It was during the Paris Motor Show in October 1932 that André Citroën presented his new range.
It is then made up of three main models, available in a multitude of different bodies:
- 8 CV
- 10 CV
- 15 CV
The 8 and 10 CV replace the previous C4 and are equipped with 4-cylinder engines. The 15 CV replaces the C6 and is equipped with a 6-cylinder engine.
Compared to the previous C4 and C6, the new models add a synchronized gearbox on the last 2 gears, Saint-Gobain Securit tempered glass and the floating engine as standard on all models.
An engine for all tastes
The 8 CV is the entry level, with its 1452 cm3 engine providing 32 horsepower. In sedan, it has a body with 2 side windows per side and a short wheelbase of 2.7 meters.
The 10 CV is the superior model with a more powerful engine of 1767 cm3 and 36 horsepower. The 3-meter wheelbase allows the sedan to offer greater comfort than the 8CV sedan and to have 3 side windows per side.
The 15 CV, at the top of the range, is very close in finish to the 10 CV, but the 2650 cc 6-cylinder engine 3 produces 50 horsepower, enough to reach more than 125 km /h.
“Lightweight” versions use the body of the small 8 HP and a more powerful engine (10 or 15 HP).
As you will have noticed, the name “Rosalie” is not mentioned here…
To each his body
Whatever their needs and desires, the customer was almost sure to find something to suit them in the 8, 10 and 15CV range!
In addition to the classic 4-seater saloons (and 4 side windows) offered with all engines, you could opt for 10 or 15CV for an interior drive (with 5 seats and 6 windows), or an even longer family with 7 seats. seats and 6 side windows.
Both the sedan and the sedan were available in commercial versions with a large tailgate, allowing professionals to have both a utility vehicle and a family vehicle.
The wealthiest could afford the 15 Grand Luxe family version, better equipped and better finished, at the top of the range.
… To discoverables …
The coaches (with 3 doors), had 4 to 5 covered seats and were offered with 2 or 4 side windows. They could also be convertible.
To benefit from 5 covered seats and the possibility of folding the roof (but without being able to fold down the windshield), you had to order a convertible.
Roadster cabriolets (open-top and with folding windscreen) and faux-cabriolets offered 2 covered seats and a folding trunk seat: the famous “mother-in-law seat”!
Do you want to travel with your hair in the wind for less? The roadsters, offered in 4 or 6 seats and even in commercial, allowed to drive in the open air without side windows for a price hardly higher than the sedans. At that time, roadsters were already out of fashion, and this type of bodywork would no longer be offered!
Most of these bodies were available with all mechanics.
… Passing through the most exotic
Among the rarest bodies, we can cite the Toutalu sedan, the city coupé or the interior driving coupé… Variants that are very difficult to find today.
But the question remains, why are these cars called “Rosalie” when Citroën has never used this name to designate them?!
The day the 8 CV became “Rosalie”
Since the 1920s, there have been world records for speed, endurance and fuel economy.
Lubricant manufacturer Yacco has been engaging vehicles in this hunt for world records for several years, and the drivers used to give their cars a nickname according to the brand. For the various Citroëns who have already taken part in the records, it is the name of “Rosalie”. who had been chosen.
The first Rosalie of 1931 was not a “Rosalie”, but a C6F! Indeed Yacco usually used high displacement models, thinking that a more powerful car could hold higher average speeds.
It was in 1933 that Yacco chose an 8 CV chassis and equipped it with a special bodywork. She is the fourth Rosalie in the line and is therefore called Rosalie IV.
But on its sides, due to the small displacement of the car, it is the name “Petite Rosalie” which is inscribed.
“Petite Rosalie” travels 300,000 kilometers in 133 days at an average speed of 93 km/h, with completely standard mechanics and chassis, and using exclusively commercial Yacco oil.
André Citroën offered 3 million francs to the manufacturer who succeeded in breaking this record with a production car before January 1, 1935: none succeeded.
The 8, 10 and 15 CV had just entered into legend, and became Rosalie for eternity.
To prepare for the Traction… La Rosalie New Dressing
In 1934, the brand new Citroën 7 CV à Traction Avant arrived. The Rosalies are already 2 years old and their appearance is dated compared to the last born.
The talented Flaminio Bertoni, who designed the Traction, then proposed a restyling of the Rosalie: the horns were moved to the front bumper and a new grille surrounded by new fenders and fully chromed shell headlights made its appearance. It’s Rosalie NH!
Soon after, an ephemeral front axle with independent wheels was installed, these Rosalies were called Series B. Due to technical problems, it was quickly abandoned.
During 1934, the Rosalies disappeared. Definitively ? Not really…
A traction motor?
The 7, developed very quickly and with few means, lacks development. André Citroën has already given up the automatic gearbox that was planned, the car will be content with a 3-speed manual gearbox.
The first customers were in trouble, and quickly Michelin, the new shareholder, had to make a decision to save the brand.
While the development of the 7 continues, Citroën is bringing an old acquaintance back to the market: the Rosalie! Now equipped with the Traction Avant’s tumbler engines, they are called “MI” for Inverted Engine, because the Rosalies have remained propulsion.
The MIs are available in only two versions, with two engines and a body for each of them.
The 7 UA is a saloon (4 side windows and 4 seats) equipped with the 9CV of the Traction 7C, while the 11 UA uses the engine of the Traction 11 with an interior driving body (6 side windows and 5 seats).
The end of propulsion for Citroën
In 1938, after 6 years of production and approximately 88,000 units manufactured, the Rosalie was definitively replaced by the Traction Avant…