Today in Automotive History
1890 Marriage Made In Business Heaven
Emile Levassor married Louise Sarazin, the widow of Edouard Sarazin and the French distributor of Daimler engines. The marriage set the stage for Levassor's business venture, Panhard et Levassor, which would use Daimler engines in its cars. Emile, France's premier car racer before the turn of the century, set an early record by driving from Paris to Bordeaux and back at an average of 14.9mph in 1895. His cutting-edge Panhard had a 2.4 liter engine and produced only 4hp. Just two years later, Levassor's Daimler engine was capable of pushing the lightweight, wood-framed Panhard to over 70mph. Imagine driving at that speed on bumpy, dusty roads, sitting on a wooden plank bolted to a frame with no suspension.