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Citroën Traction Avant 7A 1934

© Copyright: J.Cats.

Traction Avant 7A

Pre production

The 7 is first introduced to some dealers and André Citroën's friends on March 24th 1934. On April 18th, at 12.30 hours, the car is officially introduced in the Hall de l'Europe, place de l'Europe, Paris. This time many journalists and all dealers are present. There are about 350 people and only 1 Traction Avant 7.

The car with serial number A 24 and engine number 001014 is presented for type approval which is granted on April 13th 1934.
Production starts April the 19th 1934, the first car is sold on May 3rd 1934.

The first prototypes have several differences from the production cars. There is an automatic Senaud et Levau gearbox. But the gearbox overheats when used in the mountains so it is replaced by a manual 3 speed gearbox. This is designed, built and tested in the six months before the official introduction. The wheels look like those found on the Citroën Rosalie. On production cars these are replaced by the more modern ones with a large hubcap. The rear license plate is secured to the left wing (just like the 1935-onwards models). On the production cars this is replaced by a centrally mounted one to keep the visual appearance of the car more clean. There is only 1 windscreen wiper but on production cars there are always 2.

Production

The first production cars still have some problems:

  • Deformation of the body where the rear axle is attached. In very bad cases the torsion bars come up through the floor.
  • The engine moves around much, causing the radiator to make dents in the bonnet.
  • Rupture of the exhaust, also caused by movement of the engine.
  • Engines overheat. The first ventilators only have 4 blades.
  • Brakes running hot and seizing completely.
  • Problems with the gearbox. The first boxes only lasted some 40.000 km before bearing problems occurred.
  • Excessive play developing in the steering.
  • Several electrical problems.
  • The body deforming so bad that doors won't close or open spontaneously during driving. Some bodies even rupture.
  • Driveshafts are very uncivilized. Shocks and frightening noise occurre during cornering.
  • The front uprights sometimes break.

Serial numbers
The serial numbers range from 0001 to 6000 indicate 6000 cars being built. In reality the number of cars that have been built is thought to be considerably less. Please note that most books give 7000 as production number and highest serialnumber. However, Citro&eum;n gives the 6000 number in their October 1934 parts manual!

Engine numbers
Engine numbers for 7A are as follows: XX ?? ??. Where XX is one of the following combinations: BB, BH, BM, BL, BD, BZ And ?? ?? are four digits.

Mechanical

  • Front axle:
    The 7A features friction shock absorbers mounted on the front of the cradle on torsion bar extensions. All 7As have 5 stud 10" forged brake drums. The first driveshafts are Tracta non rotational driveshafts. These are soon replaced by Rzeppa ones with a ball bearing, a sort of constant velocity joint.

  • Steering:
    The steering is the first type of Gremmer steering with a one bearing steering box. Very early cars have a slightly different shaped steering box.

  • Engine:
    72x80mm, 1303cc, 32 hp @ 3200 rpm, topspeed 95 km/h. It has a flat back water pump with a bracket for the bars that support the radiator. The engines have "72x80" on the cylinderhead between the second and third sparkplug. New 7A engines were available untill 1938. The first carburettors are Solex 30 F.V. These are soon replaced by Solex 30 BFHD and 30 THD. The early cars have a 4 blade ventilator.

  • Engine mounts:
    All 7As have Floating Power engine suspension. There are two suspension points. One behind the engine under the battery tray and one between the gearbox and the cradle of the front suspension. The radiator is mounted direct on top of the gearbox, which makes it move around with the engine. Because of this, the tubes between the radiator and the waterpump are not rubber but are made out of steel.

  • Gearbox:
    The gearbox has one selector shaft housing visible on the front of the gearbox cover. On later cars you can see two of these housings. The gearbox cover has a special mount for the radiator. The bottom bearing housing on the front only has 4 bolts.

  • Rear axle:
    The rear axle is round with twin locating bars. It's mounted directly to the body without the later employed extra tube. The 7A features leverarm shockabsorbers. Rear brake drums are 5 stud 10" forged ones and are identical to the front brake drums.

  • Exhaust:
    On cars built before May 1934 the exhaust silencer is placed vertically outside the right jambonneau with a flexible section between the manifold and the silencer. From the silencer one pipe runs straight underneath the car, exiting at the rear on the right side.
    This is replaced by a pipe passing through the right jambonneau, then a flexible section and a tube running to the silencer mounted transversely in front of the rear axle. From the silencer the exhaust goes over the rear axle exiting at the rear of the car on the left side. The silencer is suspended with one flexible mount in the centre of the silencer.

  • Fuel tank:
    On the first series 7A there is a 35 liter fuel tank. On later cars the capacity is increased to 39 liters. On all 7A the fuel tank has 2 filler openings, one on either side of the spare wheel.

Exterior

  • Bumpers:
    The bumpers are the same curved ones as on all Traction Avants until 1952 with the difference that the 7A doesn't have overriders (just like other 1934 Traction Avants).

  • Horns:
    The 7A has the horns on the front bumper.

  • Grille:
    The grille is made from copper and has a lightly curved appearance. All 1934 cars have the chevrons behind the grille. On some cars the bars and grille surround are seperate pieces.

  • Front wings:
    All 7As have wings with rolled edges. The wings have a high cut front point and look very small.
    Width (measured along headlight support): 68 cm
    Height (measured from headlight support straight down): 28,5 cm

  • Headlights:
    The headlights are 200mm in diameter headlights and have flat glass. The headlight supports are completely closed.

  • Bonnet:
    On the 7A all shutters open at the rear and all shutter handles are at the rear of the shutters.

  • Windscreen surround:
    All 1934 cars have a chromed steel windscreen surround.

  • Wheels:
    All 7s have 5 stud wheels. Hubcaps are secured without the center bolt. The hubcap is pressed into a ring on the wheel, tyre sizes are 140x40.

  • Body:
    All 7As have a roof with a center section covered with moleskin (Toit Souple). There are twin air inlets below the windscreen and no bootlid. The floor is flat without reinforcement dents and at the front there is an angled footrest on the floor. There are no raingutters. On the Cabriolet, there is no dickey seat lid handle. The dickey is opened by a lever on the hood tray.

  • Doors:
    The doors are different from those found on later cars in that they don't have the trim strip and the rubber knobs are mounted in the doors, while on later cars these rubbers are mounted in the body. On early 7As (or all 7As?) the front doors have a door rubber which only runs along the top of the door, unlike later cars on which the door rubber runs along the top and the front of the door.

  • Rear wings:
    All 7As have wings with rolled edges. The wings have a very small width. 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 chromed edge and flat red glass with a small "lump" in the center. There are 2 types of rear lights. Early cars have large diametre glass with a small U shaped chrome edge. Later cars have a smaller diametre glass with a pressed steel profiled edge.

  • License plate holder:
    The license plate holder is placed in the middle above the rear bumper, mounted on the body. 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.

Interior

  • Floor:
    The floor is flat without reinforcement dents.

  • Dashboard:
    The dashboard has a central placed combined speedometer (130 kmh), oil pressure meter, fuel gauge (35 or 39 liter), amp meter and clock with white digits on black background and white 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 7As, first gear is located in the right upper corner. The gear lever has a different shape when compared to later cars. From May onwards first gear is in the lower right corner of the gate and the gearlever gets it's normal shape with two bends, one to the right and one downwards as found on all later Tractions. On the early cars, the windscreen wiper is vacuum operated, but this is soon replaced by an electric motor.

  • Front seat:
    The 7A has separate front seats with bars running front to rear and top to bottom.

  • 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.

In June 1934 the 7A is replaced by the 7B.


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