Panhard PL-17 2-cyl '61

1961 Panhard PL-17

A remarkable vehicle you all remember. . .so I won't bother to describe it.

[ Horizontally-opposed air-cooled 850cc twin. Roller-bearing camshaft. Torsion-bar valve-return springs. Seated 6 and got 40 MPG. Aluminum bumpers. ]

When we took it in for its first service at the big Citroën distributor in Hayes, Middlesex, the mechanics were pretty scathing about what they felt to be the French laid back attitude regarding engineering.

[ While our adventures on the high and low roads of Europe that summer are wothy of their own chapter — with lots of silent 8mm movies available — the great part of this story is that about six years later that same curvy aluminum kart became my first lover. I lost my standard-shift virginity on her.

After countless adventures and miles of bailing wire, sold her to my pal Jethro Loftus for $25, who later lost track of her somewhere on the high speed back roads of the Berkshires. Letting her go, and for such a pittance, left a hole in my heart, which I have since endeavored to fill with a Citroën DS or two. —LLL ]