CC Auction: Cache of French Cars on the Prairies – Moizard Auction

Citroen Traction convertible

Back in September an interesting auction was advertised semi locally which would give an opportunity to see some very rare vehicles. Additionally, we were fresh off a successful Great Beater Challenge with a rather pedestrian car and perhaps we could maybe snag something with a little more character for cheap. The auction itself was the estate sale of the late Andre Moizard who had spent decades collecting a varied collection that included many French vehicles as well as Cadillacs and Jeeps. We will explore the French cars in this instalment.

Andre Moizard grew up in France before emigrating to western Canada to manage farms as a young man. He was a great admirer of both Cadillacs and Jeeps so the bulk of the collection is made of those as well as cars from his native France. According to the family the collection was thinned in 2021 but the rest of it was to be auctioned off after his passing. The cars ranged from good runners to field stored, barely parts cars. As you can see there are a few hundred vehicles to choose from.

The jewels of the collection were located at the far end near the house. I had no illusion of bidding on any of these but how often do you get a chance to inspect these French beauties?

This Citroen Traction Avant convertible was labelled as a 1939 which is I am not sure if its totally accurate as a few of the had inaccurate year labels.

The 1911cc four cylinder engine that powered most Traction Avants.

The interior is pretty basic with a two spoke steering wheel and leather seats.

Unlike most convertibles this one can accommodate a full complement of passengers with a rumble seat.

These cabriolets are rare and desirable collector cars and not surprisingly the family had a reserve price set on it.

The lead photo was another 1939 Citroen Traction Avant convertible in yellow with some patches of surface rust.

The red interior is as colorful as the outside.

Perhaps you like your Traction Avants with four doors and a bit more power? This 15-Six model sports the larger 2866cc, six-cylinder engine.

Taking a peek at the unusual shifter for the three speed transmission I noticed a plaque that said “Baron Leo d’Erlanger”. The first owner? He was a British banker and aero promoter who is famous enough to have his own Wikipedia page. Oddly, it did not appear to one of the approximately 25,000 UK built cars but I suppose someone that wealthy would have a home “on the continent” as well.

Going by the rear this is a pre-1952 car with the smaller boot. As per the comments below likely a 1950-51 model. Someone had swapped out the rear lights but it was quite stock looking otherwise. My middle son accompanied me so was able to compare to the Cuban example we had rode in last year.

There was another six cylinder Citroen Traction Avant that was in rougher shape and wearing Maine plates. A ’53-’54 as per the comments.

I took the liberty of checking out the big six engine. It filled the engine compartment rather well.

The speedometer was lovely with an inset clock.

This late model Citroen 2CV looked quite tidy with the exception of a missing front bumper.

The interior was usable as well with only a seat requiring much attention.

I found this Citroen Diane 6 quite appealing both for its two tone paint job and its likeliness to be more affordable. It had the look of a rather unique car that you could drive as you restored it. The Diane 6 can be thought of as a slightly fancier 2CV and was sold from 1967 to 1983. According to Tatra87, the lack of C-pillar windows makes it a 1968-69.

The seats would need a bit of work before driving too far. It sold for a not unreasonable $4,169.00.

This 1968 Citroen 2CV Camionette van would make a charming delivery vehicle for a French bakery or similar business.

This Citroen Méhari was obviously a project that got started but never completed. While looking a little sorry for itself I bet it would be a reasonable undertaking to finish given its simplicity. It shared a large barn with a BMW 2002 that was not included in the sale. The Citroen sold for $6,250.00.

I am pretty sure I have never come across a Renault 4L Plein Air before. These were converted by Sinpar, perhaps to compete with the cheaper Méhari. Apparently thirty of these were shipped to Canada to participate in Expo 67 in Montreal. Could be this be one of those cars?

Only marginally safer than a motorbike in a side collision.

On the more budget side of the auction there were three Renault 5s with this 1985 Renault 5 GTL being the best of the lot.

The large fabric sunroof is a real feature of this particular car.

The interior was in good shape and included some documentation. I would have bid on this one if it had any recent registration and a perfect windshield. Likely someone would need to buy all three to make two decent cars. This sold for only $597.00.

This 1986 Renault 5GTL was a little rusty and sold for a paltry $370.00.

The engine was rather complete.

Here is the car I should have bought, a 1983 Renault Fuego, as it went cheap and would not have taken much to bring around to excellent condition. At least cosmetically as the mechanical condition was unknown. Had it suffered some dire mechanical malady early in life?

The interior was in impressive condition and seemingly only in need of a clean. That automatic transmission shifter hiding behind the two spoke wheel gave some pause as I prefer to shift my own gears and as a potential failure point. It could be why it was parked originally. And where would you get a replacement?

I reluctantly passed on bidding on this one as my real target lay elsewhere. It went for a very reasonable $941.00 so definitely a missed opportunity here.

This 1986 Peugeot 505S station wagon was amusingly listed as a twin turbo v8 and appeared to be in excellent shape.  It also had out of province registration status making it a real pain to register for the road here. It sold for $3,750.00.

Despite missing the wheels this Peugeot 403 was quite solid looking. A local Youtuber snagged this one as a parts car to the one he already had. It went for $800 which more than I thought given the transport challenges presented by the missing wheels.

The Renault 10 appeared to be an ambitious project from the front …

… but the rear showed accident damage and an open to the elements engine. This one managed a top bid of $310.

There were a few Citroen DS cars and a Renault Estafette van that I managed to miss as they were stored somewhere less obvious on the property. We will conclude the round up of French cars with one last Traction Avant. I thought this plainer looking 1952 example might be a a four cylinder car but it was another bigger six (edit rather a 1953-57 11CV Familiale according to the comments). In the next instalment we will take a look at the Cadillacs and Jeeps.