This Panhard Tonneau was purchased in Paris in the summer of 1900 by Howard C. Heinz, son of Henry J. Heinz of Pittsburgh. Heinz eventually brought this vehicle to Pittsburgh, and it was one of the first automobiles in the city. In 1898 the Panhard Tonneau was a technologically sophisticated vehicle with such features as aluminum gearbox casings and pneumatic tires. Its producer, Panhard et Levassor, was originally founded in 1845 to build woodworking machinery, but moved toward automobile production, and by 1891 offered a 2-cylinder car. With the Panhard, French engineer Emile Constant Levassor developed the basic design of the modern gasoline automobile, including the “classic configuration” of a front-mounted vertical engine, wheel steering and rear-driven wheels. Panhards were produced continuously until the 1960s.