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Citroën Traction Avant 15 D 1947-1956

© Copyright: J.Cats.

Traction Avant 15 D

The 15 Six D is introduced in 1946 as the succesor for the 15 Six G. The reason why isn't totaly clear but having one car in the line up that has the engine rotating different from all others (even including non Citroëns) will have weighed in the discision. The first 15 Six D cars were probably built in April 1947.

YearTotal # builtSerial numbers
194769682 691 - 682 800
19482731682 801 - 685 500
19496047685 501 - 691 600
19509400691 601 - 701 600
195111752701 601 - 713 000
19528376713 001 - 721 650
19532388 (Familiale: 189)721 651 - 723 710
1954D: 1104 (Familiale: 258)
H: 1679
723 711 - 724 950
726 001 - 727 680
1955D: 58 (Familiale: 48)
H: 1349
724 951 - 725 390
727 681 - 729 062
1956H: 47
H Familiale: 2
729 148 & 729 149
1957H: 2

Here are the changes year by year:


The biggest difference is of course the engine turning the other way. This naturally has some consequences. First of all the gearbox has to be altered otherwise the car would have 3 gears in reverse! This is done by swapping over the differential. The crankstart arrangement is moved up one axle on the gearbox so you still crankstart the car the same way. With moving up this, the hole in the radiator also moves up, and the already ovale hole in the grille gets even larger. This hole is now covered by two badges. The 15-6 badge as on the 15 Six G but with a crossed wings badge underneath. The cylinderhead is also altered to raise the compression ratio to 6.2:1. This is possible because of the higher octane fuel available after the war. There is also a new Solex 30 PAAI carburettor.
The earliest cars still have the 15 Six G appearance with Pilote wheels and a painted grille. During the summer, the production of the 15 Six is ceased and when it is restarted additional changes are made. New BM closed wheels are fitted with small hubcaps as on the 11. The grille is now chromed. On the outside only the longer bonnet, wider wings and the badges on the grille and on the rear are the only things that show that you're dealing with a 15 Six and not a 11. Untill you're on the open roads that is.


Now the production of the 15 D really developes. During the year, the 15 DB is replaced by the DV. The flywheel is differently connected to the crankshaft, the rear axle is modified and the pedals are changed.


During the year, the following things are changed. New wing protectorson the outside, and Pullman seats on the inside of the car. The compression is raised to 6.5:1.
July: The speedo back plate with white digits on a black background is replaced by a beige backplate with black digits.
After the Salon, the 15 gets the big chrome hubcaps that will stay to the end of production.





There is a choice between grey or green velours cloth for seats and doorpanels.
In September the Familiale reapears. Differences are: 3 spoke steeringwheel and 3 strapotins between the front seats and the rear bench. The 15 Six Familiale is the longest Traction Avant ever built.


The Berline can be ordered with an option: Hydraulic rear suspension. This version, called oleopneumatique is a predessesor to the DS which will be introduced a year later. One 15/6 oleo with serial number 726 001 and engine number W 00010 is presented for type approval which is granted on March 26th 1954. The function of the 15 Six Oleo is to get some practical experience with the hydraulic system. Differences compared to the normal 15 Six are: 165x400 wheels and tyres, like on the 11, 75 liter fuel tank (normally 70 liter), front anti roll bar, longer front torsion bars to improve ride comfort and different carpeting to increase the smooth feel created by the suspension. Exterior difference is the 15 Six 6 cyl. emblem which is moved from the right rear wing to the bootlid above the license plate light.


Now that 2 rear lights are compulsory, the 15 Six 6 cyl. emblem is moved from the right rear wing to the bootlid above the license plate light on the normal 15 Six as well. From February onwards, only the Oleopneumatique and Familiale are available.


47 Oleopneumatiques are built, but don't appear in the price list (also no serial numbers known). 2 Familiale Oleopneumatique cars are built (729 148 and 729 149), one of which is for the French President Coty private use.


2 more Oleopneumatiques are assembled in November. It's unclear wether or not these are Familiale cars.

Well known are the 2 presidential Traction Avants used for official occasions. These were both based on 15 Six Familiale Oleopneumatique platforms. They carried serial numbers 729 101 (bought November 10th 1955, rebodied by Franay, sold February 3rd 1971) and 729 147 (bought October 3rd 1956, rebodied by Chapron, sold July 3rd 1974). Both cars were modified September 30th 1959 and the Franay car was modified again November 26st 1968. It's unclear where these platforms came from. The purchase date rules out that these are the 1957 cars. It's not uncommon for damaged cars to be bought by coachbuilters to be rebodied, but there weren't many 15 Six Familiale H cars around!

So what happend to the 1956 and 1957 cars?

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