1954 Fairchild Panhard
"This car was found about 15 years ago [in ~1993] neglected and minus the original twin overhead cam motor. When Don Racine found it, he already owned the first of the
'Nichols Special' now raced by JP Molerus of France. This is the third of the Nichols as originally raced by Perry Peron (built at least in part by Stan Bucklin).
After a little research Don was able to contact both Jerry Fairchild and Dr. Molle, the original drivers. After restoration, Dr. Molle drove the car at Laguna Seca on its maiden
run after restoration. After Jerry passed away, Doc contacted Don and said he had a gift -- that Don should come visit him one day. Several months later Don paid him a visit and
was stunned by the sight -- he presented to Don the original twin cam motor that Jerry had kept for years (Jerry had passed away about 5 months earlier). Although Don still has the
motor (intact) and most of the fuel injection set-up, he has never tried to run it.
Throughout the history of the Fairchild it was raced with various versions of Panhard power units, in addition to the fuel injected twin cam, one of a kind Panhard engine
developed by Jerry Fairfield. This car was also run with a production supercharger as used on the Panhard Junior! Currently the car is run with a motor developed by Don Racine
which is a copy of the motor as used in the Aardvark.
Of the hundreds of Panhards built-up for racing, the Fairchild is a standout. Winning the H-Modified Class in the California Sports Car Club's Pacific Coast Championship two
years in succession (1958-59) was quite a feat... the competition was rough, rugged and fast. Molle also copped 2nd in H-Modified standings in SCCA Regional awards in
1958, and Class H-Modified number two spot in Motoracing's Pacific Coast Championship in 1959. Aside from the fact that Bill Molle was a leadfoot, the secret of this car's winning
was its unique Fairchild-Panhard power plant... the first successful fuel injector system for 2 cylinder, four stroke engines. The chassis, with tubular spec frame and stressed
inner paneling, was originally built by Perry Person, and raced by him in West Coast events. The fiberglass body was designed and rebuilt by Jim Byers, of El Segundo, California,
Jerry Fairchild built the exotic engine."1
Notes from Don Racine
"This car was found about 15 years ago neglected and minus the original motor. When I found it, I already owned the first of these ‘Nichols Specials’ (Now driven for me by JP Molerus) of France (currently running in the LA area.). We believe this is the third of the four Nichols built. It was original raced by Perry Peron (built at least in part by Stan Bucklin). After a little research I was able to contact both Jerry Fairchild and Dr. Bill Molle. After I restored the car, I was fortunate enough to be able to offer and have Dr. Molle drive the car at Laguna Secca on its maiden run after restoration. After Jerry passed away, Doc contacted me and said he had a gift for me- and that I should come visit him one day. Several months later I paid him a visit and was stunned by the sight- he presented me the original Twin Overhead Cam motor that Jerry had kept for years (Jerry had passed away about 6 months earlier). Although I still have the motor (intact) and most of the fuel injection set-up- I have never tried to run it. Throughout the history of the Fairchild it was raced with various versions of Panhard power units. Among them include the Fuel Injected units as described in the ‘Sportscar Specials’ book. It was also raced with a fuel injected twin overhead cam, one of a kind Panhard engine developed by Jerry Fairchild. This car was also run with a production supercharger as used on the Panhard Junior! Currently the car is run with a motor developed by Don Racine which is a copy of the motor as used in the Aardvark."
The car has been posted for sale at $25,000, and offers will be considered. Contact Don Racine, Nevada City, CA at
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H Mod Yahoo group
Engine: "Fairchild-Panhard, 2 cylinder 4-stroke, horizontal opposed, air cooled.
747cc (45 cubic inches), running on a 9.5:1 compression. It develops 67 bhp at 6500 RPM.
Transmission: Four-speed box integral with the front wheel drive system, synchromesh 2nd through 4th gears.
Chassis: Multi-tube space frame with stressed aluminum panels. Front suspension is independent with two transverse springs, rear is semi-independent
with 'V' axle and flexible center mounting, and six transverse torsion bars, with adjustable Houdaille shocks all around. Steering is rack and pinion. Front brakes have aluminum
(steel lined) drums, steel at the rear.
Wheelbase = 84"
Overall Length = 112"
Overall Height = 32"
Overall Width = 48"
Ground Clearance = 5"
Front Tread = 48"
Rear Tread = 48"
Tires (F&R) = 4.50 x 15"
Weight = 984 lbs
Weight Distrib.= 60% Front
Fuel Capacity = 6 gallons
Top Speed = 118 MPH
1/4 Mile Speed = 84 MPH"1
The full scanned article1