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46 Years In A Barn: 1954 Citroen 11


Thanks to reader Olaf E. for this Dutch find! After 46 years in a barn in Friesland, Netherlands, this Citroen Traction Avant was recently revived with new brakes, lights, and a tuneup (if I believe Google translation!) The body has been left alone and does have some rust. The car is advertised here on marktplaats.nl for 7,750 Euro (about $8,400). Paraphrasing the seller, the combination of a mechanically sound Traction Avant and the cosmetic patina of age yields a really nice combination. The type of car was produced from 1934 to 1957 and for its day was one of the most advanced cars on the road. With a longitudinal, front-wheel-drive layout and one of the first unitized bodies on a regular production car, there was a lot of passenger room in a very rigid package. I’d love to drive one of these someday–are any of our Dutch readers interested?


  1. Chris A.

    If this were in the states, I’d be after it. So very rare to see them over here. These were way ahead of their time, tough and truly an icon car. The FWD and low center of gravity made them one of the best handling cars in their time. Classic Paris taxi when in black. Wonderful car along with the 2CV.

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    • jean

      Hi Chris,
      If you ever come to France, give me a call, I own one 1952 11BL and one 1957 2CV.
      I would be delighted to give you a ride.

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  2. Doug M. (West) Member

    It’s hard to believe this body style lasted clear until 1957! It looks so dated…

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  3. vern

    It had an excellent garage! The TA was a tin worm favorite.

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    • Olaf E

      In the Netherlands most barns or outbuildings on farms would already have been made of bricks instead of wood at the time this car was stored. But I agree with you on it’s condition.

      I imagine that the owner has had his fair portion of misery during WW II, mayby also WW I. Those people did not throw things away or let things neglect. The first owner may even have cared for the car eventhough it was stored, or he got sick or died and his son probably forgot about the car.

      My first barnfinds were two German WW II armee motorcycles, an American armee jeep (also used in WW II, thanks again!) and some (heavy) weapons. It was on a farm (friends of the family) and even their suns didn’t know about it! 40 years ago, I was 9… Really aware of the ‘importance? No, but it was the beginning of barns and finds. I just don’t like weapons, so it became cars (my firdt love) and barns.

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  4. jim s

    a 1954 car with shoulder belts!

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    • Olaf E

      Yes, that’s something that started late sixties, early seventies.

      The Dutch Traction Avant Club and the Dutch Vehicle Department designed a lap belt (on paper!). Several members did follow up on that idea and made a three-point seat belt via the bolt of the top door hinge. It was controversial back then, several (most?) selfbuilds were declined by the same Dutch Vehicle Dept! One of the main reasons was the lack of approved attachments points.

      I found a reference to Daniel Eberli from Switserland on the site of the DTAC, he has written a book called ‘Traction Avant for beginners”. In one of the chapters he adresses how to improve one’s TA and describes his solutions, sometimes with drawings.

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  5. bram stolk

    Hi there i am a dutch reader of barn finds and this is a very interesting story that this car is stored and preserve for such a long time and that the car is in this condition is very good….
    The price is very sharp a wel..

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    • Olaf E

      Leuk dat je er ook bij bent, Bram. Zelfs in Nederland zijn ze nog te vinden.

      (Nice that you’re here too, Bram. Even in the Netherlands you can still find them.)

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