Following up on the acclaimed history of D.B. at Sebring,
Philippe Defechereux tells us what became of the French Legends.
By Philippe Defechereux Copyright 2008
What Happened to Deutsch-Bonnet ?
Early in 1962, a partnership that had lasted over twenty years and won so many laurels came apart. Charles Deutsch found out that in December of 1961, RenÃ© Bonnet had signed a secret agreement to drive for Renault; he would lead a Renault-backed team at the 1962 Le Mans 24-Hours; the cars would be called â€œRenÃ© Bonnets.â€ When Charles Deutsch made Panhard aware of that, they were incensed. Quickly, they hired the betrayed engineer to put together a team of five cars, to be called â€œC.D. Panhards.â€ The clear goal was to beat Equipe RenÃ© Bonnet at Le Mans that very year. The Deutsch-Bonnet company, which from the earliest days had been founded on the basis of verbal agreements and handshakes, was effectively no more. As footnote, the C.D. Panhards beat the RenÃ© Bonnets fair and square at the 1962 Le Mans race, winning both the Index of Performance and the 850cc class.