- Written by webmin
You’re among exclusive company if you associate “Citroën Traction Avant” and “Bathurst,” but Shannon’s is giving the rest of us a reason to rethink our positions. Coming up at their 15th annual Australian International Motor Show Auction on July 10 will be a 1950 Citroën Big 6 Saloon, a rare three-liter, six-cylinder iteration of the front-wheel-drive Traction that we know as the 15-Six. According to Shannon’s,
It is believed to have been raced to victory by Peter Damman in the very first saloon car race ever held at Bathurst – the five-lap Closed Car Handicap staged on Monday, October 2, 1950. Thus it can be argued that Damman’s victory was the progenitor of today’s ‘Great Race’ winners.
The front-wheel-drive Citroen proved its prowess on the rain-soaked Mt. Panorama circuit, recording 3 min 56 sec on its first flying lap and closing rapidly on the leaders.
As Australian Motor Sports reported in its October 1950 issue: “The only driver apparently not affected (by the wet conditions) was Damman, who was closer to the leaders than he had any right to be.”
A spin coming out of Forrest’s Elbow on Lap 3 failed to slow the Big Six’s progress, and Damman eventually took the lead and went on to win “by half a mile” over a Peugeot 203, with Tom Geoghegan – father of later legendary racing brothers Leo and Ian – fourth in his Jowett Javelin.
Again driven by Damman, the Big Six later went on to give Australian Grand Prix winner Doug Whiteford’s Austin A90 a run for its money at the inaugural Ballarat Airfield race meeting in Victoria on November 18-19 the same year.
Still, it’s not a terribly valuable car, with an AU$20,000-25,000 estimate and no reserve, but it has particular significance for the auction house, as well as many enthusiasts in Victoria, as it’s from the estate of Shannon’s longtime frontman Bill Wellwood. Bill’s trademark banter, not to mention outlandish top hat and pimp coats, are sorely missed, but his Citroën goes on.