2022 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1937 Citroen Type 11B Faux Cabriolet Replica (LHD)
|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1911cc|
This lot is no longer available
Please note there is an amendment to this lot – see below.
Although the Citroën Traction Avant was not the world’s first front-wheel-drive passenger car, it was unique in combining this configuration with monocoque construction, rack and pinion steering, torsion bar suspension, wide wheel tracks and an exceptionally low centre of gravity. Launched in 1934, the Traction set a new standard for driving dynamics that was still widely celebrated in the post-war era, by which time it was widely known in English speaking markets as the Light Fifteen, the number referring to the British RAC horsepower rating. The steering was direct and endowed with great road feel and the car was capable of very high cornering speeds and displayed a remarkable absence of body roll. The Traction was sold in a bewildering array of variants from 1934 until 1957, two years after the advent of its even more astonishing successor, the Diesse. Amongst the most desired of all Traction Avants today are the roadsters and coupes, offered from 1935 until 1939. The attractive styling is usually attributed to Jean Daninos, who joined Citroën in 1928 and worked in the styling department before eventually setting up his own coachbuilding firm Facel-Metallon and ultimately the exclusive Facel-Vega concern. Both the coupe, often referred to as a ‘faux cabriolet’, and cabriolet had rakish styling that incorporated a folding dickey seat and were normally specified with front bench seats although individual seats could be ordered. Sold on both the smaller 7CV and larger 11CV chassis, mechanical changes mirrored the evolution of the four-door Tractions of the period. Priced significantly higher than the sedan, the coupes and roadsters were always exclusive cars and total production numbers reflected this – just 478 coupes and 3,524 roadsters were made in total. Breaking this down further, one reference site lists just 51 Type 11B coupes of the type offered here were built in 1937, making this a very rare car indeed. One estimate suggests that no more than 100 survivors exist from the 478 coupes built and they rarely come on the open market.