A curious mixture of romantic visionary and practical businessman, André Citroën was determined that economic depression and a contracting car market would not prevent him introducing a revolutionary new model, which he was convinced would ensure the future of his company. It did just that, but not until after Citroën had lost control of his empire when a minor creditor commenced legal proceedings against him. Within two years, new owner Michelin had paid off all of Citroën's debts.
Citroën's brainchild, the 7C 'Traction Avant', broke new ground in almost every aspect of production car engineering on its launch in 1934. Unitary construction of the body/chassis, front wheel drive, all-independent suspension sprung by torsion bars, hydraulic brakes, synchromesh transmission and a four-cylinder, overhead-valve, wet-liner engine were all incorporated in the new car at a time when the majority of its rivals employed a separate chassis, cart springs, sidevalve engines and mechanical brakes. This ground-breaking specification would have counted for little had the result not worked in practice, but the Traction soon gained a well deserved reputation for exceptional stability and exemplary handling that endures to this day.
The 1.3-litre original was soon superseded by larger-engined versions, including the six-cylinder 2.9-litre 15CV Model 6, which in right-hand drive form was built at Citroën's Slough factory from 1938 to 1955. Introduced in 1954, the model in its final 6H form featured hydro-pneumatic springing (at the rear), an innovation that would feature on the forthcoming revolutionary DS. In France the 'Big Six' was used widely by the police, most notably by the fictional Inspector Maigret.
One of only 76 right-hand drive 6Hs produced, of which it is believed only five survive, the example offered here was previously owned by well-known Walsall-based Citroën specialist, Steve Southgate. The car was restored in 1998 and has been in the vendor's possession for the last 11 years, since when the engine has been extensively rebuilt with new pistons and cylinder liners; new, up-rated connecting rods with shell bearings; a reground crankshaft; remanufactured oil and water pumps; and a new exhaust manifold. All parts were supplied by CTA Service in Holland, who also supplied a remanufactured suspension height control valve. In addition, the carburettor has been overhauled and an electronic distributor, thermostatic electric fan and an alternator fitted (original generator with car). Finished in black with red leather interior, this rare post-war Citroën is offered with instruction book, restoration invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.
Please note that there is no current MoT for this vehicle.