1 vehicle, 1 story - The 1952 Citroën Traction BL

Far from being unique, the history of the automobile is in fact a multitude of stories that unite enthusiasts and exceptional vehicles! To showcase these extraordinary stories, Rétromobile recently organised a major competition to give enthusiasts from all walks of life the chance to win their shoot of "One vehicle, one story". Discover today the winner of the competition and his vehicle!

The big winners were Bruno Coffinières and his 1952 Citroën Traction BL!

A veritable revolution when it came out in 1934, the Citroën Traction is one of those vehicles that have left their mark on the history of French motoring. Acclaimed for its excellent roadholding, the Citroën Traction left its mark on the Second World War by becoming one of the preferred vehicles of the French and German armies, as well as members of the Resistance. And for good reason: as well as its sleek aerodynamics, this road car shone through the many innovations it incorporated: front-wheel drive, monocoque structure, hydraulic brakes, independent wheel suspension system... a revolution for its time. 

"Getting a car at 11? It happens to lots of little boys! But when the car is life-size, given to you by your beloved uncle, and the model in question is a beautiful front-wheel drive from 1952, the story isn't quite the same ..." 

Produced in nearly 750,000 examples in a variety of forms (cabriolet, coupé and even van) and engines (from the in-line 4-cylinder to the 3.8-litre V8 developing over 100 bhp), the Citroën Traction went beyond its status as a simple vehicle. An emblem of an era, a faithful witness to individual and family histories, a bridge between generations... so many adjectives that could be applied to the Citroën Traction. And Désirée, Bruno's 1952 Citroën Traction BL, is perhaps the best illustration of this: spotted by his uncle Bernard during a flying session, the latter bought it before passing it on to Bruno on his 11th birthday. The car became a real object of desire for the young boy, who eventually drove it a few years later.

Many thanks to Bruno Coffinières and Bernard Gabolde for introducing us to this magnificent vehicle and its unusual history.

See you in the next episode!

In the meantime, check out the other episodes in the 1 Car, 1 Story series: