Citroën Traction Avant

In Casino Royale, we’re not given too much detail about the car driven by James Bond’s adversary, Le Chiffre. Ian Fleming tells us that it is a Citroën. (That’s also brand of car driven by the third Bulgar as he is trying to escape.)

We’re given a subtle clue though, from which we can narrow down the model of the car that Le Chiffre was driving that night.

With a harsh growl and stutter from the exhaust a beetle-browed Citroën shot out of the shadows into the light of the moon, its front wheel drive dry-skidding through the loose pebbles of the forecourt.

And a few pages later:

As the car rocked to the left outside the gate, Bond ruefully longed for the front-wheel drive and low chassis of the Citroën.

Citroën introduced front wheel drive to the mass market during the 1930’s, but the early models were somewhat plagued by being rushed to market. The second generation cars were better, but then production was halted at the onset of World War II.

The Traction Avant series (French for front wheel drive) really took off following the war, and I’m going to guess that Le Chiffre was driving one of these later-model cars. The description above of the car as “beetle-browed” throws me a little bit. I can’t really picture Le Chiffre driving something like this, (more likely the Bulgar mentioned above did so) so we’re going to go with a Big-6 Traction Avant of that time period.

1950 Citroën Big 6 Saloon
1950 Citroën Big 6 Saloon

 

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