Citroën 11 BL Légère Traction Avant 1952 (3520)

Citroën 11 BL Légère Traction Avant 1952 (3520)

Manufacturer: Citroën S.A., Groupe PSA Peugeot Citroën, Saint-Ouen – France
Type: 11 BL Traction Avant Légère 11CV
Production time: mid-year 1946 – mid-year 1953
Production outlet: 248,597
Production time: 1934 – 1957 (all TA’s)
Production outlet: 759,123 (all TA’s)
Engine: 1911cc straight-4 Citroën 116.7 CID OHV
Power: 56 bhp / 3.800 rpm
Torque: 119 Nm / 2.000 rpm
Drivetrain: front wheels
Speed: 117 km/h
Curb weight: 1050 kg
Wheelbase: 121.6 inch
Chassis: arc-welded steel unibody/monocoque
Steering: Gemmer rack and pinion
Gearbox: three-speed manual / II and III synchronized / dashborad/umbrella shift
Clutch: single dry plate disc
Carburettor: Solex 32BPIC or Zenith 32IN
Fuel tank: 45 liter
Electric system: 6 Volts 75 Ah
Ignition system: distributor and coil
Brakes front: Lockheed hydraulic drums
Brakes rear: Lockheed hydraulic drums
Suspension front: independent wishbones, triangle-bar, torsion bars, + hydraulic Spicer-telescopic shock absorbers
Suspension rear: beam axle, Panhard rod, unequal trailing arms, torsion bar, cart-type leaf springs + hydraulic Spicer-telescopic shock absorbers
Rear axle: live
Differential: spiral bevel 3,43:1
Wheels: 16 inch steel discs
Tires: 165 – 400
Options: luggage rack, roof rack, wood and leather trim

Special:
– The Traction Avant (French for “front wheel drive”) is designed by André Lefèbvre (spiritual father), Jean Daninos and Flaminio Bertoni (final design) and was the first mass produced front wheel drive and fully arc-welded unibody construction car in the world, until 1953 only available in black. The low-slung arrangement also eliminated the need for running boards to step into or out of the vehicle.
– The original plan was to built the TA with an automatic gearbox. The first generation automatic gearboxes had "big troubles" and was nicknamed "Friteuse" (“Fryer”), because it boiled constantly the oil in it.
– Although the ingenious structure dating from 1934, it remained in production until 1957. And not because there was no successor (DS 1955), but simply because there were still too many "fans" of this vehicle.
– They could be delivered as "7CV’, 11BL "Légère" (as Sedan, Cabrio and Faux-Cabrio), 11BN "Normale" (as Sedan, Cabrio en Faux-Cabrio), 11BC "Commerciale" (with large tailgate), 11BF "Familiale" (with six side windows and folding chairs ("strapontins"), "Limousine" (without folding chairs), 15/6F, 15/6C (6 cylinder luxury versions) with a trunk or a spare wheel at the back.
– The 7-series is produced until 1939.
– Coupes and Convertibles were only built before WWII.
– During the 23 years of production, the war years included, only a few notable changes to the Traction Avant were applied. The most conspicuous is the modification of July 1952, when the spare wheel disappeared under the trunk instead of the familiar “wheel” back.
– On that occasion the windscreen wipers moved to the bottom of the windshield and bumpers became the straight rather than the graceful "mustaches" of yesteryear.
– Technically only small modifications were made, but never drastic, for instance compression ratio of the engine by improving petrol.
– To the urgent call of many customers to a more robust gearbox with four gears, to a less susceptible driveshafts and a more robust and less complicated front suspension was never given a call by Citroën. They were not interested in improving the TA. Only in developing their models of the future: the 2CV (1948) and the DS (1955).
– The Traction Avants were assembled in Paris (France), in Cologne (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), in Vorst (Belgium) and in Slough (United Kingdom, right-hand drive).
– Some prototypes with 22CV (100 bhp) V-8 engines (about 4 liters) were exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in October 1934. Citroën had a dozen of these special cars produced.
– This 22CV, however, never went into production and when Citroën was taken over by Michelin in 1935 (bankrupt), the prototypes had been converted to normal models 11.
– The story / rumor goes that some copies of the 22 still been delivered to customers. Where these cars have been and what happened to it, is one of the great mysteries surrounding the Traction Avant.

Posted by Le Photiste on 2017-01-12 20:34:09

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