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Panhard et Levassor X19 Labourdette Skiff-Torpedo

Boat-shaped bodywork on cars was very popular before World War II and this is the car that set the trend.

It has a ‘skiff’ bodywork, produced by Jean-Henri Labourdette: “In 1912 I built my first skiff bodywork on a Panhard & Levassor chassis.”

In the 1970s the Louwman Museum acquired a dilapidated 1912 Panhard & Levassor and decided to recreate the skiff bodywork on this chassis, based on the original model. The work was to be undertaken by a Dutch shipyard that still possessed the skill of crafting a hull from strips of mahogany.

Then, enquiries revealed that Jean-Henri Labourdette was still alive and by now in his eighties. He was in poor health, but very keen to offer advice. His creative skills were still indisputable and he provided critical support, especially in the measurements for the bodywork.

Regretfully he did not see the end result, passing away shortly before the car was finished.

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