1954 Citroen Light 15

I purchased this car in March 2015, when it was only 61 years old.   It is a 1954 Citroen Light 15, which is a variant of the Traction Avant.    Traction

I kept the car through May of 2019, so just over four years.   In the four years I owned it, I averaged 400km per year.

About the Traction Avant

The Traction Avant was one of the most revolutionary cars of the 20th Century and set the standard that was still being followed 50 years later for small cars.   Front Wheel Drive, Monocoque design, rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension etc.    None of these technologies were on their own new, but they had never come together into a single car before and it was a highly risky undertaking – one that would ultimately cost the independence of the company and the health of its founder.

To learn more about the various models of the Traction Avant, please see this page.     In addition, there is an excellent history available from Ate Up with Motor.  For a contemporary review of the car, please see this page.

About this 1954 Traction Avant

This car was built in the United Kingdom, as were most RHD Traction Avants.   it is a Light 15, meaning the small body with the 1911cc motor.   being a British car it is equipped to a more luxurious standard than the French built cars, reflecting their price and competition in the UK market.    It was probably sold new in Victoria, as it was certainly in Melbourne in the late 60s.

I have been able to trace some of the history, as I was also able to talk to a previous owner of my Traction Avant, who is a member of the Citroen Car Club.   He owned the car in the early 70s.    His uncle worked at the Citroen dealer at the time, and the car had been brought in with an engine problem.    The owner was then convinced to trade the car in for a new model when the problem was partially fixed.    The dealership just wanted it gone, so the uncle was able to let his nephew know about the car and he came down and bought it and drove it back up to Narrabri (via the putty road).   Later the problem was diagnosed to be one of the seals for the cylinder liners, which was allowing water into the oil.   Luckily the owner had a friend who taught mechanics at the local TAFE, and the engine was dropped off to be rebuilt by the students as a project!    A week later, it was re-installed in the car and re-did the paint, which was pretty bad by then was refreshed.   Over the time, the clutch was fixed and other general maintenance performed.    The owner later moved to Bathurst, where the next owner later purchased it.      During his ownership, he was able to trace the car as having been in Melbourne in its early years.

1954 Cit Lt15 at Narrabri in'73

I also spoke to another owner who had the car for a few years in the late 70s, who replaced the gearbox and fitted the roof antenna.

I am also informed that this car was owned by Dick Thornett.  He passed away in 2011, but he was one of only a handful of people who represented Australia in three sports.  These were Rugby League, Rugby Union and Water Polo.    He was the licensee of the Dolphin Hotel in Surrey Hills, Sydney and the car used to be seen parked outside during that time.

The work I did on the car was listed below, but overall it was a fairly reliable and fun car to own.     During my ownership, it won its class at the All French day in 2016, and came runner up in 2015.   I took it on a few road trips, the longest being the south coast, did a wedding and enjoyed many drives in the car.

The car has been sold to a new owner in the northern suburbs of Brisbane.


  1. March 2015 - New Addition: 1954 Citroen Light 15
  2. March 2015 - Traction Avant - Further evaluation
  3. March 2015 - Minor repairs to the Traction
  4. March 2015 - Traction won't select a gear
  5. March 2015 - Traction will select a gear... Sometimes.
  6. April 2015 - Traction oil service - how simple
  7. July 2015 - 2nd Prize in a beauty contest
  8. August 2015 - Traction coolant flush
  9. October 2015 - The Citroen DS was launched 60 years ago this month
  10. November 2015 - Door mirrors for the Traction Avant
  11. February 2016 - Traction Avant Wedding car
  12. April 2016 - Fixing Leaks from the Traction Avant oil cap
  13. July 2016 - 2016 French car day
  14. August 2016 - Traction engine troubleshooting
  15. March 2017 - Traction Avant drivabilty improvements
  16. June 2018 - Traction Avant Front Carpet
  17. March 2019 - For Sale: 1954 Traction Avant Light 15
  18. May 2019 - My Traction is migrating north