We have been saying that Traction Avants have been grossly undervalued for years… Most undeservedly so if you read our article we published a year ago: https://citroenvie.com/the-truely-futuristic-citroen/.
Even this scruffy non-running Traction parts car from Portland, Oregon went for $8,235.00 USD ($11,682.00 CAD) on Jan. 10, 2016 on eBay.
Here’s what the ad said:
You are bidding on a 1955 Citroen Traction Avant Series 11B located in Portland, Oregon. The vehicle has the desirable 11D engine, and is the true French version of the Traction Avant (not the Traction Avant manufactured for Britain). This is a no reserve auction. The vehicle does not currently run but it is a great candidate for mechanical restoration as it has presentable paint and body work, and an incredible original interior [which is was not. The door panels and carpeting are not correct. – ED] It is very complete and entirely original from what I can tell. Auction also includes spare parts, manuals, and some interesting badging and documentation.
Paint and body work are not perfect, but the vehicle shows well in its thick black paint. While there are some scratches and dings the vehicle would make a great driver in its current condition. I tried to include photos of problem areas, which include a ding in the right rear, and some bubbling at the bottom of the doors. The vehicle includes four Marchal lamps and two optional horns common to the Citroen presidential limousines. Chrome is in great shape with only some minor pitting. There is some light surface rust on the undercarriage but nothing I would consider significant. The right (passenger side) front bumper mount is bent. There are some interesting badges on the grill.
The original cloth interior was found underneath a set of professionally installed seat covers that I removed. I would imagine that an original Traction Avant interior is not easy to find. Even the original fabric code tags are present! I am missing the upper rear interior trim panels, but these wouldn’t be too difficult to make. Both front seats are adjustable (slide forward/backward). The back seat has an impressive amount of leg room, like being in a limousine. There is no carpet installed in the car. A wooden aftermarket steering wheel has been installed at some point in the past, the steering wheel was made in Paris and could use a coat of lacquer.
While the vehicle does roll, it does not currently run. Odometer says 11,602 kilometers, but I have no way of knowing if it has rolled-over. The engine is seized and cannot be turned by hand. The good news is that this engine (the 11D) is a wet-liner type engine, that is, the cylinders are not bored into the block, they are a replaceable part. I purchased this car at an estate, and the previous owner let the vehicle sit for many years, during which time the engine probably seized. I do not suspect the engine failed catastrophically because I did drain the oil, and there were no metal debris, so that is good.
Also, the transmission housing has a crack/hole near the cross member, I included a photo of this. My plan was to JB-Weld this closed. Alternatively, you could have it welded up, or replace the transmission casing. The transmission does seem to be OK when rotating the wheels, no weird noises or feelings.
The exhaust system is missing from the manifold on down.
Other mechanical systems seem to be in decent condition, but I have not driven the car and can’t attest to their actual condition in use.
I purchased this car as a project from the estate of the long-time owner (who purchased and correctly imported the car from Paris), but I have a second child on the way and don’t really have time to work on cars these days
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Wow!! Many thousands yet to spend to even make this a driver!