1952 CitroŽn 15/6 berline30.000-50.000 EUR - No Reserve

CitroŽn 15/6 berline†

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French title
Chassis # 718157
Engine # PS03073

- Jean-Claude Miloť collection
- Sublime restoration by J-L Bonnefoy
- Two or three owners since new
- Highly desirable version of the 15/6

Reference Number 512978

as of 2/23/2018

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Lot 34

Artcurial - Rťtromobile  Contact  Location
Salon Rťtromobile Hall 1  Phone  +33 1 42 99 20 56  City  Porte de Versailles
75015 Porte de Versailles  Fax  +33 1 42 99 16 39  State  Paris
France  Mobile    Country  France France
Car 1952 CitroŽn 15/6 berline
VIN 718157 
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Known History

Registered on June 13, 1952, this car had its first registration number 446 AQ 67. It kept this number until it was sold to Jean-Claude Miloť on October 12, 1987. In the meantime, only one registration certificate was issued, which means that either the first owner had moved in the same department or the car had been sold to a second owner in the same department.

This is one of the last flat trunk 15/6, before the appearance of the less elegant convex trunk. It underwent a total restoration by Jean-Luc Bonnefoy from April 1989 to May 1990, former employee of the garage Lecoq, based in St-Amand-Montrond. Everything has been checked or redone: bodywork, interior, mechanicals (engine, gearbox, brakes, running gear...). The electrical system was converted into 12 volts. The mechanical work was partially completed at the Lecoq workshops, in St-Ouen in 1992.

After the refurbishment, the maintenance was entrusted to specialists at the Rialland garage, in Clichy and, after the latter had retired, to the workshop of Philippe Chauvet, in Houssaye-en-Brie. When the latter closed his workshop, Jean-Claude Miloť turned to Rťtropassion (Christophe Chabeuf), in St-Andrť-en-Terre-Plaine, in the Yonne.

For reasons of safety and ease of use, some additions have been made:

- A closed cooling circuit with expansion tank, which significantly slows the rise in temperature of the coolant.

- An oil pressure gauge and a water temperature indicator, both mounted side by side and very discreetly.

- In order to facilitate maneuvering in the city and low speed traffic, electric steering assistance has been set up, which the insurance company Axa has accepted without any extra surcharge. A rheostat allows to vary at any time the power of this assistance.

When purchased by Jean-Claude Miloť, the meter of this car (which has never been changed) showed 71,600 km. In November 2017, it showed 80,218 km, which corresponds to the 8,618 km covered since its purchase in 1987, and 7,200 km since its restoration. The car is up to date with oil changes and brake linings. Several accessories and equipment will be given to the buyer: Radiomatic period radio, suitcase specific to the shape of the trunk, a radiator cover for the winter, tools, and technical booklet from the period. Additionally, a large invoice folder corresponding to the work carried out comes with the car.

This Traction 15/6 is in a superb condition, giving almost the impression of the car as being new. This is one of the most desirable versions of this model, elegant with its flat trunk and without the complexity of the hydraulic suspension system. Queen of the road during its time thanks to its modern technology and its six-cylinder engine, the 15/6 allowed CitroŽn to become the manufacturer of mass-produced cars whose performance capabilities approached those of much more prestigious and expensive models. This particular car is a wonderful representative of this very iconic model.



Jean-Claude and I met on the track at Le Mans in the summer of 1992, taking part in the first round of the Venturi Trophy, a turnkey concept founded by Stťphane Ratel, a colonel of the empire who was making his first moves into the organisation of motorsport .

Battling together in this unprecedented single marque formula, at the wheel of a 408 bhp automobile, were the aristorcratic European youth, (for the story, I name : Nino de Cecco, Rocky Agusta, Goerg Von Opel, Carl Edouard Von Bismark, Ferdinand de LessepsÖ), freelance professional drivers (Jean-Pierre Jarrier, Olivier Grouillard, Michel FertťÖ), and gentlemen drivers, a furious 70 in total. I limit myself here to naming my teammates in the 1994 - 95 and 98 Le Mans 24 Hours, Bernard Chauvin, Eric Graham. This new ProAm concept was behind the revival of the GT class, giving rise to its second golden age.

For me, to take up racing again at the age of over 50, with a record yellowed by a ten-year interruption, caused a dread of mortifying rust. Then, seeing Jean-Claude Miloť in this inaugural round, hope was restored: " At least there is someone with more " bottle " than me ! "

Tall, slim, elegant, he looked good, and I told him he reminded me of Gary Cooper. He didn't turn down this compliment, paid at the start of a friendship we had many opportunities to maintain.

I was impressed, he was sixty years young and here he was, with little experience in racing.

His adolescent imagination had been nurtured by the sound of engines he could hear on the circuit at Montlhťry, close to where his parents lived. His ear became so finely tuned that, while studying at high school, he was able to recognise every car that passed by the school, Louis Le Grand. Of course, he devoured every page of the special edition of France Soir dedicated to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With a licence in his pocket, he " souped-up " a Dauphine (pipe Autobleu) and an R8 Major (pipe Ferry) and took part in a few events in a Dauphine 1093, les Coupes du Salon at Montlhťry, hillclimbs such as Turkheim les Trois Epis, and the Rallye du Nord. A gentle start to setting off, several decades later, in the leading pack of such powerful cars, and by his own admission, " without ever having had a single driving lesson ",

" And what motivates you Jean-Claude ?

- I have no pretention other than in relation to myself, to push myself on, to beat myself. "

During three seasons in the Trophy and then in GT, Jean-Claude held his own, not without a few scares, but without adding any chapters to la Vie du Rail..., and by entering into the rituals of the " Venturieux ", pre- and post-racing, with the spirit of a youngster.

In the evening of the ZuhaÔ 6 Hours in China, having handed over his Porsche to the trio Wolleck - Jarrier - Lafitte, who went on to win the race, I saw him, standing on the turntable laden with food, on a table in a restaurant, without losing his balance, a feat that amazed the children of Mao.

The same year he invited his three sons Jean-Louis, JťrŰme and Jean-Philippe to join him in VHC in different Porsche. Once toughened up, these musketeers took up modern racing and JťrŰme was even ProAm French champion (with James Ruffier) in a GT3. As for Jean-Claude, he made great progress, finishing halfway up the ranking in a GT Championship.

He came to my auctions and bought two interwar masterpieces, a Bugatti 51 and a Delage 1500. In the 51, he took part in the 1997 Monaco Historic GP and the AngoulÍme GP, and in the Delage 1500, " a dream to drive, but handicapped by a wheelbase too long for winding circuits " six times at Monaco until 2008.

In his choices as a collector, he was motivated more by a car's history and beauty than by its heritage perspective. Proof of this, the first acquisition on the list in 1988 was the Traction CitroŽn in the sale today. The following year he bought a Porsche 959. He was particularly keen on certain models in this marque for their timeless styling, their handling, their brakes and naturally the laurels collected at Le Mans. Perhaps also in homage to his wife Ina, an accomplice from Goethe's homeland.

The collection included up to 30 automobiles. There were some tough choices : for example he parted with a Ferrari 275 and an ex-Mairesse short chassis competition car, to buy prototypes and put together an incomparable series of Porsche: 356 Carrera, 904, 910, 908/3, 917 Spider, 962.

" Your gavel will play the part of a chequered flag marking the end of a story, but without regret. It will be enough to look at the iconic painting by Geo Ham Le Pilote Bleu which communicates everything about sitting behind the wheel of a race car, and will recall happy memories. What happiness this collection and motor racing has brought me. One, the research and an appreciation of beauty, the other, contests, a supplement of youth and...friendships. "


Hervť Poulain