Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

Well, at least that’s what I think it is. The Deutsch-Bonnet brand has been mentioned by jobjoris before, though not this car. So let’s have a look at what we have. This casting is simply labelled as a “DB Panhard LeMans”.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

With a bit of google image search, it soon becomes apparent that this looks a lot like the 1959 LeMans car - just the aerodynamic cowling of the headrest isn’t there on the real car - and it ran as #46 in 1959 - not as #50.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

However, there was another DB “Barquette” in that race (and two DB Coupes) - and that had #50 and was driven by none other than Alesandro DeTomaso (of later DeTomaso Pantera fame). This was chassis #1092. But an image search of that car reveals it to be a coupe, not as a Barquette as listed on the LeMans entry. Otherwise it looks pretty similar, maybe the body was altered later?

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

Either way, I just fell in love with this little French obscurity. The general idea behind DB Panhards was to construct high quality, light weight cars rather than brutes with monster engines. Much like Abarth really.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

Despite using only 750cc two-stroke engines, they often won their class and outlasted many of their higher-powered competitors. I just might do a bit more research for an in-depth LeMans post when the time comes, I will need to learn more about these.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

The whole Deutsch-Bonnet venture came to an end due to complicated French reasons, with Monsieur Bonnet switching to Renault Power while Monsieur Deutsch ended up with Panhard.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

The model is a Solido reedition. I’m thinking Solido did so many re-issues because they didn’t have the money for new castings. But I don’t mind, it’s a way for me to get my hands on vintage stuff without paying through the nose.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: 1959 Deutsch-Bonnet Panhard LeMans

That’s it from me until after the holidays. Merry Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Festivus or whatever else you maybe celebrating!

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