Citroën 11 BL Cabriolet - 1939— French elegance and distinction —
- Model A jewel of French pre-war car production, a rare and coveted model.
- History Our car is a genuine authenticated Citroën cabriolet.
- We love A cabriolet of rare elegance, whose design is signed by Jean Daninos.
- Perfect for… With its colour scheme, our car is ready to be exhibited in the greatest concourses
The Citroën 11 BL Cabriolet is clearly a very interesting car. On top of being based on the Traction Avant, one of the most emblematic Citroën cars in history and a national emblem, its design by Jean Daninos is of a rare and subtle elegance. Our car, with its beautiful colour combination of an off-white body and a grey soft-top, deserves to be entered in the most beautiful elegance competitions in the world.
A very elegant Citroën with a design by Jean Daninos
The Citroën Traction is a mythical car that was a real revolution: as such, it has become part of the French national heritage like the 2CV and the DS. Launched in 1934, the Traction’s career ended in 1957 and is noted for its multiple innovations, various bodywork styles and different engines.
The car was truly full of striking innovations: mono-hull construction, front wheel drive, independent suspension with torsion bars, hydraulic brakes, synchronised transmission… As a result, the car was really well balanced and much better than any of its competitors.
The 11 BL was produced from 1937 onwards in three different versions: a saloon, a sublime coupé and a no less sublime cabriolet. The BL brought various changes compared to the previous generation of Traction Avant, including a larger body, rack and pinion steering, an engine increased to 11 HP, and new instruments and upholstery.
The design of the cabriolet is attributed to Jean Daninos, then a young engineer, who later became the emblematic founder of Facel Vega, still considered as one of the greatest French post war cars.
The first Traction cabriolet was launched in 1934 on the basis of the 7A, just after the launch of the Traction. André Citroën had expressed the wish that his cabriolet should have four real seats, but Jean Daninos had to give up that idea “in view of the difficulties presented by the lengthening and reinforcement of the body“.
Similarly, in a logical effort to rationalise its production costs, Citroën wanted to re-use as many parts of its standard Traction as possible. This led to the launch of a roadster rather than a cabriolet, with the standard Traction’s front end and a new rear end that could accommodate two young children. This allowed Citroën to claim its car was a real four-seater!
A rare car
The very last models of the 11BL cabriolet were produced in 1939. Thus, Citroën assembled no further examples after WW2.
According to one of the best experts of the Traction Avant, Olivier de Serres, it seems that only 450 certified cabriolets out of the 4,672 produced at the time still exist today. This figure includes all models produced including the 200 assembled in the UK at the Slough factory and the 145 assembled in Belgium at the Forest factory. Thus, almost all Citroën Traction models had a cabriolet version: 7C, 11B, 11BL and 15/6.
It is worth noting that due to the increasing popularity of the real cabriolets, many replicas, mostly chopped 11BL saloons, have been made in the 1980s. If quite a few were done accurately, others are not hard to identify as replicas.
Our car is one of the 450 certified authentic Citroën ones.
The Citroën 11 BL cabriolet from the ANNA LISA Collection
Our off-white car is authentic as evidenced by its chassis number and all the historical documentation that comes with it. Our car is in excellent general state, it clearly has benefited from an old quality restoration, probably in the late 80’s as most of the cars from our collection.
With a grey canvas top and tan upholstery, our cabriolet is incredibly elegant. It is now ready to be driven again and eventually to be exhibited in the greatest concourse worldwide.