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Lot 343
1954 Citroën Traction Avant


Selling on Friday

From The Rockhound Collection

CHASSIS NO: 582-201

• A nice example of French design and construction
• Older driver-quality restoration
• Pioneering front-wheel drive design

1.9-litre inline four-cylinder engine, 56 HP, three-speed manual gearbox, torsion bar suspension, front-wheel drive; wheelbase: 114”

Citroen had a proud heritage as a pioneering manufacturer even before the famed Traction Avant. In the 1920s, the marque had already pioneered production-line assembly and all-steel body construction. The Citroen Traction Avant was a range of mostly four-door saloons and executive cars with either four- or six-cylinder engines and was manufactured between 1934-1957. For their 1934 Citroen model, they embarked upon their most daring project to date and set about designing a car capable of 100 km per hour. Hitting the mark on 100 km per hour, they were also able to do it while achieving front-wheel drive with independent suspension and an early adaption of the rack and pinion design steering. Lefèbvre was tabbed as the lead engineer for the project and crafted a longitudinal front-wheel drive layout with an engine well within the wheelbase, resulting in a favorable weight balance and improving overall handling. The gearbox was placed in front of the engine with the differential in between the engine and gearbox. The new arrangement of the gearbox resulted in an open floor plan and spacious interior.

Designed by Flamino Bertoni, this 1954 Citroen Traction Avant is a nice example of French styling and construction. A recipient of a thorough, older restoration, the exterior was draped in classic Citroen black paint with cream-colored wheels and still presents nicely however does show minor scratches and flaws in the paint. A unique feature of these Traction Avants is their front suicide doors and conventional rear doors, which set them apart from many American vehicles of the era. While the front features a long hood, the rear end was constructed with a stout bustle-back trunk, which contains its spare tire and multiple boxes of spare parts. The interior is clean and tidy and fitted with a grey striped cloth interior on the bench seats and door panels. The two-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in black leather and has a small Quartz clock nestled into the center of it. Rarely seen today on American soil thanks to its French roots and age of production, this ’54 Citroen Traction Avant is set to make an impression on everyone it cruises by.

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