1952 Citroën Traction Avant: Game-changer

1952 Citroen Traction Avant

If you open almost any book about achievements in automotive history, the Citroën Traction Avant will likely grace at least one page. These front-drivers were considered revolutionary in their day, both for the drivetrain configuration and the ample space within the interior. Although the car effectively bankrupted Citroën to produce, it gained notoriety for its durability and comfort. This 1952 example here on craigslist looks dusty but solid, and has some interesting garage mates – a vintage hot-rod is not what I’d expect a Citroën owner to have parked nearby! The seller’s asking price of $30k is high, in my opinion, but he does stress that reasonable offers won’t be refused. Would you make an offer on Andre Citroën’s creation to see if the seller would bite?

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Comments

  1. BD

    These are great cars and truly revolutionary for their time.
    This looks like a car made in slough, uk so it will have 12v electrics, semaphores (missing) and a nicer interior.
    Price does not match condition unfortunately

  2. JohnT

    $30K for a neglected T/A Normale? You must be joking. If it were a 15CV or a drophead, maybe…

  3. jim s

    to own no but i would love to drive one just to see what they were/are like. if seller wants that kind of money they need to put a lot more work into the listing and list it on Ebay. great find.

  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Ironically, I snapped this picture near a warehouse about a mile from my house yesterday. No idea if it’s for sale or not but I can ask if anyone is interested…

  5. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    And Jeff, believe it or not, this one is beside a group of Buick Reattas…

    • Horse Radish

      Somebody is collecting Buick Reattas ?
      Wow, just when I thought I’d seen it all…………

  6. Jeff Lavery Staff

    Jamie, that’s a hoot! Ironically enough, my brother knows a junkyard owner in MD who spent 5 years grabbing every Reatta they could get their hands on and became known as the go-to source for parts for a short while. Made some decent money doing so!

  7. Horse Radish

    Looks like John T knows his Traction-Avants.
    I would have said high on the price, because I’ve seen them for way less than half that…
    Really still a common car in Europe,
    I believe they made tens if not hundreds of thousands of these.
    What makes this car so rare is the RHD (and from the plate it ran there as well).
    I think Citroen had a small factory in England for a while (made he “Bijou”there) and this one may have been made there.

    Now let me think about this:

    A RHD vehicle, French design, assembled in Britain ?
    Now we only need a temperamental drive-train from Italy and we got the best of all worlds…..

    • Rovinman

      In Fact they had a BIG Factory at Slough (Berkshire) about 50 miles west of London.
      Still owned by whoever own Citroen Now.
      I live in Thailand (RHD Country), and there are a lot of them over here from Slough, also in Malaysia (another British place).
      You either Love them or Hate them, there’s no middle ground !
      R

  8. john

    Always had soft spot for these, I have been a passenger in one but never driven one. A T/A is on my list of I want one.The red car and the wreck of a yellow and brown car both feature something interesting. The chrome grille which usually indicates UK build. French build had a painted grille. $30,000 is a lot. Really nice ones in Europe are now making about 2/3 of that. This red car is going to need work, and needs to be a lot less than the asking price.

    • MikeH

      I was sitting here thinking “there is something wrong with that car” and it’s the chrome grill with the chevrons behind. IMHO, it ruins the looks of the car. I would have guessed that Jamie’s car with the dip in the bumper, was an early production, 34-35, car, but all the pics I see show a straight bumper. It’s obviously a Slough car as well, maybe that was another UK difference from the French model.

      • john

        I agree, I far prefer the french grille cars. just been looking at adverts in Spain at T/A and E8000 will get a sensible solid mostly finished, restoration project, E16000 gets you an up together fresh looking car that is totally useable and shiny. Then there the dreamers at E30,000 with almost concours cars who will have to take a hard offer if serious about selling. Very popular as wedding cars in Spain …..Which puts this red one in perspective price wise. Looks more like $7-8000 to me….

  9. Jerry

    Owned a T/A while in the USAF during the 1960’s and I loved it and wish I brought it home with me. Parts were plentiful,and anyone could work on them. I think the bumper on the red car must be British because mine had a dip in he center and also a black grill. I think they only came in black, dark blue and gray, never saw a red one. Too expensive for my tastes.

  10. Han Kamp

    Look up the history of how Citroen in France started. Andre Citroen was a Dutchmen from Amsterdam, moved to France during the ’20s crisis and he was the one who invented ‘slant’ gears instead of the noisy straight gears. Hence the “double chevron” .

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