The new automobiles were used as staff cars, initially for liaison and reconnaissance purposes, but their potential in other fields became increasingly obvious.
1. Mr Journu at the controls, with steering via a lever known in French as a “cow’s tail”
On 18 March 1898, the Minister of War, General Billot, signed the purchase authorisation for its first Panhard & Levassor automobile. It was an estate car, similar to the civil model, and was allocated to the command of the 70th infantry brigade. Symbolically, it marked the beginning of motorisation of the army. It was also the starting point for many years of collaboration with Panhard & Levassor, who, after initially supplying automobiles and buses, moved on to armored cars and tanks.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION…
Book : Benoit Perot, Panhard, la doyenne d’avant-garde, EPA
Website : Club les doyennes de Panhard Levassor available on http://doyennes-panhard-levassor.fr/fr/les-modeles-de-1891-aux-annees-20/
Photo source: Benoit Perot, Panhard, la doyenne d’avant-garde, EPA p 384