1953 Citroën Light fifteen
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Historics - Brooklands Motor Museum 30th August 2014 Sale
30th Aug 2014
1953 Citroën Light fifteen
The Citroën Traction Avant was manufactured from 1934 to 1957, with approximately 760,000 units produced. The Traction Avant, French for 'front-wheel drive', was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933. While not the first produced front-wheel drive car, it was the world's first front-wheel drive steel monocoque production car and successfully pioneered front-wheel drive on the European mass car market. This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. An unusual type of crash test was conceived taking the form of driving the car off a cliff to demonstrate its strength. Lefthand drive versions were built in Paris, Belgium and also Denmark; righthand drive cars in Slough, England. The Slough version was called the Light Fifteen and the long wheelbase the Big Fifteen. This confusing terminology referred to the British fiscal tax rating of the time which was higher than the French. Models assembled in Slough had to be 51% UK parts to make them exempt from import duty, to protect the British vehicle manufacturers from foreign competition. The Slough built cars used 12 Volt Lucas electrics, headlights, dynamo and starter motor with Jaeger instruments and a walnut dashboard. Originally registered in South Africa, the current vendor saw the car in a garage in 2003 and decided 'there and then' to buy the Citroën and ship it back to the UK. Upon arrival, he immediately sent the car to Classic Restorations in London and spent over £1,500 on mechanical improvements. The bodywork and interior had survived well due to the better climate the car had been used to. This 'light fifteen' is used on a regular basis and is reluctantly offered for sale due to lack of suitable storage space. The 1,911cc engine started immediately and it is obviously apparent this is a Citroën that has been well looked after and thoroughly enjoyed by the vendor. This Citroën is supplied with a V5 registration document and some invoices. There is also a road fund license valid until May 2015 together with a splendid original Citroën repair manual. This is a real head turner and is in immensely useable condition, waiting to be enjoyed by a new owner.
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