OSL 282 - is a Front Wheel Drive, Citroen Traction Avant 11 BL (Legere) built in Paris in December 1952 (LHD) which we have taken over the care of which we thought only required some general 'cosmetic' restoration work to the interior and exterior.
When the car went down the factory assembly line, the control number was the coque number (BR 34277). It was then tested, and a certificate issued, and the “date of commercialisation” recorded as 17th December 1952.
Then the dealer collected it, and it got its chassis serial number (610072) this could have been the same day, or even weeks later.
Why buy a 60 year old Traction Avant you may ask? Well I have owned 'classic' cars before (some I learnt to drive in when they were new and not considered classics!) and for some reason always wanted a Traction. No ryhme or reason to it, I just 'needed' one.......Now, finding the right Traction Avant is not so easy, there are often cars for sale, but care needs to be taken, as they can be expensive to repair if any mechanical faults exist. Gearboxes are one of the things I was told to be careful of and after driving a few during my search, I understand why.
I could have continued the search for a more 'luxurious' Slough Built (RHD) car, but realised after driving both variants, that there wasn't enough room in the drivers footwell for my size 10's in a Slough car. Also anything other than a 'Big Boot Legere' meant extending the garage!
OSL 282 was bought 'as seen' from a long term Citroen specialist who had taken the car in part exchange for another and has had a list of recent mechanical repairs carried out already.
Whilst the car looked 'reasonable' externally, it was not 'shiny' had a few 'parking' dings on the wings, paint damage on the bonnet edges and there is rust coming through the door bottoms and boot lid so it was decided that a full paint job was the best way forward. However the body is structurally sound with a good solid floor etc. and a lot of the external features like wings, bonnet and doors, simply bolt on.
The interior was a bit 'rough' as well (apart from the recently re upholstered seats in tan leather), and the rear window had been leaking water badly and the inner door panels are all bowed and buckled due to water getting at the backing 'cards'.
The carpets are also rotted so a full interior re trim will follow the paint job, apart from the original roof lining, which we are going to save, if possible, though there are a good 6 inches missing under the rear window and the lower half of the wooden frame had rotted away!
Once the paintwork restoration was completed though it was found that the 6 volt system electrical wiring for the lights and indicators had suffered after 60 years of use, so the wiring loom required some repairs and some areas required complete replacement.
The brakes however are not perfect so these are having a complete overhaul and as the near side front wheel bearing is a bit 'noisy' there going to be changed along with the driveshaft and a replacement 'CV' type has been sourced to replace the original 'Hardy Spicer' joint type.