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Explanation Of The Paris-Moscou-Paris Rally 2009

In the year 1934 , a real revolution took place in the world of the car technology. André Citroën was the first car producer who started on a LARGE SCALE the production of cars without contained bodywork and without backwheel drive. The production of the Citroën Traction Avant was an example of courage and intelligence. André must have had many nights without sleep. Levebvre , a genius engineer , met André Citroën in 1933. Lefebvre had a different vision towards car production. A vision that was ignored by Renault. Lefevbre could develop his revolutionary ideas at the firm of André Citroën. As a result a team of engineers could present a brand new car with the following characteristics :


  • Self – contained bodywork
    ( monocoque construction )
  • Front wheel drive
  • Independent torsion-bar front suspension
  • Torsion – bar – sprung rear axle
  • Much comfort for it's passengers
  • Comfortable access


These characteristics were at that time impressive but not sufficient enough to persuade the market. Especially from the car industry , Citroën received sceptical comments about the strength / ruggedness of the monocoque construction. To overcome this sceptism , Citroën produced a film in which the contrary was proved. A Traction Avant was thrown from a mountain into a valley ! After the enormous collapse 2 gentlemen stepped out of the car without any injuries. They put the parts back together and continued their journey pretending nothing had happened. This part of the film in particular can de seen in the famous Citroën film : “Si la TRACTION m´était contée…. There were also doubts about the front wheel drive technology and the independent suspension. André Citroën came to terms with the critism and decided to test the Traction Avant during a non stop rally from Paris to Moscow , returning to the motherland of the Traction Avant. The car world was convinced and the production of the Traction Avant could finally start. In 2009 , it is exactly 75 years ago , that the test driver Francois Lecot competed in this rally. For years , the significance of this rally has been underestimated. Without this rally Michelin probably would never have turned up as the saving angel … but that of course remains a mystery ….. To commemorate this historical fact we will participate with our Traction friends in the Paris – Moscow – Paris rally , in July and August 2009 !




3rd from the left: François Lecot next to André Citroën
after the Paris - Moscow - Paris rally in October 1934
Flaminio Bertoni - designer of the Traction Avant André Lefebvre - principal engineer of the Traction Avant
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