The Traction Avant, French for "front wheel drive", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the first production front wheel drive car, it was the world's first front-wheel drive steel unitary body frame production car. The Traction Avant used a longitudinal, front-wheel drive layout, with the engine set well within the wheelbase, resulting in a very favourable weight distribution, aiding the car's advanced handling characteristics. The gearbox was placed at the front of the vehicle with the engine behind it and the differential between them.
Another technical significance of Tranction Avant was the cast aluminium alloy transaxle, which was pioneered by Hans Ledwinka in the early 1930s for Tatra V570 used in front of the engine located in the rear, but was quite radical at the time.
As well as being a considerable part of the weight savings, the manufacturing facility for this transaxle contributed to the below mentioned financial crisis. But when John Cooper looked for a light transaxle case for Formula One rear engine revolution.
This Traction Avant was cosmetically very nice, but the mechanicals were poor. We rebuilt the transaxle, rebuilt the entire braking system and then on to the motor. These produces 35hp originally and up at 6,000ft it was severely lacking in power. We start off with custom JE high compression pistons, larger valves, Weber carburetor and porting the cylinder head. With these upgrades, this Traction Avant will do 60 mph with ease on the highway and cruise the colorado mountains!