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Homepage. This page: What scene could be more French than a Citroen on the streets of Paris?

Citroen Traction Avant.

Other than the two Traction Avants visible in this cropped-down photograph, I can only see pre-war cars, which points to this snapshot of the Place de la Concorde probably dating to the late 1930s. The 7CV version made the type's debut in April 1934, but I'm certain that this is a later - larger - car, probably an example of the 11CV which first turned a wheel in the public's hands in 1935. Note the slender front bumper with the dip in the centre, quite different to that fitted on later cars. Two examples of preserved Citroens with the straight bumper bar can be found here and here.
While the car was probably not the subject of the photograph (in fact I'm sure it wasn't), I like this photograph as much for the surroundings as for the car shown negotiating the paved streets around the square. The hazy outline of the Eiffel tower can just be discerned in the background. British motorists could buy a version of the car built in Slough from cars supplied in kit form, these were known as the Light 15.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Citroen saloon car in the 1950s
The Traction Avant had a good run. Launched in 1934 and revised regularly after that, it continued being built in various guises until 1957, with an understandable pause in production during WW2. An advanced car for its day, its replacements - the ID and DS ranges - would continue to build on Citroen's reputation for innovation and futuristic thinking.
Visit page 17 in the vintage gallery, or return to the gallery's main index page.

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