Saturday, April 14, 2018

"French Racing Pioneer" Emile Levassor Dies From Crash Injuries - April 14, 1897

January 21, 1843 - April 14, 1897
Emile Levassor
Born in Marolles-en-Hurepoix, France.
Was an engineer and a pioneer of the automobile industry and car racing in France. Graduated at École Centrale Paris, he started his career in 1872 in a company that produced wood-working machines, where he met René Panhard. The company also built gas engines and when, in 1886, a Belgian industrialist Edouard Sarazin got a licence to build Daimler engines he chose Levassor to build them in France.

When Sarazin died in 1887, Levassor married his widow, Louise, and together with Panhard they started building cars. The first appeared in 1890, with an engine built under Daimler licence. Levassor also took part in motor racing, finishing fifth in Paris to Rouen race in 1894, and arriving first in (but disqualified) the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race the following year.

("Panhard-levassor". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)
Panhard et Levassor
In 1896, when taking part in the 1896 Paris–Marseille–Paris race, he was seriously injured in a crash while trying to avoid hitting a dog. He never recovered from the injury, and died in Paris the following year.

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