1924 Citroën 5HP Type C Cabriolet

  • 1924 Citroën 5HP Type C Cabriolet
  • Original English import
  • Recent Mechanical Overhaul and rewire
  • Rebuilt magneto and new fuel tank
  • 856cc four-cylinder engine – 50MPG (ideal to enjoy in the current fuel crisis!)

This charming Citroën 5hp Type C Cabriolet is an original English import and was first registered on 3 May 1926. It is therefore a long-chassis Type C3, which replaced the short-chassis Type C2 in late 1923.

The original registration number of JS2712 was sold some time ago and the Citroën is now registered BS9671. The history file includes the original buff logbook, which starts in 1946.

Having been in regular use during recent years with its enthusiast owners, the Citroën has benefitted from a rebuilt dynamo, magneto and steering box, a full rewire, a new clutch and relined brake shoes.

The three-speed gearbox was rebuilt using new bearings plus a new layshaft, and the 856cc four-cylinder engine has also been rebuilt. The crankshaft was reground and new mains and big ends fitted, the cylinders were honed, and the block and cylinder head were resurfaced. The valves and valve seats were refaced, and the guides were K-Lined. Block repairs included stitching and patching, and pressure testing.

A replacement halfshaft was needed, and the back axle was rebuilt with new bearings throughout. A new petrol tank was fitted, too. Bills for all that work came to more than £11,000, but the end result is a reliable and useable example of the Citroën 5hp Type C Cabriolet. The minimalist dashboard features only an amperes gauge, ignition switch and a speedo, but discreet stop lights and indicators have wisely been added at the rear.

Now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub, this Citroën is eligible for VSCC events and makes an appealing alternative to British-built vintage cars.

Model history

The 1920s witnessed a boom in affordable motoring, with properly resolved light cars taking over from the often-rudimentary cyclecars that had come before. In the UK, the most famous example was the Austin Seven, but André Citroën was following similar thinking over in France.

By the end of World War One, the Citroën factory was well set up for mass production and the Type C was introduced at the 1921 Paris Motor Show. Designed by Edmond Moyet, it was initially offered with only a two-seater Torpedo body but was fitted as standard with electric starting and lighting.

Other body styles were added to the range and the 5hp was a huge sales success, at a time when Citroën was rapidly expanding around the world. Right-hand-drive versions were built for export, and all were fitted with an 856cc four-cylinder engine that used a single Solex carburettor.

A non-synchromesh three-speed gearbox was fitted, braking was via the rear wheels only, and suspension was by quarter-elliptic springs all round. It was well received for its simple but robust engineering, and in 1925 two students covered 17,000km around Australia in five months with no engine problems at all.

Ease of use was also a big selling point, thanks to the electric starter and the presence of a differential, and the 5hp was particularly targeted at female drivers.

At the end of 1923, the short-chassis Type C2 was replaced by the Type C3, which featured a longer wheelbase. This allowed Citroën to offer a three-seater version as well as the ‘Voiture de Livraison’ delivery van.

Although the 5hp sold well, with about 83,000 leaving the factory, Citroën didn’t actually make a huge amount of money from it, and production ceased in 1926.

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