A Traction Avant BL is a French built equivalent to the English Light15.
This car is a small boot model and is right hand drive, it was sold new through Bill Buckle Motors in Sydney. I bought this car 40 years ago in a worn out but very original condition. With what history I have been able to track down this car led an interesting life in the hands of a Sydney socialite of yesteryear.
Please check all 10 photos in the gallery above.
At the time of purchase, and living in a country area, it was almost impossible to buy parts for tractions so having rebuilt the motor the project was placed on hold whilst parts were being accumulated.
On investigation, post purchase, it was found that the lands in the pistons were burnt and missing in spots and the crown wheel and pinion were broken.
• New pistons and sleeves fitted
• Crankshaft ground and white metal mains and big ends poured and bored by Repco Engine shop in Sydney (back when they had one).
• The head was reconditioned and the motor reassembled.
• Head has been fitted with a stainless steel water distribution tube.
• Rocker shaft replaced and fresh gaskets fitted.
• Timing chain tensioner.
• Electronic ignition.
• New coil were fitted.
• The generator, starter motor and oil pump all reconditioned, new hoses, belt, plugs and leads fitted. Original French starting mechanism reinstated.
• The gearbox has been rebuilt with new bearings.
• New gear selector fork.
• A replacement low mileage matching crown wheel and pinion.
• A Jack Weaver plate to strengthen the box.
• New clutch cross shaft bushes.
• New diaphragm clutch and throwout bearing.
• New seals on the output flanges and uni’s on the half shafts.
• Water Pump was rebuilt.
• Radiator cleaned out, the tubes rodded, then sealed and pressure tested.
• A radiator sock was fitted to the top hose to ensure that the radiator stays eﬃcient.
• The whole of this was assembled and mounted in a mobile test frame along with a short exhaust, its own battery and fuel supply and dash of types. It is started regularly and run up until warm.
The Front cradle and Suspension
• New Silent blocks.
• Upper spindles with silent blocks.
• Lower ball joint adjusters fitted.
• New complete carden shafts.
• New wheel bearings, inner and outer, seals fitted.
• New silent blocks.
• New Rear wheel bearings with speedi sleeves.
• Wheel cylinders and master cylinder have been rebuilt and stainless steel sleeves fitted.
• All brake shoes relined, drums skimmed.
• New hand brake cables, including outers.
• New brake pipes, with spring outer protection, as per original.
• New flexible brake hoses.
The monocoque is currently mounted in a Moto Max Car Rotisserie bought
new for the job. The mounting is solid but with only two14mm holes drilled in the bodywork. Most of the underseal has been cleaned oﬀ the body and all welding repairs completed. There was only one area of rust and that was on the left side of the front floor caused by a rat’s nest during long term- unsupervised storage. The body is solid and in good repair.
• A new windscreen fitted to a fully refurbished windscreen surround.
• Windscreen wiper motor re-wired and wiper mechanism re-built including new arms and blades.
• The fuel tank has been given the POR 15 treatment where the tank is washed out. Chemically cleaned and sealed with a fuel resistant liquid lining. Painted outside with black two pack and fitted with a new fuel gauge sender unit.
• Both bumpers re-chromed.
• New hubcaps, new intermediate caps painted black.
• Five rims professionally trued. Blasted, painted, pinstriped and fitted with new Michelin 165×400 tyres and tubes.
• There are 4 additional wheels that have received the same treatment.
• Both front and rear seats have been refurbished, frames repaired and repainted and then re-covered in the correct cloth material. There is suﬃcient new material to cover all doors and panels in the original factory manner. All of the hardware associated with the seat mounting is either new or refurbished and painted.
• (Current value of this seat cover set is €999.00 or $1688.00)
• Steering rack has been rebuilt including ball joints, cups and rack gaiters and pinion.
Column housing repainted in black two pack, steering wheel repaired and also finished in black two pack and looks new.
• Original 6V Town/Country horns refurbished, painted and ready to fit. New headlight units painted in black two pack.
• Re chromed gear lever and new knob.
Both bonnet and grill, complete with bright work in original grey.
• New wiring loom from Vintage Wiring.
• New muﬄer and tailpipe.
Parts purchased from CTA Service NL and Classic Automobile Service NL totals
$14500.00. This represents hundreds of parts including
• All the brightwork for the body, door handles, both inner and outer and bezels, one door locking handle and key of which matches the ignition.
• Boot handles, one locking.
• Stainless Steel bonnet hinge.
• 6volt regulator.
• Two clutch cables.
• Engine silent block.
• Cables & knobs.
• Rear valance.
• AXO wing ornaments both front and rear.
• A new headlining and windlace for the doors in grey.
Front rubber floor mat with Citroen logo moulded into the centre. A perfect copy of the original front mat.
• Grey carpet to make up the rear mat and trim.
There is a large quantity of quality De Beers 2 pack paint in Black, Grey and an interior colour that has been carefully matched to the original and a clear over base included.
• An original Traction Jack
• 2-leather tool rolls containing period type tools.
• A 2 litre oil can that fits correctly in the original carrier frame with clip located under the bonnet.
• Service tools including front drum puller/front-bearing puller.
• Front bearing nut spanner, both inner and outer.
• Ball joint cracker bottom and top.
• Four rust free and undamaged complete Light 15 doors, including glass and all mechanics, one disassembled.
• Additional wheel nuts. Torsion bars, brake drums containers of Traction parts I have collected over the years.
Hundreds of photos of the work done.
• Work shop Manuals, both hard copy and digital.
• Spare parts Manual.
The only thing that I am aware of that still needs to be purchased are shock absorbers. The front ones are a refillable type and seem that they may work and therefore interesting to try.
Whoever takes over this project is welcome to everything relating to 4 cylinder Traction that I have including probably unwanted advice.
After years of putting the big project on the back burner while I do something else time has caught up with me. It pains me to admit that I find the mind willing but the flesh weak. After major heart surgery a few years ago and now failing mobility I now doubt that I will ever finish the job.
So to answer the burning question, I see about Thirty thousand in total but being realistic Twenty Thousand Dollars buys the lot and you get the opportunity to finish what may be the best restoration of a 1951 Traction BL in this country and a fair bit left over.
If you’re interested ring me, Allen Maze on 0428550855.