Three Citroens will go under the hammer with no reserve price at Shannons Melbourne Spring Auction on Monday 31 August, giving lovers of the quirky French marquee a unique opportunity
The earliest of the cars for sale is a 1924 Citroën 5CV Type C Roadster, affectionately known to enthusiasts as Le Petit Citron (‘the little lemon’).
The 5CV was the third and smallest of the first three cars built by Andre Citroën in his Paris factory from 1919, when he defied convention by becoming the first European carmaker to employ American mass-production techniques.
It was equipped with an economical 856cc four-cylinder engine and an electric starter.
Fitted with a boat-tail body finished in bright yellow with beige upholstery, the car being auctioned by Shannons originally came from Birchip in country Victoria and has had its engine and gearbox both rebuilt by Citroën specialists.
Shannons are expecting the 5CV to attract bids in the AU$10,000-$15,000 range (NZ$12,000-$18,600).
Lovers of the innovative ‘Traction Avant’ introduced in 1934 have the opportunity to snap up an example of this pioneering Citroën.
The 11CV (or ‘Light 15’ as it was dubbed in England) features front-wheel drive, monocoque construction, hydraulic brakes, independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering and torsion bar suspension, while its modern, low-slung body was also devoid of running boards. It was so far ahead of its time that it remained in production for more than two decades.
The 1956 model being auctioned was originally sold in New Zealand and is one of the last Light 15 produced. According to Shannons the car is a solid example that could easily be improved without major expense and is expected to sell in the $5000-$8000 ($NZ6000-$9900) range.
The youngest of the three Citroëns on offer is the 1973 Citroën DS23 Safari Wagon.
The unconventional Citroën DS was launched in 1955 as a replacement for the Traction Avant and remained in production for the next two decades.
The DS range was expanded in 1959 to include the cavernous Confort Familiale (dubbed the Safari), with the option of seven seats.
By the 1970s, fuel injection and five-speed gearboxes were fitted to top spec models and for 1972 the DS23 came with a new 2347cc four-cylinder with Bosch EFI.
Originally delivered to a doctor from Menindie, South Australia in 1974, this very rare DS23 Safari Wagon was later sold back to the Citroën’s then Victorian agents, Duttons.
Only offered for sale due to the current owner’s ill health, the Citroën comes with the original service books, owner’s manual and many receipts and is expected to attract lively bidding in the $15,000-$20,000 ($NZ18,600-$24,800) range.