History of 1899 Panhard
The car was bought in May 1899 by C.S. Rolls (later of Rolls Royce fame) who may have raced it in the Paris-Ostende race of that September (coming second); the following year it was sold on to a Col. Mark Mayhew for £1,200 , a loss of £50 on his original purchase price!
Mayhew took the car on several tours but the following year it again changed hands, the new owner being a Mr. G.P. Dawson of Prestbury in Cheshire, who subsequently moved down to near Sudbury in Suffolk in 1909. This time depreciation had taken hold, the price being £650. A number of modifications and changes were carried out on the vehicle during this ownership.
Following the death of Mr. Dawson in 1934, it was purchased by Hubert Wingfield Egerton (of Mann, Egerton & Co.). In 1936 he gifted the vehicle to Norwich Castle, where it remained in a static condition for thirty years, until Rolls Royce kindly arranged for it to be restored by their apprentices.
It was then transferred to Strangers’ Hall for mainly static display, due to earlier concerns that the rear tyres would not stand up to use on the road (a set of suitable tyres was subsequently manufactured), where it remained until 1994.
The car was entered in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 1994, which it successfully completed. It was shortly after this that Team Panhard – a group of volunteers – was formed with the express purpose of maintaining the car in running order and driving it at whatever events they were able to attend. The 1996 Veteran Car Run was successfully completed by the new “management”.
Since then it has been based at Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse where it has remained under the tender loving care of Team Panhard. To find out more about the work of these volunteers go to the Team Panhard website.