The Known History of OSL 282

OSL 282 started out life being built on the Traction production line in Citroën's Paris factory on the 17th December 1952 before being delivered to it's 1st owner in France in 1953.

Traction Background

The 'Traction Avant' (French for Front Wheel Drive) was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 to early 1934. Whilst not the 1st front wheel drive car, it was the world's first front-wheel drive steel monocoque construction production car.

Tractions Ready To Leave The FactoryThe car was however, the 1st front-wheel drive car to be made for the European mass market. Especially with it's structure being a welded monocoque (just like the vast majority of modern cars) so was pioneering in it's day.

A Traction Avant has always had a unique look, and a very advanced suspension when it was launched compared to other cars out there followed shortly after by rack and pinion steering.

The front wheels are independently sprung, using a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement, however being front wheel drive, the turning circle isn't great compared to modern cars and without the advantages of power steering you really do have to 'drive' the car.

Production finally ended on 25th July 1957 after more than 23 years when another very advanced Citroën was launched, the ID19 soon to be known as the 'DS'

For anyone interested, there is a comprehensive background on Wikipedia

2014 was the 80th Anniversary of the Traction for which Avant Citroën have created this: 80 Years of the Traction Avant

OSL 282 Known History

Citroën Conservatoire in Paris have confirmed from their records that the car (serial number 610072) was built in December 1952 before being delivered to it's 1st French owner (no details available)

What we do know is that the last Traction Avant ever built left the factory production line in 1957.

Last Traction Avant Built Being FuelledLast Traction Avant Built Front

UK History

In 1985 the car was imported to the UK, was registered here on 17th October that year and has since had 6 'keepers'.

MOT records also show that the car only covered 1,117 kilometres (694 miles) between April 2006 and September 2012 which backs up the premise that it's in need of 'a bit of love and attention'.

We acquired the car on 18th October 2012, but regretfully sold it at auction on 30th October 2020.

Previous UK owner locations:

New owner in Dorset, registered as the cars keeper on 31st October 2020.

New owner in Northumberland, registered as the cars keeper on 18th October 2012.

New owner in Buxton Derbyshire, registered as the cars keeper on 4th June 2009.

New owner in Hailsham West Sussex, registered as the cars keeper on 16th February 2004.

New owner in Maidstone, registered as the cars keeper on 10th August 2000 as OSL 282 'Historic'.

New owner in London, registered as the cars keeper on 29th July 1987 (ESV 470).

New owner in London, registered as the cars keeper on 1st April 1986 (ESV 470).

First registered the car in the UK on 17th October 1985 under reg no ESV 470.

When it was registered in the UK in London as ESV 470 it was not Historic or Road Tax Exempt and in October 2000 the registration was changed to 'Historic' and assigned a different registration number: OSL 282.

History in France

When the car went down the 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 17 December 1952.

Then the dealer collected it, and it got its chassis serial number 610072 BL. This could have been the same day, or weeks later.

After that we are still trying to find where in France it went to........ But never did.

August 2020

After 8 years of ownership we took the decision to let someone else carry on and finally complete the 'restoration' as the car now owed us far more than it's market value and we were loath to commit any further funding to it, so decided that it was time to 'let go.'

Goodbye Traction Avant

We have enjoyed the restoration process and our time with the car and are sad to see it go, but health and other issues meant it was time to 'move on.' with the car being sold at auction on October 30th 2020. We hope the new owners, whoever they may be, have as much pleasure from and enjoy looking after this 68 year old classic as much as we have.

Turn the page to: The 2012 Restoration Story >>

Last Update: 30th October 2020.