by Bruce Tara
Made between 1934 and 1957, the Traction Avant is widely considered the car that established Citroën's reputation as a technology leader - utilising a monocoque chassis, front-wheel drive, an over-head valve engine and torsion bar suspension
Even the first Michelin X radial ply tyres
were introduced in this car! The Traction was a wonderful riding car, though lacking in power. The story of the original 1934 model dates back to a meeting between Henry Ford and officials at the Citroën factory.
If you look closely at the car you will see its resemblance to the 1934 Ford. While they agreed on the design, Henry Ford was not ready to manufacture the innovative suspension
and drive train, nor locate the gear shift off the floor as required by Citroën.
While the majority of Tractions were 4 cylinder, Citroën did manufacture a 6 cylinder model that was used by the French Police - whom obviously required a little more power.
Citroën also made a two seater that looked very much like the English Riley 2 or 3 Model - another 4 cylinder gutless wonder! Few cars could be produced for as long as 23 years and remain the core model of the company.
Even fewer cars could remain popular before and after WWII. It was the advanced design of the Traction Avant that made it such a car.