In February 2002 Citroën Autoclub Canada received a most interesting phone call. Just when we thought we had a handle on the location of every Traction Avant in Ontario, another one popped up! Chris Minnes, a Canadian photographer living in California, called to inquire if we could be of help getting a 1949 Slough-built (RHD) Traction Light Fifteen out of his mother’s rec room in Toronto. He said that back in 1983 Chris’ Dad drove it in there and put it up on blocks, wanting to do a bit of work on it over that winter. Unfortunately his Dad passed away and the project never got around to being finished. So it just sat there in a nice dry heated basement.
CAC members Larry Lewis and George Dyke stepped up to the challenge. They freed the seized brakes, put new fluids in the car, and dropped in a new battery. (The battery in the car was a Canadian Tire unit and in glove compartment we found a “lifetime guarantee” for it. The old kind with no expiration limit! So they took Mrs Minis to the nearby Canadian Tire store, marched up to the auto parts counter, presented the guarantee and asked for a new battery. The fellow behind the counter was surprised to see it and initially reluctant to hand out new battery. However the guarantee said lifetime so off the the battery shelf he went and returned with a new unit. Though he explained that the guarantee on the new one was pro-rated, meaning that the amount of credit one could claim for a replacement diminished continually over the limited term of 7 years. Oh well, at least they had a new battery for free!)
About three weekends of work later George cranked the car and she fired up, running silky smooth on the second try! Larry drove it out of the rec room through the patio doors and into the backyard (where the original photo below was taken) and then on to suitable indoor garage storage for the winter. In the spring it will be on the road again!
above: the Minnis 1949 Traction Avant Light Fifteen photographed back in 1983 as it was being stored away “a little late” for the winter.