Pascal Berthelot has been documenting the Traction Avant since the early 1990s. His first international census, undertaken in 1994, was an accounting of survivors. He first recorded the cars he encountered at the 70th anniversary of the Traction Avant, an event held in Dunkirk, and then he participated in the ICCCR meets at Clermont-Ferrand, Chevetogne and Interlaaken. During these and the various editions of the EuroCitro of Le Mans, more than 2,000 owners responded to him by answering a questionnaire and telling him the stories of their vehicles.
Fast forward 25 years, with many vehicles having changed hands, and others found in barns, Pascal decided to resume his census work, this time not just counting the surviving Traction Avants, but rather to collect and analyze information relating to each vehicle as the basis for a series of modern books about them.
A cap of 2,500 vehicles was exceeded in 2019. This corresponds to more than 50,000 bits of information (serial number, body number, hull number, date of entry into service and original registrations, original color, technical and aesthetic characteristics, history), and thousands of photographs.
And since the 90s, Pascal has gathered extensive documentation (spare parts catalogs, manuals, brochures, catalogs) and collected vintage photographs showing Tractions in their everyday life, including during WWII. He also has photographs of 500 Traction Avants known, but not yet officially listed with their serial number and history, and Pascal continues to hunt for more vintage photographs.
In July 2019, volume 1 of his book Toutes les Traction Avant ont une histoire” (All the Traction Avant have a history) was released. This 200-page book is devoted to the 7A / 7B / 7S from 1934, and the 7C from 1934 to 1941.
Since October 2020, the second volume is available. Its 216 pages are devoted to the 11 Légères from 1934 to 1942, and to the Licorne Rivoli using Citroën bodies.
Both of these books (published in French) help you to better identify and date a Traction, and recapitulates in an “ABC Des Traction”, the major evolutions which took place between 1934 and 1942.
While technical data features prominently in both books, the history of these cars constitutes its framework. You will discover the 5 lives of a convertible exported to Denmark, a sedan buried under a barn… and forgotten 50 years, a mysterious racing convertible, a sedan transformed into a commercial in 1943, a Hollywood convertible with an unusual look, a convertible walled up for 40 years, and Traction modified to run on electricity.
For more information or to order the books visit Pascal’s website: http://www.recensement-tractionavant.com/