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Odds & Ends, Vintage & Classic — March 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

Old Cars in Old Photos: I Play Detective


Attend the monthly Caffeine & Octane event here in Atlanta and you may meet a local car nut with a French accent. That’s Gabriel. The first time I met him, I’d taken the new Mini Roadster to the show. In my memory, Gabriel sprinted toward me as I parked and got out of the car. It was really probably more like a jog. Anyway, Gabriel puts the enthusiasm in “car enthusiast.” It’s fun to look at and talk about cars with Gabriel. He knows his stuff and he tells funny car stories.

Gabriel recently told me about some old photos he has of his grandfather’s cars back inĀ France. Gabriel has been busy scanning the old stereoscopic (think early 3D) images, and found plenty with interesting but unknown vehicles from the early twentieth century. He asked for my help in finding out what we can about the vehicles in question.

Being relatively lazy, I started with the easiest ones, several images of the same car that clearly show the vehicle’s hood ornament and grille badge. It’s a French car, a early 1930s Panhard & Levassor sedan. I believe the model is 6CS, but intend to speak to an expert on these vehicles to provide specifics. The internet says it’s pronounced “pan-AR”, by the way, so I’ll be sure to call it a “PAN-hard” next time I see Gabriel.

Next, I’ll tackle some of the older and trickier cars in Gabriel’s photos, like this gem on the left.