A Beautiful 1953 Citroen 11B Normale (Big15). As featured in CCW.


Lighter and faster than its contemporaries, the Citroen Traction Avant was a game-changing, aspirational car. A favourite of Second World War commanders, film directors and the odd gangster, the Avant is affectionately dubbed the “Reine de la Route”, Queen of the Road.

First produced in 1934, the more powerful 1911 cc engine of the 11B Light replaced the 7C in 1941. Rarer than the 11B Light, only a single 11B Normale was manufactured in 1946 for the 1946 Paris Motor Show. The 11B Normale model has a longer wheelbase than the 11B Light, measuring 3,090 mm (122 in).

From front-wheel drive to its welded unitary chassis, four-wheel independent suspension and cast aluminium alloy transaxle, the Traction Avant bought so many firsts to the European car market.  Its ground-breaking transaxle was used in the Cooper T43, T45, T51 and T53, winning Formula One and GP World Championships. Production ended in 1957, with the Citroen ID, by which time 759, 111 had been manufactured.

The car:

This beautiful, well-looked after 1953 Citroen 11B Normale is in very good condition and excellent mechanical order. A joy to drive, it has the added bonus of a Historic classification from the DVLA, making it exempt from both MOT and Tax. It has recently been tested by Classic Car Weekly.


Imported to the U.K. in 1992, this elegant, less common model of the Traction Avant (Front Wheel Drive) has benefited from only having four U.K. owners over the last 26 years. In testament to its careful ownership, the original instruction book is still in use and supplied with the car, as well as many invoices detailing past services and repairs.

With left-hand drive, the correct term for this model is an 11B. However, left-hand drives are often called the Big 15, although the name was actually given to the right-hand drives for the U.K. market, that were usually assembled here in England, in Slough.


The powerful 11B has a four-cylinder, 1911cc engine, mated to a manual 3-speed column gearchange. A joy to drive, it starts, runs and drives extremely smoothly for a car of its age. Able to maintain normal traffic speeds, it is in excellent mechanical order, having only covered 5,000 km in the last 13 years.

The current reading is 78,915 km. Its last oil change service was at 78,118 km.

Exterior: Finished in black, both the exterior and undercarriage are rust-free.

Interior: The original bodywork, headlining and seats remain in very good condition.

Rowland says: “This is a slice of automobile history. A time-warp car, in very good order. Sixty-five years old, it has been well-looked after by its four U.K. keepers. A stunning car that is a pleasure to drive.”

Viewing is by appointment, so please call first on 0333 335 5054 to ensure availability. 


  • Condition: Used
  • Transmission: 3-speed manual
  • Recorded Mileage: 78915km
  • Engine Size: 1911
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Date First Registered: 1953
  • Drive Side: Left Hand Drive
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Exterior Colour: Black
  • Interior Colour: Grey
  • Tax Exempt: Yes
  • MOT Exempt: Yes
  • Our Price: REDUCED TO £18995
  • Our Grading: 3
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