Citroen - Traction Avant
The Traction Avant, designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934, was one of the most successful cars with front wheel drive in the 1930s. "Traction Avant" is French for front wheel drive, literally meaning "frontal traction".  Previously Cord had released the front wheel drive L29 from 1929 to 1932. Its total production was of 4,400 Cord L29 in 1932.

 

The car introduced the use of an arc-welded monocoque frame, where other cars of the era were based on a frame onto which the body was built. Monocoque construction results in a lighter vehicle, and is now used for virtually all car construction, although body-on-frame construction is still suitable for larger vehicles such as trucks. This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. A type of crash test was developed, taking the form of driving the car off a cliff, to illustrate its great inherent resilience.

FranceGermanyItalyNew ZealandSwitzerland
France
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 1955
Citroen Traction Decouvrable
Location
Allex
County
Rhone-Alpes, France
click here to go to Nostalgie Randonnee
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 1 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur Chauffeur drive onlyGearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 1956
Citroen Traction Limousine
Location
Allex
County
Rhone-Alpes, France
click here to go to Nostalgie Randonnee
Number of persons:5 Luggage: 2 large + 2 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur Chauffeur drive onlyGearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Bordeaux
Location
Allex
County
Rhone-Alpes, France
click here to go to Nostalgie Randonnee
Number of persons:4 Luggage: 2 large + 2 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur Chauffeur drive onlyGearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant in Cream
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 1 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant in Black
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant in Blue
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant in Burgundy
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant in Green
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 
Citroen Traction Avant for a Wedding
Location
Amboise
County
Touraine, France
click here to go to Vintage Roads
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Germany
Citroen 11B-click for a larger picture
Citroen 11B 1954
Citroen 11b Limousine Traction Avant
Location
Tiefenbronn by Pforzheim
County
Karlsruhe, Germany
click here to go to Auto Nostalgie
Number of persons:4 Chauffeur and 4 passengers or 5 people self driveLuggage: Minimum driver age:25 available self drive or with chauffeurGearbox:manual  3 speed
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 1956
Citroen Traction 11CV
Location
Berlin
County
Germany
click here to go to Classic Depot
Number of persons:4 Luggage: 2 large + 2 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual
Italy
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 1949
Citroen Traction Avant
Location
Sesto Fiorentino, Florence
County
Tuscany, Italy
click here to go to Chianti Classic Car
Number of persons:4  Chauffeur plus 4 passengersLuggage:2 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur  This car is available for weddings and events. It is driven by our Chauffeur and is not available for self drive hire.Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
New Zealand
Citroen Traction Avant-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction Avant 1953
Citroen Traction Avant Big 15
Location
Napier
County
Hawkes Bay, North Island
Number of persons:4 Luggage:2 large + 1 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:manual Leather interior:
Switzerland
Citroen Traction-click for a larger picture
Citroen Traction 1953
Citroen Traction Avant Large 11B
Location
Cressier
County
Fribourg, Switzerland
click here to go to Rent A Classic Car
Number of persons:3 Chauffeur plus 3 passengersLuggage:2 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur Gearbox:manual
The novel design made the car seem very low-slung relative to its contemporaries — the Traction Avant always possessed a unique look, which went from appearing rakish in 1934 to familiar and somewhat old fashioned by 1955. The suspension was very advanced for the car's era. The front wheels were independently sprung and the rear suspension was a simple steel beam axle and Panhard rod with unequal trailing arms. Since it was considerably lighter than "conventional" designs of the era, it was capable of 100 km/h (62 mph), very fast for the era, and using only 10 litres of gasoline per 100 km (24 mpg).

 

Left-hand drive versions were built in Paris, France and Forest, Belgium, and right-hand drive cars were built in Slough, United Kingdom. The Slough version of the 11L was called the Light Fifteen and the long wheelbase 11 was called the Big Fifteen. This confusing terminology referred to the British fiscal tax rating of the time, which was higher than the French, so the 11CV engine was 15HP in England. The 15CV model was called "Big Six" in reference to its 6 cylinder engine.  

  

The development costs of the Traction Avant were very high and Citroën declared bankruptcy in 1934. The largest creditor was Michelin, who then owned Citroën from 1934 until 1976. Under Michelin, Citroën was run as a research laboratory, a test bed for their radial tires and new automotive technologies. In 1954 Citroën's experiments with hydropneumatic technology produced its first result, the "15H"—a variant of the 6-cylinder model 15 with a self-leveling, height-adjustable rear suspension, a field trial for the revolutionary DS released the following year.

 

Production of the Traction Avant ended in July 1957. Over 23 years, 759,111 were built, including 26,400 assembled in Slough (GB), 31,750 assembled in Forest (Belgium) and 1,823 assembled at Köln in Germany. The total reflects the production stoppage during World War II.   

 

Traction Avants are fairly robust vehicles. Every few years, Traction Avant enthusiasts ship their vehicles to an exotic location for a rally. In 2002, for example, a group of over 30 Tractions drove from Los Angeles to New York without incident.

 

Source: Wikipedia.

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