The Citroën Traction Avant Will Never Go Out Of Style
The Citroën Traction Avant is one of the first cars to get a lot “right”: it was front-drive, had a monocoque chassis, independent suspension, and was remarkably easy to drive. It was everything you enjoy in today’s mid-sized sedans…only designed and built in the 1930s. It’s no surprise that owners of these cars have a lot to be proud of, including the example you see here.
Photography by Maxence Massaro
Our photographer Maxence Massaro was recently with Denis at Le Crotoy in France. Denis is the owner of this 1955 Citroën Traction Avant 11BL, a car that represents the latest in a long line of motoring memories. He said he was nearly born in the back of the very obscure Renault Juvaquatre, or JUVA 4 utility van, just one of the odd cars his father owned. The Traction Avant has been Denis’ vehicle of choice, however—even waiting to ensure he’d be able to get married and have one ready for the big exit.
Here’s the thing: his father was gradually weakening and died four months before the big day. His wife Sandrinne recalls the lengthy restoration: “My stepfather, despite his oxygen, was sitting on my table in my garden furniture outside to scrape the air filter,” she said. “It’s the only thing he could do after his condition worsened.”
Both Denis and his wife see the car as a point of pride now that it’s restored and truly honors the legacy his father inspired.
Now, Denis and his wife regularly compete in competitions “of elegance and performance,” which is definitely music to our ears. What do you think about the subtly svelte Traction Avant?