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Fish Face: 1958 Panhard Dyna Z

1958 Panhard Dyna Front

Here is a French oddball you don’t see often. A 1958 Panhard Dyna Z and although we realize it won’t get you anywhere quick, we wanted to feature it because of its one of a kind design. This one has seen better days, but might still be savable. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $200 and a BIN of $3,000. French cars are always unique and this Panhard is no different…

1958 Panhard Dyna Doors

With a face only a mother could love, the Panhard Dyna was very advanced when it came out. It was designed to be a lightweight people hauler. Sadly this year does not feature the aluminum body, but it is still light when compared to other cars in the same class. This car does include the aluminum bumpers and looks to be very complete. The body looks rough, but the seller claims the the floors are solid and that it ran when parked.

1958 Panhard Dyna Engine

This little two cylinder never put out much power but Panhard claimed that it could take this car up to 90 mph and haul around six people. We doubt it could do both at the same time, but who knows? We would want to see if the engine would turn over by hand before bidding. If the seller’s claims that the car was running and is low mileage are true, then it may be possible to get it running again with some work.

1958 Panhard Dyna Interior

The interior is dirty, but may cleanup. We love the column mounted gauges and bright blue upholstery. It looks like this car has a manual column shifted transmission. We are not sure what that knob below the shifter is though. Has anyone here ever driven one of these? We assume that people either loved or hated these things when they hit the market. We love it though for its character and innovation.


  1. Avatar photo Ron Southan

    Does the tree come with it?

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  2. Avatar photo Pat.

    I think this is cool as hell. Love how the doors open.

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  3. Avatar photo Bill Shaw

    The handle below the shifter is probably the parking brake. What would expect from French designers?

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  4. Avatar photo Sean Bush

    I imagine the knob below the shifter would be for the parking brake.

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  5. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    The reason most Panhards ended up parked is that the conrod bearings usually starved of oil as the only way to get oil to the conrod rollerbearings was from the squirt passage in the camshaft which squirted once per rotation into a catch ring on each end of the crankshaft. The catch ring centrifuged oil into the conrods, but with no oil filter at all and the crud that was in those 50’s oils, not to mention tetraethyl lead deposits, the catchrings filled with sludge and after about 30K miles (according to a French friend who grew up with the cars), the conrods lost oil feed and burned up the roller spacer and journal on each side. Then the rods started clanking like hell. Now the cranks are about $1200 @ if you can find them….just a minor fatal flaw…..

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  6. Avatar photo Barn Finds

    @Ken – Thanks for the information. You all made us love this little car even less though I’m afraid.

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  7. Avatar photo Patrick G.

    This car is really cool. It kinda reminds of like a European version of a shoebox Ford. Therefore, I think this thing would make a really cool custom, sled type. You cut those taillight housings off, flip ’em inside out and switch sides and you got instant frenched taillights! Stick some ’59 Caddy lights in there and you’re set! Oh and by the way, I would go with something else as a comparison to that grille, but I don’t think it’s very appropriate. :)

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  8. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    just picked up this car last week, will try and start it this week, originally a lavender color for body paint. very unique car.

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  9. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    Hope you drain the old oil first, and pull the rocker covers to check the circular brass screen around the rocker fulcrum for bits of aluminum – if there are none, just put the covers back on, but leave the oil line from the block to head disconnected to see if you get new oil out of them when you spin it over with the plugs out to get the oilpump primed with new oil. Smartest thing you can do is pull the motor apart to get the crank out, clean the oil catchrings for the conrod journals, clean out the rest of any old crud, then try her out. Watch out for air leaks on the intake tubes so you don’t melt a piston – a common problem.

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  10. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    Thank you for all the info, this is the first time with one of these cars. I think I will get it in the shop this winter and pull the motor before I even try to start it. Does anyone know where to get parts for this? Gaskets, etc.

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  11. Avatar photo Barn Finds

    Jim, please keep us updated on your progress. If you can take some photos, we would love to do a “Success Story” on your purchase.

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  12. Avatar photo Bas

    Hi Jim,congrats with the Panhard. For parts you could try: Der Franzose”It is a German outfit from which I buy my DS19 parts.e-mail info@franzose.de . Here is their adr.Der Franzose Automobiltchnik GMBH.Osloer Strasse 9-11D-49377 VechtaDeutschland(Germany) tel nr 0049(0)44 41-91 61 911Good luck and I never had any problems with Panhard,however,this was 48 years ago.Ciao, a proud Citroen DS-19 owner in Vancouver BCBas.

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  13. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    Jim, the Panhard group in the US just got its own yahoo group – sign up for it on this URL: https://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/panhard John Peterson in Reno is our Pres and club glue, so get online and we can help you out with your new Dyna. I have a couple of Z16s just like yours along with a bunch of PL17s, and collectively the club members have some helpful knowledge and John has a parts source in France. And just recently, the world’s real expert on these cars, Joel Brunel of Paris, has started selling parts on Ebay.fr, so there is hope for your car. Good luck with it! PS: a nice option in France was a spotlight that fit between bumper and hood in a nice nacelle of aluminum – they can be found on Ebay.fr occasionally, and they look a helluva lot better than that “tongue” that fills the gap. Then of course, maybe the Panhard folks just wanted to give everyone else the raspberries…….

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  14. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    thank you for the info, i want to be able to get parts before I take it apart, hope to start on it by spring, I have to finish up my 1st car( 49 Hudson, dated my wife in it 40 years ago). Jim

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  15. Avatar photo Barn Finds

    Jim, if you don’t mind me asking, what did you end up paying for this one?

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  16. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    I purchased it for $2750.00. It is in real good condition, needs a repaint in the original lavender color and should look pretty good. everything is there so it shouldn’t be a difficult restoration.

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  17. Avatar photo Chryco fan

    An interesting car. I’ve never seen one in person but I’d love to drive one. I really like the interior colors and it’s obvious that quality went into the construction of these cars. .26 CD of drag, which is good even by today’s standards. Hemi-head engine that put out more hp per cc of displacement that anything in its class. It’s not really a tiny car, it would have been a decent family car in its day, about the same size as a Simca Vedette of the same era, but 40 mpg. There are some interesting videos on youtube of the later PL17 that scored a victory at Monte Carlo and a couple videos of a current owner driving one on a racetrack that reveals these cars were quite good handlers and that little engine could pull the car with some authority. It’s interesting that Fiat has gone back to 2 cylinders on some of its cars–with decent performance and great economy.

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  18. Avatar photo Chryco fan

    The handle for the parking brake pulls out a la most American cars of that era. Youd twist it and push it back in to release the brake. Not a bad way to operate the brake–it’s easy to actuate by hand, when yout need it to keep you from rolling back on a hill and your left foot is busy working the cluth; and it doesn’t take up space between or alongside the seats as it does in other European cars or many cars sold today.

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  19. Avatar photo steve c

    I know where there is or recently was one of these dynas 55-58.Anyone needs a piece give me an email and I ll go look for it. My coosin thought it coyld be made into a hay wagon until he got it home in the 60’s and actually looked underneath…there it has sat. I have had the emblem in my posession for 25 years now and nobody knows squat about it. Ha

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  20. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    Steve, I’m interested in finding out about the car you mention above, as it might have some parts I need for mine or better if the car is even remotely restorable I’d rather rescue it than see it go to Chinese tin cans….I can be reached at citbuff@sbcglobal.net – thanks! Ken

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  21. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    I’m planning on restoring this car, it is in very good condition, just the paint is peeling, I will paint it the original lavender color. I’m not going to be selling any parts off of this one.

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  22. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    Jim, my comment was addressed to Steve C, not yourself – Note my note above yours –

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  23. Avatar photo Jim Stodolka

    sorry about that

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  24. Avatar photo steve

    ken, I will stop by and see if the old girl is still there. my aunt still lives in the farmhouse and ive wanted to do some other treasure hunting there too. I remember some big feed signs and such on the barn. If I can Ill get some pics too, may not be until mon or tues.

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  25. Avatar photo Ken Nelson

    Hey thanks Steve – Hope you find those old farm signs and the Panhard – maybe being used as a chicken coop? Better that than taken off to be recycled into chinese nuts & bolts. Sounds like a very fun treasure hunt! Sometimes you find strange things in old barns – When I went to Wisc. to get my ’63 Citroen DS19 convertible about 35 yrs ago, I also got a rough sedan with it, and needing a part from underneath the steering column cover of the sedan, I removed the screws, lifted the cover and FLEW out of the car as I was suddenly face to face with a large snake! After picking myself off the ground, I realized it was only a harmless garter snake, but that wasn’t the most pleasant way to find one! Mr. Garter had found a perfect protected warm spot under that black cover when the sun shown thru the windshield – Lastly, drove the convertible back toward home after a little reassembly, only to have the right front single bolt wheel fall off! I had actually checked the tightness of that bolt, but for some reason it felt tight, but must’ve been cocked and jammed the bolt making it just feel tight. 3 miles later, going over a RR track at 30 mph, off it sailed fortunately into an empty schoolyard as it was Sunday. The Cits supersoft hydropneumatic suspension just dropped the arm to the ground with only a minor jolt going to the body, I slid to a stop, found the arm undamaged except the balljoint nut holding the joint to the arm was ground flush with the arm, so went back to the sedan, filched its good balljoint stud and nut, replaced, properly attached wheel, and finished the trip. Weird stuff happens with old cars…..

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  26. Avatar photo Dustin

    It looks like the child of a Tucker Torpedo and a shoebox Ford (which, by the way, saved Ford from bankrupcy).

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