C arrying on from our feature M3s, we have two drop-top E30 Corgi models featured this month. In the mid 1980s, was there a surer way to show your sudden growth of wealth than by buying a brand-new BMW? If you really wanted to show the neighbours how well
Back to Blighty this month. Built and catalogued by a major manufacturer, but a short and intermittent production run amounted to only 46 units between November 1956 and August 1959.
Send your solution to editor@ classiccar.co.nz by July 15, with ‘Mystery Car245’ in the subject line.
Last month’s mystery was a low-drag sporting coupé built in small numbers by Panhard. Its production dates are listed as 1963–’65, and our picture came from the Auto Universum annual of 1964, which broadly tallies with that. The CD (CD standing for Charles Deutsch, designer of the car and an aerodynamic specialist, plus no doubt an oblique reference to Cd — coefficient of drag) was developed from the CD sports racing coupé with the 702cc flat-twin Panhard engine that won the Index of Performance at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Deutsch was an aerodynamic wizard, and this production CD coupé is quoted as having an extremely low Cd of 0.22. Deutsch’s 1964 CD Le Mans racer (the finned car in the pic) is listed as having a Cd of 0.12 — incredible.
The production CD used the usual air-cooled Panhard Tigre ohv flat-twin engine in its 848cc size, with power quoted at 44kw (59hp) for the twin-carb Rallye version. It was FWD, with a fourspeed gearbox (early ones very gnarly, later ones slightly better), and had rack-and-pinion steering, with IFS by transverse leaf spring, and torsion-bar rear suspension, with the rear track considerably narrower. This allowed Deutsch to slim down the rear body — part of his aerodynamic bag of tricks. The dry weight of the CD Rallye with its polyester body (four metres long) is quoted at 580kg (1279lb). It was a rather noisy and rough-riding vehicle though, which goes part way to explaining why only 159 (or 160) cars were built.
Top speed is quoted at 180kph (112mph) for the Rallye version, an impressive figure from only 44kw of flat-twin power, and 165kph (102.5mph) for the Grand Tourisme single-carb model.
Panhard had a long history of interest in low-drag vehicles, having built special recordbreaking single-seaters with low frontal area in the 1920s and 1930s, then air-smoothed saloons in the 1930s, and after WWII, giving factory support to manufacturers such as Monopole and DB to produce low-drag sports cars with Panhard engines, before building their own racers in collaboration with Charles Deutsch. Their 1950s/60s production saloons and coupés used low-drag bodies too, giving them excellent fuel economy and high top speeds, powered only by small twin-cylinder air-cooled boxer engines between 610 and 848cc. These cars never achieved big-volume sales, however, and by the 1960s Citroën by degrees took over the company and ceased Panhard car production in 1967.
At last we can inform you of a winner for one of our recent mysteries, no. 242. John Bartrom knew all about the rare Healey G-type, 3.0-litre sports convertible, or Alvis-healey, and some early entries to Mystery no. 243 were very close, identifying the vehicle as a Ford Vedette, though careful examination of our picture confirms it to be the big V8-engined Ford Vendome, rather than the small V8-engined Vedette.
With no sports car experience to fall back on, Daimler engineers looked to existing designs for inspiration. What British sport model did Daimler reportedly copy many of the SP250’S features from? It was initially named the Daimler Dart, what company already owned the name ‘Dart’, causing Daimler to rename the car the ‘SP250’? The name ‘SP250’ referred to the car’s project code. What did it stand for? What year and where was the Daimler Dart (as it was called then) unveiled? Edward Turner developed the new 2.5-litre Daimler SP250. What was Turner renowned for? Turner was the chief executive of what company’s automotive division when asked to design a V8 engine for Daimler? In which English city was the Daimler SP250 built between 1959 and 1964? In what year did Jaguar purchase Daimler from BSA? Which iconic British sports car sealed the Daimler SP250’S fate? Who was Jaguar’s chairman when it bought Daimler?