffin, rather than a gas. This engine would liberate road transport from the constraints of horse and steam power and create a transportation revolution—the results of which we see worldwide today. The inventions of Karl Benz were also hugely influential and, together with Daimler and Maybach, these three enabled René Panhard and Émile Levassor to become the first commercial automobile manufacturers in the world.

Extract from ‘Panhard & Levassor, Pioneers In Automobile Excellence’
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