'Light 15' model front-wheel-drive four-cylinder petrol engined right-hand-drive five-seater all-steel saloon body motor car, built by Citroen Cars Ltd, Slough, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1951. Type 11CL8, Engine No.AF.15713, Chassis No.138177, equipped with 'Sunshine Roof' and painted 'Mint Green' with 'Fawn' leatherette upholstery & interior trim. The vehicle was shipped from Blakes Wharves at Fulham to Commonwealth Motors in Melbourne as one of about 687 Citroens of this model imported in 1951. It was sold by Shields Motor Company Pty Ltd, Flinders Street, Melbourne, to Mr Noel R. Huckell of Elsternwick, Victoria, on 31 January 1952, for £1,427. Noel Huckell was an electrical engineer employed by the Department of Civil Aviation. He was fastidious about maintaining his Citroen and kept a record of all service and replacement parts fitted from the date of first registration with the Victorian plates XD440. After over two decades faithful service as his family car, Mr Huckell sold the vehicle to the local Citroen agent A.O. Dutton & Sons Pty Ltd on 17 October 1974 and it was subsequently displayed in their showroom at Burnley. The Museum purchased the vehicle from Duttons in March 1983. It has 56,000 miles recorded on the odometer and includes the original tool kit and registration papers. The original registration plates and engine are still fitted.

The Citroen 'Traction Avant' (front-wheel-drive Citroen) was a revolutionary French automotive design that remained in production from 1934 to 1957, despite the fact that the Citroen company was declared bankrupt in late 1934, and was taken over by its major creditor, the Michelin Tyre Co., in 1935. Body styling was by Italian-born sculptor Flaminio Bertoni and engineering design by Andre Lefebvre. It was the first mass production car to feature a combination of front-wheel-drive, a 'unitary' or 'monocoque' body and chassis and independent front suspension. The original concept came from Andre Citroen who wanted an entirely new car that would trump his competitors, especially Renault. The design was many years ahead of its time and is considered by many to be the forerunner of all modern motor car design. The Light Fifteen was a 15 horsepower, four-cylinder 1911 cc overhead-valve motor car, and was also offered from 1939 with a 2.8 litre six-cylinder engine. Some 760,000 examples were built in convertible and hard-top models with a variety of body designs and wheel-base platforms. About 25,000 of these cars were built by Citroen Cars Ltd in the United Kingdom, with some 6,000 of these exported to Commonwealth countries.

Like other 'Traction Avant' Citroens, the Light 15 model was originally designed and sold with independant torson bar suspension on both the front and rear wheels. This vehicle appears to have been modified as it is now fitted with Monroe-W 'Floatingride' shock absorbers manufactured by W.H. Wylie & Co. Ltd, Hilton, South Australia, from 1954.

Physical Description

Specifications: Engine Type: 4-cylinder veritcal inline overhead valve type with alloy pistons and detachable cylinder liners Bore x Stroke: 78 mm x 100 mm Engine Capacity: 1,911 cc Compression Ratio: 6.5 to 1 Engine Rating: 15 H.P. Power Output: 55.7 B.H.P. @ 4,250 r.p.m. Maximum Torque: 90.4 lb-ft. at 2,200 r.p.m. Carburettor: Solex down-draught, 35 F.A.I.E. Ignition: Lucas Coil & Champion J8B spark plugs Battery: 12-Volt x 57 Amp-hour Steering: Rack and pinion with spiral gear teeth, 2¼ turns lock-to-lock Transmission: 3-speed manual with dashboard-mounted hand lever, 2nd & 3rd synchro-mesh Gear Ratios: 13.1, 7.3, 4.3, final drive 9/31 spiral bevel Top Speed: 73 m.p.h. Acceleration: 0-50 m.p.h. in 15.7 seconds Front Suspension: independent wishbones with telescopic Monroe-W 'Floatingride' shock absorbers (originally designed for torsion bars) Rear Suspension: trailing arms with with telescopic Monroe-W 'Floatingride' shock absorbers (originally designed for adjustable torsion bars) Brakes: Lockheed hydraulic drum type 12-in. dia. front & 10-in. dia. rear Handbrake: Independent cable-operated, acting on rear wheels Tyres: 5.50 x 16 inches Fuel Tank Capacity: 11 gallons Fuel Consumption: 25-30 miles per gallon Road Weight: 22 cwt. (2,464 lb.) unloaded; 25.5/8 cwt. (2,878 lb.) laden; weight distrbution 54.8 front, 45.2% rear unloaded Wheelbase x Track: 9 ft. 6½ in. x 4 ft. 4¾ in.

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