In 1919 Andre Citroen launched his first motorcar in Britain. Proving successful a factory was eventually established to mass produced motor cars for the UK market. Citroen later became synonymous with cutting edge design and styling of its cars forcing the company to the brink of bankruptcy due to its vast capitol outlays and Andre Citroens determination and investment during the design process. The mid 1930's saw the introduction of the Citroen Light 15 or Traction Avant .To its many admirers it is a towering reference point in the history of the motor car, pioneering front wheel drive on a mass produced family saloon. It had a three speed gearbox mounted ahead of the engine in the nose of the car and elegant well proportioned bodywork. This was cutting edge technology in those days. By the standards of 1934 the road holding of the Traction Avant was almost unbelievably good albeit at the expense of heavy steering. Sadly high development costs sent a penniless Andre Citroen to an early grave and his company into the arms of Michelin (a tyre manufacturer) nonetheless the light 15 successfully sold strongly for 23 years There were many variations; the big 15 had an extra 7 inches added to the wheelbase while the Commericale had an early form of rear hatchback and in essence, the first estate car while there were eight seats in the Familiale. For the more sporty drivers there were the rare coupe and convertible. Production continued in France and England where by the UK market had the luxury of a wooden dash and a leather interior.1956 saw the Traction superseded by another landmark in automotive design the Citroen DS and arguably a design icon of the 1950's. Innovative mechanically with its hydraulic suspension and braking system provided the owner with a most smooth ride, so good that it was later used on the production Rolls-Royces in the late 1960's.Production of the DS spanned 20 years to include saloon, estate and the rare convertible models. Today, older Citroens have a cult following.

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