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Production Years: 1949-1990
Country: France
Number Produced: 1,835,170

Every French man and woman bears some nostalgia for this small car, which was very often his or her first automobile. The program, drawn by Pierre Boulanger, was the rescue plan for a bankrupt Citroen in the 1930’s and the French people. Making a car that any working French person could afford to purchase and maintain would open a huge market. The plan was simple but required great engineering and foresight. The production version, ready in September 1939 known as the TPV, was not much more than four wheels under an umbrella. The first cars designed with a 375-cc, eight-horsepower engine were sluggish but only burdened in a four door sedan of 1300 pounds! For the sake of economy, the CV joints were omitted, causing a deep jerking when turning the steering wheel. ​ The car was inexpensive, indestructible and easy to maintain. Citroen cars benefitted from nimble handling and a fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon! Several models succeeded with improved power and the same traditional qualities of simplicity, robustness and economy with over 5 million produced in many countries around the world from 1948-1990. The Traction Avant, the 2CV and the DS 19 (born in the mid-1950s) were considered avant-garde without any concession to the conservative approach of the marketing specialists of other companies.

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