1952 Citroen Traction Avant
1952 Citroen Traction Avant
Andre Citroen and his war vehicle manufacturing plant needed to have something to do after the war, so he decided to get into the car manufacturing business. He was successful…however he did bring the company into bankruptcy twice. Known for its innovative designs and technical experimentation particularly with front wheel drive and air ride suspension, the company has gone through several iterations and is still in business today but does not sell in the North American Market.
For consignment, a 1952 version of the Traction Avant. Despite looking like it is from the late 1930's it has many innovations including 4-wheel independent suspension, front wheel drive, unibody construction and a very nicely appointed interior. Its production run ran from 1934 through 1957 for this model, and now right here at Classic Auto Mall is a 1952 Version.
Leading the way is the essential dual chevron emblazoned grille still used today on all models in some iteration. This is on top of a vertical ribbed shoaled styled grille, exterior mounted fenders that eliminate the running board but still give off the classic vibe from the 30's. Perched on top of the front fenders are chromed bullet style headlights and smaller turn signal lights. A curved cowled hood and a simple curved front bumper complete the look for the front. The car uses a two-tone paint scheme, with a beige color for the body and red for the fenders. Doors have a trim spear on them in red running just below the belt line. The doors also utilize a common B pillar as their hinge point so the front doors can be deemed suicide doors. On the back is a large “humpback trunk” and some tail lighting framed below by another nicely preserved bumper. Beige steel wheels have red moon caps that are topped on the hub with a chromed center.
Swinging the doors, we see mohair uppers in tan and lower broadcloth in maroon along with shiny handles and cranks. The sills are painted in the fender matching red. Seats use the mohair as their inserts and have smooth red vinyl bolster and upper toppers which are all in good condition. This includes a rear bench with more mohair and arms covered in the red vinyl. Nicely preserved mohair is on all other vertical surfaces as well as the headliner which is nice and tight above. Covering the floors is brown carpeting. A black dash with a dash mounted manual shifter is seen and all knobs and pulls are functional within this black dash front field.
Under the hood is a 116.7ci 4-cylinder engine which has a 1-barrel carburetor on top. A 3-speed manual transmission is attached and drives the front wheels so it is transversely mounted. A 3.44 ratio final drive pushes power to the front wheels.
The floor pan of this early unibody frame and floor is slightly surface rusted and has a nice overall patina to the metal. All simple with no drive shaft, and transverse torsion bars for the front, and bringing up the rear are unequal length trailing arms and a Panhard bar suspension. Drum brakes are operating on all 4 corners. A clean exhaust painted black is noted.
I had to drive this one because how many of these do you even see, let alone drive. It started very easily with the pull of a lever, and it was off to the test track with my decoder and proofer, and me driving. Here the car performed beautifully, has smooth acceleration without any hesitation, good braking, and shifting was a breeze with the dash mounted lever. All functions are working nicely.
A not too often seen model of car here in the US, and most are the Maserati Air ride cars we know as the SM with their interesting shape. This car, with the front wheel drive, unibody construction and 4-wheel independent suspension was a nice departure and a throwback to a simpler time. Pretty much the same design prevailed from 1934 through 1957 with only minor modifications. So, we have a true Classic in this Citroen Traction Avant. Avant, aptly named, as it means culturally or stylistically advanced, in the Citroen lineup even today.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.