Traction Wedding Cars provides the beautiful Citroën Traction Avant in Bristol, Bath, Avon, North Somerset, Somerset, Glos, Wilts, Devon and Dorset

For a truly individual, elegant, beautiful, different and unusual wedding car choose one of our Citroën Traction Avant saloons

Home

Photo Gallery

About the Traction Avant

References

Useful Links

Contact Us

** Pearl Grey 1955 Normale **

Introduced in 1934, the Traction Avant was recognised as being one of the most revolutionary cars available. Along with front wheel drive it incorporated unitary construction, torsion bar suspension and hydraulic brakes, all on a mass produced family car. It had a three-speed gearbox mounted ahead of the engine in the nose of the car, and the drive went through CV-jointed drive shafts to torsion-bar-suspended front wheels; this was cutting-edge technology in those days. By the standard of 1934, its road-holding was almost unbelievably good, albeit at the expense of heavy steering.

Sadly, the high development costs sent a penniless André Citroën to an early grave and his company into the arms of Michelin, but the Légère and its many derivatives went on to success, selling strongly for 23 years. Front-wheel drive wasn't the whole story. Unitary construction was still a rarity in 1934 and the car was both roomy and comfortable to ride in, with torsion-bar independent suspension at the rear too. Top speed with the 45bhp 1911cc four cylinder engine was 70mph (112 kph).

There were many variations on this enduring theme. The Normale had an extra 7 inches (17.8 cms) added to its wheelbase and 4¾ inches (12 cm's) added to its width. The Commerciale had an early form of rear hatchback. Big families could opt for the eight-seater Familiale. For sporty drivers there were rakish Coupes and Cabriolet models. Top of the range from 1938 was the six-cylinder, 2866cc 15cv, its 77bhp engine pushing the top speed to a respectable 85mph (137kph). A V8 - the now-legendary 22CV V8 - was mooted too, although no cars exist today.

Citroën pioneered its hydro-pneumatic suspension on the rare 15 CV 6H version of this model in 1952 which already featured their self-levelling system on rear wheels only, anticipating the DS19 which appeared three years later.

Production, interrupted by the War - with the Traction becoming synonymous with the FFI resistance movement - continued until 1957 with few major changes.

The Traction was built around the world, including Britain - where it was known as the Light Fifteen (Légère), the Big Fifteen (Normale) and the Big 6 (15CV) - and trimmed in wood and leather to appeal to more traditional Anglo-Saxon tastes. From 1938 to 1940 (and, after the Second World War, between 1948 and 1955) these Citroëns were built in significant quantities in the UK. Styling changed little over the years, but the post-1953 Traction has a distinctive projecting boot.

Performance was notable for its tenacious road holding and comfort was superior to any of its peers. The car's styling was also advanced with a raked radiator and screen, low build and a degree of streamlining. The Traction's sporty appearance became a familiar sight on the roads of both Britain and Europe.

The design of the car proved to be robust and as strong, if not stronger than a car having a separate chassis, factors which have assisted in so good a survival rate. One of the first cars** Metallic Silver 1949 Legere ** to be crash-tested, a Traction was chosen for a record bid in 1935 and driven 250,000 miles (400,000km) in a year, by a M. Lecot - a record which stands to this day.

 

© Traction Wedding Cars 2017

web design by Dennis Hewitt