1952 Citroen 11BL

Very solid example; cosmetically good; dry stored for a few years so requires recommissioning; loads of potential

Andre Citroen came from a different mould. He was the gifted but enigmatic engineer who founded what was soon to become Europe’s largest car manufacturer in 1919.

Wilfully (indeed suicidally) ambitious, he was so far ahead of his time that he went bust in 1934 and had to be rescued by Michelin before tragically dying of stomach cancer a year later. What pushed him and his firm over the edge was the extraordinary Traction Avant which positively bristled with new-fangled innovations.

Launched in 1934 it was not only the world’s first mass-produced front-wheel drive car, but also one of the first to feature a welded steel monocoque body, rack-and-pinion steering, hydraulic brakes, synchromesh transmission and independently sprung front suspension.

It was of course a sensation. By the late 1930s, the engine had grown from the original 1,300cc to 1,911cc, putting the car into the 15hp tax band in the UK, hence they were known as Light 15s here, although techically this example is a 11BL - the 11 refering to the French fiscal rating, the B its series number and the L for Legere, or Light in English as apposed to the larger Normale....

This stylish French-built example left the Quai de Javel plant in 1952 and nothing is known of its history until a French sales receipt shows it had been living way down south near Pau, the transfer to the UK taking place in 1984 through Newhaven.

It changed hands a few times before joining the vendor's collection in 1999 having been purchased through an Olympia sale. It was in fine order and was enjoyed for a few years before being put into dry storage.

It comes with an original repair manual, jack and wheel brace etc and having been off the road for a long period, will require recommissioning before use once more.

The best thing about it this car is the state of the bodywork, which is very sound and rust-free, perhaps it always lived in the south of France? The interior is also original and in very nice order, it all looks just as it should. Bidders are advised however that although running nicely when put away, the engine is no long free and this will need some investigation before it is back up and running.

This should be a relatively straightforward project and has the potential to become a really nice example. It is well worth a close inspection.

For more information - contact [email protected] 

Reg No: LSU398
Chassis Number: 606082
Engine Number: 606082
Engine Size: 1911
Docs: V5C:old style log book; french bill of sale: five old MOTs: factory manual

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £4,000-6,000

Lot 76

Lot ended

Wednesday 22/06/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

£5,668
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