1937 Citroen Traction Avant: J’arrive!

France is famous for a lot of things: fine wine, exquisite art, and cities of great culture and history like Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux. But when it comes to cars, Italy is definitely the European country in the spotlight.

Still, that doesn’t mean French cars aren’t worth a look. This 1937 Citroen Traction Avant was a highly advanced car for its day, and has more in common with a modern car than you might think.

The Traction Avant was the first car in the world to combine front-wheel drive with a welded steel unibody architecture instead of the traditional body-on-frame method. This method of construction is commonplace today, but it was groundbreaking back in the 1930s.

The compact little Citroen also had a pretty sophisticated suspension. At a time when most vehicles had a live axle and leaf springs, the Traction Avant had an independent front suspension and a torsion beam.

I ran across this car on a recent trip to Globe, Arizona, which is about two hours southeast of Phoenix. The last thing I expected to see in this small mining town was a pre-war French automobile parked on the street!

The car appears to be missing its front and rear bumpers, but in spite of that I’d say it appears to be in pretty good shape for being 76 years old! Citroen built about 760,000 of these vehicles between 1934 and 1957. I wonder when this car was imported to the States and how it ended up in Globe. Oh, the stories this car could tell if it could talk…

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5 thoughts on “1937 Citroen Traction Avant: J’arrive!

  1. Wow I was goggling Citroen Traction Avant and we see Amy’s 37…holy Toledo its our car. We bought/traded for “Thor” (that is his name after the gentleman that started the restoration) cash and a 1973 Volkswagen bug. We went to a Estate sale and before I could stop the vehicle Amy was running towards the 1937 Citroen exclaiming “I want that car” “Thor” is a 1937 Citroen 11BL named after the previous owner Thor Thorsteinsson who unfortunately passed away in 2010 before being able to see the car’s completion.Thor was a Globe Arizona resident and purchased the car in 2006 and worked very hard restoring this fabulous automobile.This car has the original 4 cylinder that took some time to get running consistently. The intake valves kept sticking and bending push rods. After making a concoction of Mystery Oil, gasoline. carb cleaner and rotating the valves by their stems I got the cat to run very well. We have pictures of the car before it was restored. It is a turn key driver. Wonderful old automobile. Get asked if the car is for sale, not really but anything is for sale if the price is right. Any questions call 928-200-4317. David and Amy

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing some more of the car’s history with us. That is really cool, although a bit sad that the previous owner has passed away. This car is definitely one of a kind and I think it is great of you to keep this classic on the road. Thanks very much for your comments! Trevor

  2. Pingback: 1972-1973 Citroen SM Coupe | Generation: High Output

  3. I have a 1937 model . I need to know the location of VIN No if they had one as now in Australia they will not register a car without a VIN. Can you help please. Kevin here sorry!

  4. I ‘be ridden in that Citroen! amy and David were both friends of mine. she just sold it to a museum !
    I remember her coming down to a coffee house We both played in Globe and taking me out for a Spin.!
    An experience I will never forget. Very tight quarters inside, but fantastic return to a bygone era!

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