Daily vehicle demonstrations at 11am, FREE with admission!
Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet (DB) were important names in French motor racing between 1940 and 1960. Together they embarked on designing competition cars, first with Citroën engines, but supply was troublesome and DB soon moved on to using Panhard, whose flat-twin air-cooled engines lent themselves to race preparation. From these beginnings, the different configurations of the DB-Panhard achieved enormous success in their class, due largely to the advanced thinking behind the weight and aerodynamics of the car. At the beginning of the 1950s, it was Deutsch’s cousin Georges Boschetti, a young engineer from the Ecole Centrale who designed the car and convinced Charles and René to produce the Racer 500 DB, a single-seater formula car with a Panhard engine and front-wheel drive for participating in competition.
More than 60 years later, Claude Chaume and Catherine Baroche, attracted to post-war formula cars, decided to build a Racer 500 replica. Claude had a passion for cars and Catherine had a passion for driving them. Claude was 10 years old when he and his father built a go-cart using a 125cc Monet Goyon engine from the 50s. He also had a particular affinity for the Citroën 2CV engine. Historically, Panhard was taken over by Citroën in 1965; it seemed a perfect idea to link all these connective elements and create his own single-seater Racer 500 DB.
It took just four and a half months to complete. They befriended Raymond Janiaut, a specialist of DB in Côte-d’Or, France. He had an authentic Panhard Racer 500 DB from the same era. Raymond has remanufactured a large number of the DB and monoposto, or “single seat” Racers that are currently driven today. He lent Claude and Catherine the body molds to an original Racer 500 DB so that the proportions of the “new” Racer were perfect. But rather than a complete copy, this one is a close evocation, assembled with reliable and easy-to-find parts. The steering wheel is from a Fiat 124 Spider, with mirrors from an Austin Mini. The original Racer 500 DB used the 610 Dyna-Panhard engine, underbored at 497cc instead of 650cc to qualify for the 500c class of Formula Junior. Claude and Catherine fitted theirs with a 1980s Citroën 2CV6 602cc, twin-cylinder. It is stock except for an added oil cooler. The frame was rendered by computer software using the same dimensions as the original Racer 500 DB, but they took a few liberties, including the more modern and safer roll bar. The gearbox remained the original 2CV6, with power to the front wheels. The engine is fueled by a simple 5 liter jerrycan fitted behind the seat. They called their car Racer CC (Claude & Catherine).
Both Claude and Catherine marveled at the authenticity of their Racer CC. Catherine described her drives, in vintage racing goggles, as pure exuberance! This is one of 12 purported to have been built so far.
Manufacturer: Claude Chaume and Catherine Baroche
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-wheel drive
Engine: Air-cooled, 602 cc horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder
Transmission: Four-speed manual transmission
Top Speed: 73mph
Years of Production: 2019
Number Produced: Still in production
Original Cost: Unknown