Panhard Special: Preparing to film The Velocity of Thought in Sequals, Italy. 2006. Photo: Francesco Nonino
Panhard Special: Cross section of the Panhard Special drawn 1-4 scale, below the side elevation, both in Indian ink on Mylar. These drawings together with two others are reproduced in the edition. 1976 See Edition
Panhard Special: The completed space frame with suspension fitted and nitrous oxide bottles in the tail section. 1977
Panhard Special: Testing the Panhard Special with the silk bodywork removed. 1978.
Panhard Special: Testing new polished aluminum bodywork and mudguards. 1978.
Panhard Special: Discussing the shooting schedule in Sequals, during the filming of The Velocity of Thought. 2006 Photo: Francesco Nonino. See Film
Panhard Special: Preparing for the final tunnel sequence in The Velocity of Thought, 2006. Photo: Francesco Nonino
Panhard Special: The Panhard Special had been stored for almost thirty years in an unheated barn in England; it was shipped to Italy and underwent full a restoration in the summer of 2005, shown here with the aluminum body removed. 2005
Panhard Special: At the entrance to Lingotto, Turin, for the filming sequence inside the spiral ramp leading to the racetrack on the building’s roof. 2006. Photo: Andrea Costa
Panhard Special: At optimum speed on the oval rooftop track, during the filming of The Velocity of Thought, completing thirty laps on three liters of gas for the Panhard’s thirtieth anniversary. 2006. Photo: Andrea Costa.
Panhard Special: Installation view Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna. 2007.
Panhard Special: The original drawings of the Panhard Special suspended in space, with historical documents on the table in the background, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna. 2007. See Edition
Panhard Special: The five Racing flags used in Lingotto, these were inserted at each consecutive floor as the car sped onwards, transforming the south spiral ramp leading to the racetrack into a palace of memory. Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna. 2007.
Panhard Special: The Velocity of Thought, 2006, film, One of five unique editions of the film. Each incorporates a different flag and synopsis of an earlier work, using respiration as a means to decode each work’s central message. 2007. See Editions.
Panhard Special: A chart depicting the workings of the Panhard Special, and its unique pollution-free propulsion system and a description of The Velocity of Thought, a film illustrating the car’s use of respiration as a mnemonic metaphor. 2006. See Prints
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ABOUT PANHARD SPECIAL (1976 - 1984)
The Panhard Special was the first complex mechanism constructed by Paul Etienne Lincoln; in 2006 it celebrated its thirtieth anniversary and was restored for the film The Velocity of Thought. Construction began in the summer of 1976, in the midst of an oil crisis (oil had quadrupled in price). Investigations into alternative energy sources preoccupied many people at the time; the Special is a product of that period.
The Panhard Special is a model of speed, combining principles from both early aviation and automobile design in a single machine. Its air-cooled Panhard et Levassor Tigre engine is reminiscent of the engine perched on the space-frame fuselage of the legendary Spirit of St Louis. Above all, the car is an investigation into “breathing”: the introduction of oxygen and fuel into an engine’s combustion chamber. The Special’s internal combustion engine was trained to explode a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), linseed oil, and natural gas to yield virtually pollution-free emissions.