Emile Levasor, French automobile manufacturer, c 1885.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph of Emile Levasor (1844-1897). Levasor and his partner Rene Panhard ran a woodworking machinery busines before purchasing the patent to use Daimler engines in France. In 1890 Panhard and Levasor made their first automobile using such an engine. Levasor became was the first designer to put the engine at the front of a car and to introduce a rear-wheel drive layout. He died taking part in the 1897 'Paris to Marseille race'.