While chasing the villains in the “Broken Ear”, Tintin reaches Las Dopicos, the capital of the Repulic of San Theodoros which was ruled by the tyrant General Tapioca. While in the city, Tintin was framed for supporting the revolution against General Tapioca’s rule and was condemned to be executed by a firing squad. As the firing squad was preparing to execute him, there were a series of alternating revolutions and finally General Alcazar took over power. One thing led to another and Tintin became good friends with General Alcazar who made him a Colonel in his army. One evening while on a walk Tintin was kidnapped by the villains again in a Black car. This was the Citroen 7CV Traction Avant.
Peugeot-Citroen is the second largest French automobile manufacturer after Renault-Nissan. The Citroen Traction Avant covered three models, 7CV, 11CV and 15CV and was manufactured from 1934 to 1957. Approximately 760,000 units of this car were produced during this period.
The 7CV was produced from 1934 till 1941. The car was offered in a number of body styles, namely:-
- 4-door saloon.
- 2-door coupe.
- 2-door convertible.
- 5-door hatchback.
It was the world’s first front wheel drive car with a monocoque body. This car pioneered front-wheel drive in the European mass car market. The monocoque body ensured that the car was low slung as compared to its contemporaries which were built on a separate chassis. Thus not needing any running boards. At a time when most of its contemporaries used live axles suspended by leaf springs, this car employed independent front suspension using torsion bars and wish bones. At the same time the rear suspension was a simple beam axle with Panhard rod, trailing arm and torsion bars.
The 7CV had a wheelbase of 2910 mm. They were 4450 mm long, 1620 mm wide and 1520 mm tall. These cars were powered by a series of inline four cylinder engines varying from 1.3 litre engines producing 32 BHP at 3200 rpm, 1.5 litre engines producing 35 BHP at 3200 rpm to 1.9 litre engines producing 46 BHP at 3800 rpm. Engines were mounted longitudinally and hence to allow front wheel drive, the gearbox was placed ahead of the engine. The torque was transmitted to the front wheels through a three speed gear box.
As the engines were placed well within the wheelbase of the car, the weight distribution was near ideal and this improved handling tremendously. The monocoque bodies were lighter, kerb weight of the car was around 1025 kg. As a result, the modest power from the engines could still push these cars to speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) while returning fuel efficiency figures of 10 km/l (24 mpg).
Braking power was provided by hydraulically operated drum brakes on all four wheels.
Till 1953, the Citroen Traction Avant was available in only black colour. The Traction Avant was replaced in 1955 by the DS, which was another iconic product from CItroen.