The car with serial number 100 000 and engine number 000890 is presented for type approval which is granted on June 6th 1934.
The first 11A, a 11 C.P.V.L. (fixed head coupe), is registered June 11th 1934.
This prototype is equipped with the 7S engine which has a sump breather that differs from the later 11 engines.
It also features the Pausodyne engine suspension unlike first production cars which have the old Moteur Flottant system until November 1934.
In 1934, from June onwards, 5052 11As are built.
Only 3300 cars are sold and therefore in October 1934 production is temporarly ceased in order to sell the remaining stock first.
The cars get their serial number when the purchase order has been confirmed and it is quite likely that the cars put into storage first, came out last.
Characteristics for the 1934 11A when launched:
- Front axle:
The front axle is unique to the 1934 11A.
It is different from all other Traction Avant front axles in that it doesn't use balljoints but conical bearings.
These bearings provide the steering movement.
The suspension movement is provided by bronze bushes between the upper / lower suspension arm and the swivel housing carrier.
Some 1934 11As have 5 stud 12" forged brake drums, but most have 6 stud ones.
The 11A has friction shock absorbers mounted on the front of the cradle on torsion bar extensions.
Tracta driveshafts are fitted.
The steering is the same type of Gremmer steering as on the 7 but with a few minor changes.
To remove some of the excessive play from the steering, the two balljoint on either side of the cradle have been replaced by one combined balljoint.
To lighten the steering on the 11A, J.A. Gregoire designed a front axle using conical bearings, lightening the steering considerably.
An early development alteration replaces the rings between the cradle and the lower suspension arm by two unequal ones.
This changes the flight of the wheel and thus provides some self centring of the steering.
The steering box has only one bearing.
The very first 11A engines feature the flat back water pump as found on the 7A, 7B and 7S.
The 11A is equipped with an automatic choke, which is activated by a temperature sensor on the exhaust manifold.
All 11As have a horizontal carburettor (Solex 30 THD).
All engines manufactured before the war have their date of manufacture cast into the block below the exhaust manifold as well as 78x100 on the cylinderhead between the second and third sparkplug.
- Engine mounts:
The first 11As feature the Moteur Flottant engine suspension like the 7A and 7B but without the floating radiator.
The Moteur Flottant suspension is a license of a Chrysler patent.
This type of flexible engine mounts works fine with smooth American engines with at least six cylinders, but does not go well with front wheel drive combined with the rough running European four cylinder cars.
November 1934 this system is replaced by the Pausodyne system.
The suspension point in the gearbox cover is fitted with a cylindrical silentblock.
The gearbox is identical in construction to those found on the 7A, 7B and 7C with one selector shaft housing visible on the front of the gearbox cover.
On later cars you can see two of these housings.
The gearbox doesn't feature the mount for the floating radiator as on the 7A and 7B.
Until November 1934 the bottom bearing housing on the front only has 4 bolts instead of the later 5.
- Rear axle:
The rear axle is round with twin locating rods, identical to those found on the 7C and 11AL but wider.
The 11A features leverarm shockabsorbers.
Some 1934 11As have 5 stud 12" forged brake drums, but most have 6 stud ones.
The rear brake drums on the 1934 11A are secured in the same way as the front drums.
The exhaust on the Moteur Flottant cars has one flexible rubber suspension point in the centre of the silencer.
This exhaust system also has a flexible section and different supports.
It passes through the right-hand-side jambonneau.
- Fuel tank:
The fuel tank has a 50 liter capacity and has 2 filler openings, one on either side of the spare wheel.
The wiring of the 1934 11A differs from all other Traction Avants in that it has 2 five-fold connectors for the headlight wiring (one mounted on each jambonneau).
The bumpers are the same as on all Traction Avants until 1952 with the difference that the 11A doesn't have overriders (just like other 1934 Traction Avants).
The very early 1934 11As have their horns on the front bumper as on the 7A and 7B.
From October onwards the horns are fitted behind grilles in the front wings.
First these are secured to the back of the horn grille with a rubber ring in between.
Due to the extra strain this puts on the wings this is later replaced by fitting the horns on a bracket on the bumper supports.
These horns are still located behind the grilles in the wings.
The first 11As have a grille which is very similar to those found on the 7 and 11AL with the curved top, but this is soon changed to a more flat top.
These grilles have a shallow dent for the grill nose.
All 1934 11As have chromed grilles made from cupper with a round crank hole.
All 1934 cars have the chevrons behind the grille.
On some cars the bars and grille surround are seperate pieces.
- Front wings:
The first cars with the horns on the bumper don't have the grilles in the wings.
Width (measured along headlight support): 68 cm.
Height (measured from headlight support straight down): 29,5 cm.
In October these wings are replaced by ones with small round grilles behind which the horns are mounted.
The grilles are 9 cm from the bottom of the wing and are painted the same color as the wings but chromed or enamelled grilles are an option.
Width and height of the wing are still the same.
The headlights are 220mm in diameter and have flat glass.
The headlight supports are completely closed.
11As built before early 1936 have an extra edge along the front of the bonnet.
All 1934 11As have the bonnet shutter handles on the rear of the shutters.
The early cars have shutters which all open at the rear, later cars have front shutters which open at the front.
- Windscreen surround:
All 1934 cars have a chromed steel windscreen surround.
Later cars have an aluminium windscreen surround.
Some 1934 11As have 5 stud wheels, but most have 6 stud ones.
Hubcaps for both wheels are secured without the center bolt.
The 5 stud hubcap is pressed into a ring on the wheel, the 6 stud hubcap is pressed over a ring on the wheel.
The 6 stud hubcaps have a rounded edge, so that it is possible to tell from the covers whether 5 or 6 stud wheels are mounted.
Tyre sizes are 150x40 for the Berline and 160x40 for Familiale and Limousine.
All 1934 11As have ventilated sills with a cold air feed for the right jambonneau which has the exhaust going through it.
Other features are twin air inlets below the windscreen, no bootlid, flat floor without reinforcement dents and no raingutters.
From July 1934 the Familiales and Limousines are available and these have a hole below the rear door which is covered by a plug.
On the Cabriolet, there is no dickey seat lid handle.
The dickey is opened by a lever on the hood tray.
The doors don't have the alu trim strip and the rubber knobs are mounted in the doors, while on later cars these rubbers are mounted in the body.
On the long wheelbase cars, the front and rear doors look identical.
- Rear wings:
The wings have a very small width and are the identical to those of a 7 of the same age.
Each wing has a hole with a curved edge for a rear light 29 cm above the bottom of the wing.
- Rear lights:
Two round rear lights are located in the rear wings.
The lights have a pressed steel profiled edge and flat red glass with a small "lump" in the center.
- Rear license plate holder:
The illuminated license plate holder is mounted in the middle above the rear bumper, mounted on brackets secured between the body and the dress panel between the wings.
The license plate is lit by painting the digit negatives on transparent plastic, with two lights behind the plastic in the holder.
- Spare wheel cover:
The spare wheel cover is made up by several pieces.
One piece is put on the body, after which the wheel is placed on the body and secured.
Then the outer piece is put on the wheel.
A chromed steel ring with a spring in it keeps the 2 pieces together.
The hubcap is put on last securing the cover to the wheel.
The floor is flat without reinforcement dents.
The sill which carries the front seats/bench has a compartment for the jack if a front bench is fitted to the car.
When separate seats have been fitted (optional) the compartment is not available (the space is used for fixation of the seats).
The dashboard has a central placed combined speedometer (130 km/h), oil pressure meter, fuel gauge (50 liter) and amp meter with black digits on white background and red meter hands.
It also has 2 glove compartments.
The lights are operated by a switch to the right of the speedometer and a ring on the steering wheel.
The horns are operated by a knob in the centre of the steering wheel.
The gear selector surround has arabic digits and is the same shape and size as the light switch surround.
On early cars the dashboard is painted with wood imitation paint.
11As built before November 1934 (Moteur Flottant) have the same round pedals as the 7.
From November onwards side mounted square pedals (fully rubber covered and different to later types) are fitted.
(Note: We know of at least 1 Moteur Flottant engined car that has these pedals.)
- Front seat:
Normally 11As have a front bench for 3 persons without the chrome bar at the top of the back rest.
This bench is covered with plain grey cloth with two longitudinal bars stitched in it.
Separate seats are optional.
- Rear seat:
The rear bench is upholstered the same way as the front one.
Because these cars don't have a boot lid, the rear back rest can be opened, hinging at the top and secured with 2 leather straps.
- Door panels:
The door panels are from the same material as the benches and have a curve stitched into them, filled with wood.
The doors have a small pocket for roadmaps.
- Window surrounds:
On early cars the window surrounds are painted with wood imitation paint.
Early 1935 the Tracta driveshafts are replaced by Rzeppa ones.
The body now gets raingutters above the doors and a reinforced floor.
The front bonnet shutters now have their handles at the front.
On the Cabriolet the dickey seat lid now has an exterior handle.
- April-May: The front axle is replaced by the improved "Stade 1" one.
The friction shock absorbers on the front axle are replaced by telescopic ones mounted on the rear of the suspension arms.
The steering box gets a second bearing.
The round tube rear axle is replaced by the cruciform type.
The lever arm shock absorbers on the rear axle are replaced by telescopic ones.
- May: The combined light switch on the dashboard and steering wheel is replaced by a commodo, 2 levers on a unit connected to the steering tube.
The ignition key stays where the dashboard light switch was and a special backplate of the same shape as the switch and the gearlever gate opposite is fitted.
- June - July: Along the tops of the seats, a chrome bar is fitted and there are now 2 sun visors.
- July: The front axle is replaced by the "Stade 1 bis" one.
This axle is very different to the previous one and similar to the 7C and 11AL Stade 1 bis axle.
- September: The backplate behind the ignition key dissapears as well.
- October: All berlines get a bootlid (serial number 107 400 onwards), although this had been optional for a short period.
With the bootlid, the fuel tank only has one filler opening.
The Familiales and Limousines still haven't got a bootlid and retain the twin filler openings.
The spare wheel cover is replaced by an one piece one.
The grille is made from brass, painted and the chevrons (flat with double edges) are mounted on top.
The front wings get much bigger.
The height (measured from the headlight support down) is increased from 29,5 cm to 34,5 cm.
The centre of the grilles for the horns are now 14 cm from the bottom of the wing (was 9 cm).
Headlights no longer have flat glass.
The rear license plate is on the left rear wing.
One rear light is mounted on the license plate holder, the other in the right wing, both 19 cm (was 29) above the bottom tip of the wing.
- December: The gearbox cover is altered and fitted with a conical engine suspension rubber.
In the beginning of 1936 the upholstery is simplified and less luxureous.
A new air filter makes the engine less loud.
14 berlines without bootlid are built this year.
The Familiale and Limousine now also get the bootlid (2 without bootlid are built).
- January: The 11A gets the second type Spicer driveshafts.
- February: The hand brake handle gets the shape it will keep untill the end.
One Coupé de Ville is built with an older body.
The Coupé de Ville is a Limousine without the third side window.
- March: The 11A gets the third type Spicer driveshafts.
- May 15th: From serial number 113 001 onwards a new front axle with the crémaillière (rack and pinion) steering is fitted.
This alteration makes the steering much lighter and more direct, both big problems on the old steering.
The steering now also has a much longer life.
- May - June: The side mounted rubber covered pedals are replaced by square ones.
The exhaust no longer runs through the right jambonneau.
- June: From serial number 113 200 onwards, the speedometer is moved behind the steering wheel and the twin air inlets are replaced by a single one.
The new speedo has a black background with white digits and reads up to 130 km/h.
The clock is mounted in the middle of the dash, being either mechanical or electrical.
In February, because of standarisation of parts, the 11A is renamed to 11B and is now largely identical the the 11BL.
The detailed history of this type can be found in the Traction Avant 11B section.
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