A 1937 Traction 11B Cabriolet, claimed to be owned by Citroën’s most famous engineer, André Lefebvre, is set to auctioned at Artcurial during Retromobile in Paris on February 6. Although it’s a RHD car, it was manufactured in Paris, but has had a subsequent engine transplant to the last generation 11D engine from 1955. With a natural patina overall condition, it comes from Lefebvre’s family and will be offered with no reserve and estimated to command a price in the 80.000 to 100.000 euro range.
Born in 1894, André Lefebvre was the father of most of the important early Citroëns, such as Traction Avant, the Type H, the 2CV and the DS. A brilliant aeronautical engineer, he learned the essence of his art for 15 years with Gabriel Voisin, briefly passed through Renault, where the absurd hierarchy and bureaucracy did not suit him, before his career at Citroën began, lasting till 1958.
Purchased in 1990 at the auction of the convention center in Strasbourg, the car comes from the collection of the son of André Lefebvre. Having benefited from an old restoration, this car from Switzerland was then presented in its current configuration. Showing 77,000 km at the time of purchase, the car has covered less than 3,000 km in 24 years, being used sparingly on the roads of the “côte d’azur” and now shows 79,900 km. .
Some corrosion is visible under one front fender but, according to Artcurial, the rest of the floors and underbody are rust free. The car drives well and is a pioneer of its time, perfectly embodying the mechanical genius of André Lefebvre. We think it would be really cool to drive the very car where André Lefebvre spent a good deal of time behind the wheel.
See the full listing and photo gallery here:
Update (Feb 9, 2015): This Traction sold for €107,280 at the auction!