Tag Archive: panhard levassor


HOTCHKISS

Benjamin B Hotchkiss (1826 – 1885) was born in the USA and moved to France after the American Civil war.

In 1867 , he founded the company Hotchkiss et Cie specializing in the manufacture of military equipment especially cannons and guns. One of the famous unit was the Hotchkiss revolving gun

A Hotchkiss Revolving Gun

 

 Around 1900 , Hotchkiss entered automotive business by manufacturing and supplying engine components to car companies like Panhard-Levassor and De Dion-Bouton.

Prodded by a few car dealers , Hotchkiss started manufacturing their own cars in 1903. The first car was a Hotchkiss 17 CV.

An early version of the Hotchkiss car  –

 

Hotchkiss followed the “one model” policy till 1929 when they introduced multiple models.

In 1948, Hotchkiss bough the license of a front wheel drive technology from Gregoire and the luxury car Hotchkiss-Gregoire was introduced.

 

In 1955 , another Luxury model Hotchkiss Anjou was introduced.

Dwindling volumes and teething problem led to the downfall of the Hotchkiss cars.

In 1954 , Hotchkiss merged with Delahaye to form Societe Hotchliss-Delahaye. By 1995,, Hotchkiss was taken over by Brandt and was making Jeeps under license.

In 1966 , the Hotchkiss brand was taken over by Thomson – Houston.

However , Hotchkiss is known for major invention – the Hotchkiss drive.

The driveline construction of a Rear Wheel Drive vehicle design with 2 Universal joint fitted propeller shaft and the rear axle mounted on semi-elliptic leaf springs is credited to Hotchkiss and even now known as Hotchkiss drive.  The Hotchkiss drive was simpler and less costly than the torque tube (De Dion Axle) of that time.

 

The Hotchkiss Logo – crossed cannons from the early years when they were making guns and cannons.

 

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Emile Mors (1859 – 1942) , a Frenchman , was in to his family business of electrical equipment when he got interested in cars – steam cars.  During 1887 – 89 , one of his employees Henri Brasier built a three wheeled steam car. After experimenting with steam for a few years , they shifted ther focus to petrol engine cars
By 1897 , Mors built their first car – a 2 seater , 5 HP car and achieved an average speed of 19 mph in races.
Mors and Panhard & Levassor were the leaders in all the races during this period and race car driven designs evolved very quickly , each trying to out do the other. In 1901/1902 , Mors introduced the famous race car , the Mors 60 HP – the first V4 engine on a car , pumping 60 HP out of 10 litre capacity. The rear wheels were driven through chain. A Mors 60 HP –
In 1902, Mors was the first car to use shock absorbers to improve the ride quality and thus improve stability and increase average speeds in the races.
Some of the famous MORS models are – a 1904 Mors, a 1909 Mors and a 1925 Mors  (last car) –
In 1905/06 . Mors Collaborated with St Louis Motors in the US to make and sell Mors in America, a venture which did not work well.
The Mors Logo –
By 1906 , Mors was in financial trouble and Andre Citroen was appointed as the Managing Director. Things started looking better for the next few years in car production and later during war production. By 1922, Mors was acquired by Citroen Motors as additional capacity to manufacture Citroen cars and by 1925 the Mors brand was dropped.