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1956 Panhard Monopole X86

Chassis no. 857976
Engine no. 2555553
Coachbuilder Monopole
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An aerodynamic small car with an intense racing career. It raced, among others, Le Mans three times from 1956 to 1958, Tour De France and Mille Miglia in 1957.

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The Panhard Dyna X is a subcompact class car produced from 1948 to 1953 by the French car manufacturer Panhard. The Dyna X is the first mass-produced car with an all-aluminum body. In 1943, engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire presented a car that incorporates the technical principles of the Amilcar Compound (chassis and suspension), designed on the initiative of the Aluminium Français to promote the use of aluminum in automotive construction. No manufacturer seems interested. However, within the "Plan Pons", Panhard signs an agreement with Grégoire to resume the development of the AFG prototype (Aluminium Français - Grégoire) by supplying the mechanics. The car, which is called Dyna, was born, it has an aluminum body, steel frame, air-cooled aluminum 610 cc twin-cylinder engine, four-speed gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs at the front and torsion bars at the rear axle and, above all, front wheel drive. The Dyna was presented at the 1946 Salon de Paris. Production began in October 1947 and the bodies were subcontracted by the Facel-Métallon company (future manufacturer of the luxurious and powerful Facel Véga). Starting from 1948, the small car is sold as Dyna X type 100 (X84), referring to the maximum speed of 100 km/h, with very few differences compared to the 1946 prototype. The 1950 models are distinguished above all by a new grill with central circular motif. Type 110 (X85) replaces type 100. The 3 hp engine rises from 22 hp to 28 hp SAE. In April, a 745 cc 4 hp engine with a power of 32/34 hp is mounted on the type 120 (X86). In February 1952, the new optional 4 hp Sprint engine offers 36/37 hp thanks to a new camshaft and a double barrel carburettor. In April the derivative roadster Dyna X Junior is launched. In June, the Dyna X type 130 (X87) was equipped with a 5 hp 851 cc engine. In December, types 110 and 120 are eliminated. For the 1953 models, the type 130 reaches 130 km/h with the option of the Sprint 5 hp 40 hp engine. The Dyna X was a fairly generous car for the market segment it was going to occupy: its 3.82 m in length brought it closer to higher-class cars, but its small engine put it in competition with cars such as the Renault 4CV, one of its most direct rivals. It was available both as a sedan, as a convertible and also as a station wagon; the van version (Dyna K) also arrived. The line was decidedly nonconformist, very rounded, with protruding front headlights. The public, initially perplexed because of the unusual shapes of the car, then ended up appreciating it, by virtue of its handling and economy. The performance was also more than good for the time. The Dyna X was built on a tubular chassis and the aluminum alloy body made it lighter and therefore more lively in road behavior. There were many sporting interpretations and the coachbuilders created aerodynamic sports cars, both closed and open. In 1953, the Dyna X was discontinued and replaced by the Dyna Z.

Établissements Monopole was a French manufacturing company that produced parts for automobile engines. The company also built and raced a series of small displacement endurance racing cars. After a series of mergers and acquisitions the Monopole name was retired in Europe, but survives in Africa in the name of a former licensee. In 1950 Panhard increased their involvement in racing, but indirectly, by offering parts and technical support to different racing teams. Monopole availed themselves of this to design a new racing car that used Panhard's air-cooled flat twin engine designed by Louis Delagarde. The car also used the front-wheel drive chassis of the Panhard Dyna X, suitably modified. The car was designed by Monopole's Pierre Bourdereau, who produced a very compact barquette, although due to its full-width ponton-style bodywork the car is often referred to as a tank, as are some other Monopoles. The naming convention for Monopole's Panhard-based racing cars followed that used for the various Dyna X models. In 1953 Panhard decided to become directly involved in racing. Paul Panhard established a racing team under director Etienne de Valance. In 1956, following the accident at Le Mans in 1955, Panhard withdrew from direct racing involvement. Écurie Monopole became Panhard's officially supported racing team. When Monopole upgraded to the X86 series from the Dyna 120, engine displacement grew to 745 cc and was available in two levels of tune from the factory; the GM750 SS3 engine which developed 32.6 hp at 5000, or the GM750 Sprint engine which developed 33.5 hp at 5000 rpm. Monopole X86 cars appeared at Le Mans in 1955, then again in 1957 and 1958. Both barquette and berlinette versions of the X86 were built.

1956 Panhard Monopole X86 with chassis no. 857976 is a result of its times and situation. Since 1926 the Le Mans 24 Hours is characterized by the “Index of performance” classification, connected with the engine capacity, consumption of gasoline and distance. In the post-war years this classification became a private field for the French manufacturers of small capacity cars with advanced aerodynamic specification, like this Monopole: fitted with a 750cc Panhard engine, it raced three times at Le Mans between 1956 and 1958. Its race career continued in the years, after being modified by Monopole with a 850cc engine.