Panhard-Levasor 4 hp motor car, 1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The light high-speed petrol motor, invented by Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) in 1889, was first commercially applied to the motor car by the Frenchmen, Rene Panhard (1841-1908) and Emile Levasor (1843-1897) in 1891, who were also the first to mas produce cars. Their design was copied by most other motor car manufacturers. The car has a two-cylinder motor producing 4 hp, and was capable of a top speed of 15.5 mph. This particular model was brought to England by the pioneering motorist and MP the Hon Evelyn Ellis in 1895, and was presented to the Science Museum by the Royal Automobile Club in 1910. It is shown here after undergoing conservation work in 1996.