Panhard et Levassor sold their first automobile in 1890, based on a Daimler engine license. Levassor obtained his licence from Paris lawyer Edouard Sarazin, a friend and representative of Gottlieb Daimler's interests in France. Following Sarazin's 1887 death, Daimler commissioned Sarazin's widow Louise to carry on her late husband's agency. The Panhard et Levassor license was finalised by Louise, who married Levassor in 1890. Daimler and Levassor became fast friends, and shared improvements with one another. These first vehicles set many modern standards, but each was a one-off design. They used a clutch pedal to operate a chain-driven gearbox. The vehicle also featured a front-mounted radiator. An 1895 Panhard et Levassor is credited with the first modern transmission. For the 1894 Paris–Rouen Rally, Alfred Vacheron equipped his 4 horsepower with a steering wheel, believed to be one of the earliest employments of the principle. In 1891, the company built its first all-Levassor design, a "state of the art" model: the Systeme Panhard consisted of four wheels, a front-mounted engine with rear wheel drive, and a crude sliding-gear transmission, sold at 3500 francs. (It would remain the standard until Cadillac introduced synchromesh in 1928.) This was to become the standard layout for automobiles for most of the next century.
The same year, Panhard et Levassor shared their Daimler engine license with bicycle maker Armand Peugeot, who formed his own car company. In 1895, 1,205 cc Panhard et Levassors finished first and second in the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race, one piloted solo by Levassor, for 48¾hr. Arthur Krebs succeeded Levassor as General Manager in 1897, and held the job until 1916. He turned the Panhard et Levassor Company into one of the largest and most profitable manufacturer of automobiles before World War I. Panhards won numerous races from 1895 to 1903. Panhard et Levassor developed the Panhard rod, which became used in many other types of automobiles as well. From 1910 Panhard worked to develop engines without conventional valves, using under license the sleeve valve technology that had been patented by the American Charles Yale Knight. Between 1910 and 1924 the Panhard & Levassor catalogue listed plenty of models with conventional valve engines, but these were offered alongside cars powered by sleeve valve power units. Following various detailed improvements to the sleeve valve technology by Panhard's own engineering department, from 1924 till 1940 all Panhard cars used sleeve valve engines.
The Panhard Works records show that this car left the factory in July of 1911 and was dispatched to Rothschild Et Fils Coachworks where this imposing Enclosed Drive Limosine body was fitted, on order from a Mssr. Hogan of Paris. Rothschild had long been providing bodies for Panhard, and pioneered aluminum paneled coachwork. Nothing is known of Mssr Hogan, however, it is assumed he was an agent of some sort, since the Owner's Plaque, which was a requirement in France since 1899, shows the Owner as Augustus Juilliard, with a New York City address. Mr Juilliard was a well known industrialist and patron of the Arts and the Juilliard School of Music is named after him due to a large endowment he made to the institution. The car passed to a C.R. Neidlinger, and then to noted collector Richard C. Paine Jr. of Maine in the 60's, and remained in that famous collection until 2007. The car was recommissioned to run after many dormant years in museum display around 2011
Although the car is still largely in original condition, of interesting note is that the car early in its life had some mechanical upgrades installed that became available later and increased usability- A Dietz electric lighting system was installed, a Carter carburator replaced the original unit, and most importantly an American-Bosch Electric Starting system was added. The profile of the rear fenders was changed to enclosed the wheels most likely at this time as well.
The Juilliard Panhard Levossor is an imposing motorcar of refinement, with adequate power to perform effectively. A rare example of one of the great names in the early history of motoring, bodied by a leading coachbuilder of the day, with unequalled Provenance and History.