Panhard Dyna 54 (1953 – 1959) Review

Panhard Dyna 54 (1953 – 1959) At A Glance


+Innovative styling, aluminium construction, super-cool image

-Hard to maintain in the UK

The Panhard Dyna 54 was proof-positive that the French car industry was at its best when producing innovative small cars. It was following a dramatic change of policy after WW2 that saw Panhard develop a new range of air-cooled twin-cylinder engines and target the mainstream car market. As a result, the company flourished on the back of its affordable range of cars for the masses – because they offered more luxury or innovation than rival domestic products. The 1946 Panhard Dyna typical of the breed – it was modern, featuring fully independent suspension, four gears and hydraulic brakes. However the Dyna 54 vaulted the company into the big-time as a maker of technically advanced but quirky cars.

Despite its tiny air-cooled twin-cylinder engine, the Dyna 54 was relatively quick – especially at the top end – and thanks to clever packaging, it could accommodate six close friends. The aerodynamic body was made from light alloy for maximum lightness, and it was superbly economical. Later Dyna 57 and Dyna 58 had more power and superior front coil springs instead of torsion bars.