Sure, you can buy a Citroën Traction Avant just about anywhere in Europe. They have been in production from 1934 to 1955 and collectors got to them early. Even in the 1970’s the big Citroëns with their swooping front wings were already considered to be classic cars. So they have been preserved from a very early stage, which explains why there are so many still around.
A good four cylinder TA you can buy for as much as EUR 15,000 or EUR 20,000 and you can find them in about every country in Europe.
These two TA’s are in France. They are part of the sale by auction house Aguttes during the Les Grandes Heurs Automobiles on Monthléry racetrack on September 24. Both of them are estimated by the auctioneer at around EUR 15,000. That is to say, the grey one has an estimate of EUR 13,000 to 18,000, the cream-and-brown one of EUR 14,000 to 20,000. That seems to be a fair price for both of them, as they both have an interesting story to tell.
The grey Traction Avant is an 11B. This model succeeded the 11BL in 1937 and was wider and heavier than its predecessor. In 1952, the large, bulky bootlid was introduced, providing the Citroën with the much-desired luggage space. This specific car is from 1952 and has a royal background, as it comes from the car collection of Monaco’s former reigning sovereign HSH Prince Rainier, who passed away in 2005. By the way, HSH is the abbreviation of His Serene Highness.
In 2012, most of the prince’s car collection was sold by auction house Artcurial. They did a pretty good job on this car, as it was estimated in the catalogue at EUR 10,000 to 12,000, but eventually sold at no less than EUR 40,037! Apparently, there were two guys in the room that wanted this car badly. Of course, it is not an everyday occasion to be buying a car that belonged to a head of state.
Anyway, whoever bought the car is about to lose money on it. Unless of course there will again be two guys at the auction that will do anything to come home with a Citroën with a royal background.
The car is original in all details, says the auction catalogue, and has been restored twenty years ago by craftsman of the royal household.
These cars have probably spent many years not far away from each other. The two-tone TA is an 11 BL from 1951 and has spent many years of its life in a motorcycle museum in the south of France. It has been restored and you can say that this job was a slight ‘restomod’, as the car got some personal modifications. The duotone paint in cream and brown for instance, and the leather upholstery that is not only on the seats but also on the doors and even the steering wheel and the gear knob. The car has a mileage of only 51,000 kilometers.
Both cars are equipped with the ‘Perfo’- engine, which has an output of 56 bhp. Both will be auctioned on September 24 at Monthléry, but you can already make an offer online.