2014 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction

1948 Citroen Light 15 Sedan




Engine In-line four-cylinder, 1911cc
Gearbox 3-speed manual
Body Work Saloon
Colour Red with Black Guards
Interior Red
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel Disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

One of the most instantly recognisable Gallic cars, CitroŽn's Traction Avant was the vehicle of choice for the French Resistance during the War, then for a generation of gangsters who appreciated the car's ability to outpace the Gendarmerie. Launched in 1934 and boasting a long list of innovative features, the front-wheel drive Traction was revolutionary in just about every department. Employing a monocoque construction technique with hydraulic brakes, independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering and torsion bars, the new model was a trendsetter in so many ways. Even the low-slung styling was considered avant-garde at the time, devoid as it was of running boards or superfluous ornamentation. Although offered in a myriad of different body types and mechanical specifications, the original 11CV (or Light 15 as it was dubbed in England) with the 1911cc four-cylinder engine and Berline (saloon) coachwork proved the most enduring. Post-war cars were updated with wing-mounted indicators, a larger boot and straight bumpers in 1952, while the 11D model of 1955 had 60 horsepower thanks to repositioned rockers, improving acceleration and top speed. Tractions were also built in Belgium and in England at Slough, the latter with Lucas 12-volt electrics, leather upholstery and regarded as better equipped than their French counterparts. With a cult following around the world, the Traction Avant is an excellent proposition as a classic car today - the excellent ride, handling and braking mean it can be enjoyed in company with modern traffic - while a healthy club scene in Australia ensures plenty of events and support for the owner.