Panther is one of those brands that seem to have been used by a motorcycle manufacturer on almost every continent. England, France, Indonesia, Argentina, etc. In this case, Pantherwerke AG of Madgeburg began producing motorcycles equipped with Fichtel & Sachs engines in 1896, making it among the earliest manufacturers. However, bicycles and sewing machines were also among the early products. The firm stopped motorcycle production after WWI and resumed in the 1930s until WWII when they ceased motorcycle production again. After the war, it took some time to rebuild a new factory, but they resumed production in 1948. Small motorcycles and mopeds were the new products, powered once again by Fichtel & Sachs, but joined in some cases by ILO engines.
In the early 1950s, Panther developed a machine which was a cross between a motorcycle and a scooter. It had large wheels with a step-through design and ample storage. However, it was a strange looking machine, and never made it to production. In 1953, Panther acquired rival brand Anker and began to produce badge-engineered versions for each brand. Panthers were also produced in England under the brand Leopard Bobby, due to a conflict with the British P&M Panther. Models like the Panther KS150 and the KS175S sold well in Germany. However, tough economic times took their toll, and Panther eventually ended motorcycle production in 1962. Bicycle production continued and the Goricke brand was acquired (see Goricke). Panther remains in business today producing bicycles.
One Reply to “On the Trail of the Panther”
I have one of these…but branded as Jaguar. Found it in a garage in Hanoi, Vietnam. It had been in country since the late 1960s.