Claudette has arrived home after her 4 months with Jean-Louis J-L the Traction Doctor and his mate Michel the panel beater. We met Michel 5 weeks ago when we drove over in convoy with J-L's Traction and spent a morning deciding on the work to be done, and the methods to be used: door fit was discussed for quite some time because the back passenger side door only fitted where it touched - although it would lock, there was daylight still visible around the edges. We also discovered that her rust problem had been made worse because someone had tried to disguise it by covering it with fibreglass and respraying.
There are still several small things to do, such as add wing mirrors and remove some stains from the upholstery, but we are really happy with the results so far. Jean-Louis' work we already knew from past experience can't be beaten for getting your Traction in tip-top condition. We were super impressed by Michel's rust removal and re-hanging of the doors, which involved remaking the passenger side sill and the bottom of the front door, plus fixing some other smaller rust holes and paintwork to blend in with the existing black (There are apparently 5 shades of black that Citroën used over the years. Who knew?!). It's a magnificent job, once again by someone who knows Tractions well.
Yesterday morning Simon washed her and gave her a first coat of wax and I've vacuumed her carpets. To celebrate her arrival we took her out on a photoshoot, stopping off in Le Petit Pressigny to pick up our friends Tim and Gaynor. We timed it really well, as they had spent the morning nettle bashing and were exhausted. A nice relaxing run in the country in a classic car was just what they needed.
Our final challenge is to solve the brake drum problem. At the moment she is sporting a pair of brake drums that belong to J-L, because the new ones we bought are not properly round. So far the manufacturer and the supplier are not responding to customer complaints and we are not the only Traction owners in this position. My guess is that as there is only one manufacturer of Traction brake drums we will keep the ones we purchased and pay extra for someone we trust to re-machine them.
Claudette in Michel's workshop.
New sill and door bottom being made.
Claudette in La Guerche, yesterday.