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Dynamic Dyna: 1950 Panhard Dyna X84

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The Panhard company sold their first car in 1890, a half-dozen years before Henry Sr. sold his first Quadricycle in 1896. This 1950 Panhard Dyna X84 came sixty years after Panhard’s first attempt and it’s a peach. It’s found about a half-hour from Gatwick Airport in Horsham, West Sussex, UK so you can fly in and check it out. Horsham holds the UK record for the heaviest hailstone of all time, 140g (4.9 oz), about the size of a tennis ball! It fell in 1958 and it’s a good thing this aluminum-bodied car wasn’t in its path!

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I think that this is a fantastic-looking car, I love the detailing on this Dyna X. This is an aluminum-bodied car so there is no rust on this one, at least on the top side. But, as you can see here, you’ll have some massaging to do with that RR aluminum wing. After WWII, the Panhard company took advantage of the shortage of steel and, oddly enough, the glut of aluminum, and they made this 1,350 pound beauty from 1947 to 1954,

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Isn’t that a great profile? I love it. And, yes, those doors both hinge from the center post; cool. There’s a lot of room inside, too; at least there is when you’re taking publicity photos. The seller says that this car is “mostly untouched” and that it’s in oily rag condition; as in, not restored but maintained with an eye towards using it as it was meant to be used. It’s not a trailer queen as you can tell from the photos, but it’s in what I would call very nice condition, especially for a sixty-six year old car. They do mention that the roof has been repainted at some point in its lifetime.

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The Dyna X has a 4-speed manual with the shifter being on the column. “Four on the tree” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “three on the tree” does. But, this transmission is one better (like Spinal Tap’s amps are one louder).

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What an unusual front end treatment here. I would bet that a lot of people would guess the country of origin of this car as being France, and of course they would be right. The owner says that this car was bought new in Martinique and then spent the majority of its life back on the motherland (France) before being recently imported to the UK. There’s a bigger engine lurking under that bonnet than what came with this car originally. This is also a front-drive car which was somewhat unusual for the late-40s and early-50s, but not unheard of.

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The engine here would have been, should have been a 610cc 2-cylinder “boxer” with about 28 hp. The 850cc unit in there now is from a later Dyna X and it should have about 40 hp, which doesn’t seem like a lot but it’s 30% increase in power. To me, original, or original-spec is always better, so it’s disappointing that a different engine is in this car. But, all is not lost, the original unit is included in the sale price! The top speed should be around 80 mph with the bigger engine in here.

I probably don’t have to mention that I’m a huge fan of two and three-cylinder cars. You can find this French beauty by checking out this eBay Classified Ad. It has an asking price of £6,250, or about $8,800 US dollars. This one isn’t an auction, it’s a listing, which is unlike what eBay typically does in the States. I like this car a lot. How about you, do you like French cars as much as I do or are you a British or American ride or nothing sort of person?


  1. Avatar photo RayT

    Sorry this one’s across the ocean from me — I’d definitely give it a look if it was more accessible.

    Not quite as wacky as the Dynavia prototype that came before it, but definitely not a car you’d have trouble finding in the parking lot! Of course the same would apply to the later PL-series, or ANY Panhard.

    Don’t know why “Four-on-the-tree” doesn’t resonate with you, Scotty. Seems perfectly normal: My Citroen DS had one, and so did my Renault 16. In fact, after I did a transaxle swap (a friend shipped me the new trans. from France), the 16 had FIVE-on-the-tree!

    This would be fun to have, even if it might be a little bit marginal for freeway cruising. Around town, I’ll bet it’s just fine. Good luck getting parts, though; wouldn’t imagine Manny, Moe & Jack would be much help.

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    • Avatar photo Scotty G Staff

      RayT, I was thinking more rhyming-wise on three-on-the-tree as opposed to four-on-the-tree… but I agree, an extra gear is usually better.

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Brakeservo

    Had been off and on eBay UK for months.

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  3. Avatar photo Ben T. Spanner

    When I was a kid in Northeast Ohio in the late fifties there was a foreign car shop with a Deutsch Bonnet Lemans Coupe parked out front. These were streamlined, low coupes with curved windshields, covered headlights, and cast wheels with integral brake drums. I was very disappointed when I discovered the engine was a Panhard 850CC. The Lemans Coupe was built to contest for the thermal efficiency based on using the least fuel at Lemans.

    At least the name rhymes nicely. It’s one of my favorites along with Wolseley Wombat.

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  4. Avatar photo Mike Mazoway

    Looks like a lot of potential. If it were on this side of the pond I would be interested just to keep someone from putting in a small block Chevy motor and turning it into a Panhard Rod.

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  5. Avatar photo jumpinjimmy

    non original engine makes this an overpriced car, even if the original engine comes in the deal. Checked pricing in France, and a top condition model should go for around 9k€. This one is already close to that price and needs work.

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  6. Avatar photo GlenK

    If you look a little more closely here the shifter comes out from under the centre dash like the 2CV. I equate this car styling wise with the Renault 4CV one of my favorite small car designs.

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  7. Avatar photo starsailing

    Look at that face…only a mother could love…..This little car looks like a person….buy it…give it a name….get a puppy…chicks will dig ya!

    Like 0

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