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Conserving an Engine: Panhard Levassor P2D

25 November 2019

Workshop technicians and volunteers have been working to conserve a very rare engine that was highlighted in a recent stores audit. A Panhard Levassor P2D Engine.

These fascinating and very early engines were based on Daimler mechanics of the time. The Levassor company acquired the French manufacturing rights in 1890 to build one car with this engine fitted followed by another five.

Peugeot worked with Panhard Levassor and supplied the "v" engines from 1890 to 1896. In 1891 Panhard Levassor produced 50 cars making it the very first manufacturer of motor cars.

This P2D on display was noted to be in poor condition and has been completely taken apart by the museum’s volunteers. The team needed to do some crankshaft machining, so they contacted local company KWI Grinding, based in Coventry. The machining was completed under careful supervision. The engine was then re-assembled, and the workshop team carefully cleaned and stabilised the parts.

It’s rare for an engine from this period to be so complete. All the internal components are thought to be original dating from 1891 as they have the no. 10 stamped on them showing that they were made to fit together.

The P2D is now on display in the museum’s Transport Technology gallery, next to the Daimler Wagonette. This is a similar style of early car that would have had this type of engine fitted.

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