Traction Avant

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If there is one enduring image that I have taken from G. Simenon’s “Inspector Maigret” television series it is the sight of the Citroen TA.

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Rakish, low slung, and ever so slightly outdated…that was Inspector Maigret. And the cars were similar…

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Citroen made over 700,000 of them eventually because they kept at it from 1934 to 1957. That is either faith in your vision or pig-headedness. The thing broke the company in ’34 and lead to it being sold on to Michelin as a test-bed firm. A sad fate for such an innovative design.

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These cars were at the recent Whiteman Park vintage car show – I daresay there is a club for them here in Perth. They are stylish and exhibit all the Gallic design tendencies – sleek line, weird ergonomics, and inappropriate materials. At least they are stylish, and none of them exhibited the sort of gamin colour choices that can plague the 2CV. Love the windscreen opening at the bottom.

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I should welcome a drive of one if any enthusiast wished to be kind. I would be prepared to buy the wine and cheese and to take a suitably atmospheric photo of it all. One thing – I’d be curious to learn when, if ever, metallic paint was started for the Citroen cars.

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4 thoughts on “Traction Avant

    1. Ah, if you like the Citroen convertible, dial back in the blog to June 4, 2014 for some pictures of it taken last year at the same event. It is a motor car whose design inspires either love or hate – I do not think there is a middle ground.


      1. Ah, all these pictures are at car shows – I did own a Renault 10 between 1966 and 1972 and it was a wonderful introduction to Gallic motoring. I wanted a 2CV – the fancy maroon and black paint job – in the 70’s when they were being exported to Britain but never figured out how to get one down here to Australia. I would still like to go on a motor trip in one, as long as I did not have to be responsible for the upkeep.The fourgon seems to be a wonderful little shape.

        PS: How do you know that a French baggage wagon is at the end of the train….it’s a fourgon conclusion. Boom Boom. Here all week – try the veal.


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