How many octogenarians do you know that look as good as the Citroen Traction Avant? Quite frankly, we’re amazed that it was 80 years ago when the 7A was unveiled to the world.
The Traction Avant went on to enjoy 23 years of production, with cars rolling off the production lines in Paris, Forest (Belgium), Cologne and Slough. Surely the sleek Citroen is the best thing ever to roll out of the Berkshire town?
It’s notable for being the world’s first front-wheel drive steel monocoque production car, but the innovation didn’t stop there. The torsion-bar suspension was replaced by Citroen’s famous hydropneumatic suspension and brakes in 1954, with the car also benefitting from hydraulic shock absorbers and a synchronised gearbox.
The Citroen Traction Avant was a revelation to drive, leading L’Auto to describe the car as “sensational”. It laid the foundations for the likes of the Citroen DS, XM and C6 by offering supreme ride comfort, innovative technology and aerodynamic styling.
To mark the 80th anniversary of the icon, Citroen is holding a series of events across France. One model is currently being showcased at the My Citroen Adventure exhibition on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, with further events planned at Montlhéry, Eurocitro at Le Mans and at Ferté Vidame in September, where 800 Traction Avants are expected to attend.
Amazingly, despite the Citroen’s reputation for innovation, prices of the Traction Avant are surprisingly reasonable. A quick search on Car & Classic – one of our favourite tea break websites – reveals prices ranging from £9,000 to £30,000.
Which sounds like an absolute bargain to us. That said, we’d still give the nod to the wonderful Citroen C6 – the modern interpretation of the Traction Avant and perhaps the last of the breed.
We shall see. But in the meantime, a very happy birthday, Citroen Traction Avant.