1938 Citroen Traction Avant11B Cabriolet
Year of manufacture1938
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Chassis number129 088
Number of seats2
Registration : Special French registration certificate for classic cars
Very rare ‘wide’ version 11 B cabriolet
Complete restoration in 2002
Known history from the 1970s onwards
The Citroën "7“ was first presented with a saloon body in March 1934 to the main concessionaires of the marque. The range was quickly enlarged by the addition of two other versions, called by Citroën “faux-cabriolet” (false cabriolet) and “roadster”. Designed by a genius, the Italian sculptor Flaminio Bertoni, the Traction Avant (Front Wheel Drive) would achieve worldwide success but unfortunately the firm’s founder André Citroën would not live to see its launch. The “faux-cabriolet” provides much more comfort than is allowed by the Spartan nature of true roadster bodywork. A dickey seat at the rear accommodates two passengers and the car is very appealing as it combines the running qualities of the Traction model with a very pure line and all the pleasures of open-air motoring denied to the occupants of saloon cars. The 11 B version, which has a wider body, is particularly attractive as its proportions are even more elegant and it can fit three persons on the bench type front seat. Such is the appeal of the Traction convertible that many replicas have been constructed and this makes the rare authentic cars, such as the one we are offering, even more eagerly sought after. According to research carried out by Olivier de Serres, around 450 surviving Traction Avant cabriolets of all types have been identified. The 11 B are the rarest.
The cabriolet which we are presenting was sold new on 23/02/1938, as is attested by the certificate of authenticity issued by the Conservatoire Citroën and provided in the accompanying file. It is nowadays extremely rare to find a Traction cabriolet with such a complete history as this one has. We can trace the history from 1973, when Mr Dreyre, a pioneer of classic car collecting in northern France, found the car in his region. She was then registered 5839 AF 59. She was next sold to Pierre Fouquet, a well-known enthusiast in the Tours region, who co-founded with Olivier de Serres the Cercle Citroën de Touraine, one of the first Traction clubs in the 1970s. Pierre Fouquet, who also owned Bugattis, kept the Traction for 6 years with the registration 1 QL 37. Having started a complete restoration, he found himself obliged to replace the platform, the existing one having rusted beyond repair. The car was complete but needed a real life-saving operation. In February 1981, André Sarraillé, a well-known figure in Traction circles, bought the car and kept her until 1987. He applied himself to getting the car back to her original specification and appearance, while adding discreet modern improvements to make her suitable for the long distance touring on which he was keen. He installed a 4-speed gearbox and carried out a complete mechanical overhaul, while increasing the power output of the engine, as was the fashion at the time. The suspension, running gear, bodywork and upholstery were all restored. After all this work which lasted for several years, the car emerged resplendent in metallic cherry coloured paint. Mr Sarraillé participated in numerous rallies, including one in Dijon during which he drove members of the Citroën family around in his cabriolet. For the fiftieth anniversary of the Traction Avant in 1984, André Sarraillé even lent his car to Bernard Citroën, who drove it around the Place de la Concorde in Paris. He finally sold his much loved cabriolet to Mr Gauthronnet, an enthusiast living near Dijon, who only kept her for a few months. Lastly, Mr A, the current owner, bought the car in May 1987 and has possessed this fabulous car for 32 years. A total restoration of the highest quality was decided at the turn of the century and the work was entrusted to a workshop in the Calvados region of Normandy, J. Chapdeleine, with no cost limits being imposed. The car was ready in September 2003, magnificently painted in Cornaline red AC 419 and every single part of the bodywork had benefitted from the talents of the coachbuilders. From 2003 until 2018 Mr A fully enjoyed his cabriolet, driving it across France and Europe in the course of very many events. This authentic piece of French automobile history, now offered for sale, has been owned by several leading lovers of the Citroën chevrons, whose centenary is being celebrated this year.
This car will be sold during an auction sale organized by AGUTTES Auction House.
It will take place in Paris, at the Espace Champerret, France, on March the 17th, 2019.
The digital catalog is available on our website
Please contact us for any further details.
+ 33 616 914 228
+33 147 459 301