1922 CITROEN B2

Background

PLEASE NOTE THAT AN AUCTION PREMIUM WILL BE CHARGED, ON TOP OF THE HAMMER PRICE, OF 5% (+VAT IN UK ONLY). FROM 16TH JAN'23 THIS APPLIES TO ALL AUCTIONS ON THE MARKET, AND FEES ARE MIN €720 / MAX €7,200.

The Citroën B2 is the second model produced by the Paris-based brand. After its foundation in 1919, Citroën started off production with a model called the Type A. The logical successor of the Type A became the Type B2. Not only was it the second model of Citroën, it was also the second model ever to be produced according to modern mass production technologies. The cars were built at André Citroën’s plant in central Paris, only a stone throw away from the Eiffel tower in the 15th arrondissement. Production of the type B2 began in 1921 and ceased in 1926.

The B2 featured an improved four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1,4 litres resulting in a power output of around 20bhp and coupled to a three-speed gearbox. Consequently, the car was classified in the 10CV fiscal class and was therefore frequently referred to as the 10CV. The little engine could accelerate the type B2 to a top speed of 72 km/h, a remarkable capability considering that most roads in Europe back then were actually dirt tracks.

The Citroën type B quickly became renowned for its robustness and economy; the car would consume around 8 litres of fuel per 100km, which converts into 31 miles per British gallons. A remarkable feat back in the day and a strong selling argument for Citroën’s flagship motorcar.

After the first type B version, an all-steel (‘tout-acier’ in French) body version was offered from 1924 on. This new version was called the B10. However, both cars had many similarities, meaning that confusion sometimes arises over which are which. Adding to this complexity is the fact that both cars were produced in parallel in 1925 and 1926.

The Type B2 is a hugely significant motorcar not only for Citroën, but for the European automotive sector in general. A total of 89.841 cars were produced, and at its peak, the Paris plant even produced 200 cars per day! During those days, France was the number one car producer in Europe, with many different brands still existing. However, no other manufacturer in France, nor Europe, was able to compete with Citroën’s production figures and state-of-the-art techniques.

The Vehicle

The vehicle on offer today is a 1922 Citroën type B2. This charming example is in generally very good condition and is presented in black over a beige cloth interior.

On the Outside

The car is in good condition from the outside and has the exact right amount of patina for a 100-year-old automobile. The black paint, most certainly redone not too long ago, does not show visible signs of major rust or damages. The glass of the cabin appears to be intact, and the same can be said about the lights. We are particularly fond of the two large round headlamps that give this automobile such a typically 20s look. The tires are of recent production and are the period correct Michelin model. They are mounted on solid black rims that are in similarly good nick. The radiator appears to be in order. The brass surfaces are slightly tarnished, but we must not forget that we are talking about a car that has been built shortly after the first World War and is 100 years old – some tarnish can be forgiven under these circumstances. A toolbox mounted on the left sill complements the appearance of the vehicle.

On the Inside

The inside of the car could be described as rather spartan! Back then, the most important indication was the charge of the alternator, and a speedometer or rev counter were only fitted to race cars – which this car is not. The only instruments on the dashboard are thus a few buttons for magneto and the lights. This is driving in its purest form.

The cabin that seats five passengers is upholstered with beige / greyish cloth. The material is in overall nice condition, with only very minor stains visible. Most importantly, the seat upholstery still looks to be in good shape and the filling of the cushions has not softened too much.

Overall, this is a nice interior in which we could perfectly see ourselves having a good time with friends while driving down to the local pub on a night out.

Underneath

The good news continues underneath because the whole wooden floor panels have been recently replaced. Consequently, you will not have to worry about rotting floors – the ones on this car are as good as new. If you plan on driving this car in the wet, we recommend treating the underbody, and especially the wooden panels, with a sealant.

The differential and engine, easily accessible, have very recently been treated to some major works and basically look as good as new. Neither differential nor engine and gearbox lose any oil and are perfectly clean. Under the bonnet, we find the small engine that looks almost lost in the generously dimensioned engine bay. The electrics have recently been refurbished and all looks to be in excellent working order. Some of the replacement parts, such as the rubber connection hose between the radiator and the engine head, are not entirely period correct but can be easily replaced.

The moving parts of the chassis are in excellent condition as well and have been recently greased as is clearly visible in the pictures.

As always, we encourage any potential bidder to come inspect this vehicle in person. Please reach out to fix an appointment.

History Highlights

Some history is known of the vehicle, as documented by original period documents that are included in the sale. The early history of the vehicle is unknown, but on 26th October 1941, Mr Léon Hussard declared to be the owner of the Citroën, at that time registered 754 Y 38. The declaration that was made at the commune of Chérisy also mentions that the previous carte grise is date 7th December 1925 and that Mr Hussard was without a profession at this time. A most interesting document is dated 6th August 1948; it mentions that Mr Hussard (still without work) requested an exceptional fuel allowance of 40 litres at the Chérisy commune. We assume that this allowance was a measure to help those that did not have the means to afford fuel after the end of the War. On 19th March, Mr Hussard certified that his vehicle, still registered 754 Y 38 was in good working order. On 18th December 1954, the Citroën was then apparently registered again in the name of Léon Hussard but this time with a new plate; 378 BB 28. The subsequent history of the vehicle is not known, but it remained in France until today.

What We Think

The Citroën B2 is an immensely significant car for the French automotive industry and has allowed many families in the 1920s an access to motorized transport. Logically, comparisons with the Ford Model T, the first transport vehicle made available to the masses in the US, are often drawn. Our B2 is a fine example and has very recently been restored. It is presented in nice condition throughout and would make a great addition to any classic car collection.

We estimate this auction to fetch between €8,000 - €12,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with the vendor in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France. To arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

emmanuel barbier

  • Location: Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: -
  • Chassis Number: 41249
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Black
  • Estimated Price: €8,000 - €12,000

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