From the “All it needs is a clutch” Dept:
This 1953 Citroën Traction 11BL is listed for sale on ebay with an asking price of $5,000 US.
You are looking a 1953 Citroën Traction Avant (Front Wheel Drive) Saloon project car. Very interesting uni-body car with FWD! This is a 4 door Saloon car with 3 speed manual transmission, that needs finishing. I feel that my price of $5,000 is very realistic for a classic vehicle like this one with the potential that this vehicle has.
Maybe $500 would be more realistic — and that’s on a good day!
The ad goes on to say:
If this Classic is the vehicle of your dreams then the best time to buy it is BEFORE someone else does. NOW is the time. The customer who MAY have looked at it yesterday and said I will buy it tomorrow MAY come back and buy it today while you are waiting to buy it tomorrow. Do not wait another minute. Give me a call right NOW so we can make this beauty yours. RIGHT NOW. You will be GLAD that you did!!! We are located in the north western part of South Carolina 20 minutes south east of Greenville 100 miles SW of Charlotte and 150 miles NE of Atlanta. Drop by any time and take a stroll through our Field of Dreams. You may just find that car of your dreams.
What’s more interesting and seemingly a very good deal is this 1937 Challenger Motors Traction Avant also on eBay and up for auction:
Challenger Motors in Los Angeles imported Tractions and this one is most likely one of the first they sold. It appears to have come from a nice car collection and is in remarkably good condition though the ad says it does not run. (Could be just the disconnected coil that is shown in the engine bay photo.)
Although it seems to have some interior upgrades, it appears to be highly original and rust-free. The price is currently just $6,550 US!
Imagine trying to bring the 1953 Traction in South Carolina up to this condition. Even after $100K in restoration cost you would not have a Traction as rare and desirable.
Update — April 11, 2023: We thought the Challenger Traction looked familiar. A couple of our members wrote in to say that we mentioned this car coming up for sale at Pebble Beach in July 2021. And in the same article we told a bit about its history: https://citroenvie.com/challenger-motors-traction-11bl-at-pebble-beach-auction/.
Update — April 14, 2023: The Challenger Traction sold for a mere $8,750 US and the buyer was Citroënvie member Larry Lewis from Toronto, Canada. Well bought Larry! Congratulations!!
Although I owned a 15CV while in the U.S. Army stationed in France 1961-1963 and I now own a different 15CV purchased from an owner in the Chicago area, I had no idea that Citroens were even sold in the U.S. before the establishment of dealers in 1956. I looked at this listing with great interest, especialy because of the nomenclature plate showing the information for Challenger Motor Car Company. Really wondering if Larry is going to restore this Traction or if it is a parts car???
It is far from a parts car. I’m sure Larry is going to get it running. The interior has all been redone, There is probably very little bodywork to do. Looks like the only thing that needs to be addressed is the rust on the windshield frame and little bit on the surrounding A pillar. Most likely best not to to repaint any other part of the car and leave it with the “patina” it presently has.
Notice that the ’53 Traction above appears to have an ID19 engine in it.
I’ve been working on the car since Friday when it was delivered. The body is solid and with a new battery the engine turns over on the starter and there is spark at the points. There is no serious rust that I can see. It need a fuel pump to run and one is on order with a lot of other parts from Jose Franssen. The headlights that you see are 12 volts so that has to be sorted. The wiring under the dashboard is a total mess and will have to be completly redone. There is an aftermarket turn signal switch on the steering column that isn’t connected to anything. Fun times!