History of the Clément Panhard

Having made a fortune in bicycles and pneumatic tires Adolphe Clément began building Clément and Gladiator cars in 1898. At a factory in Levallois, France he built 2 1/4hp rear-engine Clément voiturettes and a mechanical nightmare called Clément-Panhard! The Clément Panhard was designed by airship pioneer Commandant Krebs (a director of Panhard & Levassor company).

The design was made under license in Scotland as Stirling-Panhard or Clément Stirling by Stirlings of Edinburgh.

More conventional cars were introduced in 1901. After Clément signed away the rights to the Clément marque in 1903, cars bearing his name were made by the new owners in Gladiator factory. He had to change his name to Clément-Bayard - the Chevalier Bayard was a medieval hero.

Commandant Krebs

Adolphe Clément

In the old days, cars were often sold as bare chassis, the new owner would then take them to a coachbuilder to have a body fitted.  At first, the styles followed on from the horse-carriages and took their names from that trade, thus .....

Body Styles

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Grand Album Illustre De L'Industrie Automobile

The following comes from "Grand Album Illustre De L'Industrie Automobile" and the article was written in French English and German.


Guessing from the English version it must have been translated direct from the French.

"There exists in masculine striving, in the industrial production of our days, culminate points, marked stages, quite visible which seem to unite years of work, of hope, of energy which form a vast platform from which the observing mind discovers the totals of the past and looks forward to the future which the past has prepared for it.



Whoever has seen the Clément factories, will get a very exact idea of what we state. Clément's factories are a synthesis of the past, a marvelous resume of what can best be conceived, the most perfect as also the most gigantic and nothing will be produced in the far future which is not already there in the germ, in this grandiose conception of work of this immense palace of labour, where all was foreseen for utilizing immediately the complete endeavour, for the very minimum saving of time, for the perfect realization of all the principles of political economy.



Who is not capable of closing a ground with walls, elevating on this ground certain works, placing in these a certain number of workpeople, to place in it any particular steam machine, to feed it and to blindly distribute its force here and there and everywhere, to buy materials, to shape and use them up and begin again in each year. Who is not capable of that?



But it is something different, to construct for workpeople using none but machine tools, large well lighted and ventilated factories where the hours of work are carefully thought out, where they are happy of the  labour accomplished day by day, to cause to pass over all these people the effort, the powerful breath of a perfect machine, which spreads out everywhere its gifts of modern industrial existence, to supply to thousand of square metres a real life transmitted by uncountable machine bands, by perfect machinery working smoothly, with docility and without stoppage, without error, to produce one's sell from the most insignificant detail  up to the most complicated gear, to owe nothing to any one besides, to store in vast caves combustibles purchased long in advance at lowest rates, to keep ready its out put to satisfy all demands, to seek them out, to cause them to come from every point, to find for ever the consumer; this then is the wonderful work which is accomplished day by day in the most perfect factory existing in the world - that of Clément, at Levallois-Perret, at the very gates of Paris.



The light carriage was not existent when M. Clément determined to construct one which would be at the same time a practical carriage. By an audacious but intelligent order of commercial idea he acquired the reproduction and exclusive construction of the Panhard et Levassor  patents (for this carriage) which are known all the world over, and he did not delay long producing the little wonder of which we herewith give a drawing.


The light Clément carnage which will from now on traverse the routes of the entire universe is propelled by a 4hp motor the lighting is produced by an incandescent tube."

There are three volumes covering the years 1900, 1901, 1902. These annuals may never have been on general sale, but could have been presentation souvenirs printed at the time of the annual Paris Salon, undoubtedly at that time the most important motor shows in the world.

The first third, in each case is an annual review, in French, of the motoring scene in France, with one or more photographs of people, cars, races, etc., on virtually every page. Then follows the Salon review, each make being covered by photographs or line drawings on one page, with the facing page carrying descriptions or maker's information, the text being in three vertical columns in French, English and German respectively.