1954 Citroen Traction Avant
Year of manufacture1954
1954 Citroën 11B 'Traction Avant' Saloon
Chassis no. 283964
Engine no. 435373
"When it appeared at the Paris Motor Show in 1934, the Traction was received with rapture by the press and public alike and 20,000 advance orders were taken, there and then." Sparrow & Kessel, Classic Marques Citroën DS.
A curious mixture of romantic visionary and practical businessman, André Citroën was determined that economic depression and a contracting car market would not prevent him introducing a revolutionary new model, which he was convinced would ensure the future of his company. It did just that, but not until after Citroën had lost control of his empire when a minor creditor commenced legal proceedings against him. Within two years, new owner Michelin had paid off all of Citroën's debts.
Citroën's brainchild, the 7C 'Traction Avant', broke new ground in almost every aspect of production car engineering on its launch in 1934. Unitary construction of the body/chassis, front wheel drive, all-independent suspension sprung by torsion bars, hydraulic brakes, synchromesh transmission, and a four-cylinder, overhead-valve, wet-liner engine were all incorporated in the new car at a time when the majority of its rivals employed a separate chassis, cart springs, sidevalve engines, and mechanical brakes. This ground-breaking specification would have counted for little had the result not worked in practice, but the Traction soon gained a well deserved reputation for exceptional stability and exemplary handling that endures to this day. The 1.3-litre original was soon superseded by larger-engined versions. Production resumed after WW2 and lasted until 1957, when the Traction Avant was replaced by the equally revolutionary DS.
Previously resident in Italy, where it was in the previous owner's hands from 1990 to 2019, this splendid looking Traction saloon has been restored and is described by the vendor as in excellent condition, with superb bodywork and interior. The chassis and body were repainted in 2018, and the car also benefits from a new fuel pump and filter; a new stainless steel fuel tank; a new battery; new front brake shoes; and an overhauled carburettor. Finished in striking two-tone red/beige with grey fabric upholstery, this stunning Traction Avant is offered with Belgian Carte Grise.