Friday 29 November 2012
The Panhard Dyna Z was a lightweight motor car made by Panhard of France. It was first presented to the press at a Paris restaurant named "Les Ambassadeurs" on 17 June 1953 and went into production the following year. In 1959 it was replaced by the Panhard PL 17.
Panhard was one of the world's oldest auto manufacturers and since 1945 had become known for producing economical cars. Panhard, like Citroën, considered itself a leader, not a follower of automotive trends, and the Dyna Z had an impressive array of unusual engineering choices.
In 1955 Citroën had taken a 25% holding in Panhard's automobile business and during the next two years the national dealership networks of the two businesses were integrated. This gave Citroen and Panhard dealers an expanded market coverage, incorporating now a small car, a medium sized saloon and a large car range. It gave the Panhard Dyna Z, during its final years in production, a level of market access that its predecessor had never enjoyed. Sales benefitted.
The Dyna X was replaced by the more streamlined Dyna Z in 1954. This was later developed into the similar PL 17, launched in 1959, in an attempt to conform to the styles of the time.
The Dyna Z's body was originally aluminium, like that of the preceding Dyna X, with steel tube subframes front and rear, joined by steel plate reinforcements in the sills. The aluminium was gradually replaced by steel during 1956 as the cost differential between the two materials became unsupportable. The suspension was modified and the shock absorbers changed to cope with the extra weight. By 1958, only the bumpers, the fuel tank, the engine cooling shroud and most of the engine and transaxle cases were aluminium, but the weight was still quite low for a relatively comfortable six-seater saloon, when compared with narrower competitor models from Peugeot and Simca. Its unusual and very modern design gave it a unique combination of space, ride comfort, performance and fuel economy at a very competitive price. But reliability suffered and fuel prices were not high enough, even in France, for people to put energy efficiency first. The car also suffered from some engine and wind noise. The Tiger version had a racing inspired engine and a full cooling shroud.
- engine: 2 cylinders
- capacity: 851 cc
- horsepower: 50 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 145 km/h