Citroën has extensive historical experience in transcontinental expeditions. And in the coming years, more will be added to them. At the end of May, the female crew set off to begin the Terra America voyage. Meanwhile, Citron’s Traction Avant plans to cross the 40,000-kilometre Pan-American Highway through North and South America.
The initiator and head of the mission is businesswoman Fanny Adamova, who is interested in indigenous peoples, among other things. Raising awareness of a total of 21 indigenous peoples that the expedition will encounter during its duration is one of its main goals. The road will literally cross America. It should start in Alaska and end up in the city of Ushuaia in the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego.
The car must first arrive in Alaska. There, the expedition set off at the end of May from the Citroën Conservatoire Museum in Aulnay-sous-Bois on the outskirts of Paris. The expedition itself is then divided into three parts. The first will begin across North America in July of this year and end in Los Angeles in September. This will be followed by the second part throughout Central America, which will begin in January 2022 and end in May of the same year in Colombia. The final segment will run in South America from October 2022 to January 2023.
Take a look at the beginning of the expedition:
The beginning of the Terra America Expedition. | Video: Citroen
In total, in two and a half years, Adam will travel more than 40,000 kilometers in her Citroën and a total of 14 countries. As the French Citroen indicates, the route repeats the longest highway in the world – the Panamerican Highway or the Pan-American Highway, which was built in the 1930s and leads from Alaska to the Land of Fire.
“It is the greatest man-made legacy on Earth,” Fanny Adam herself says of the highway. “It’s the longest trip you can take on the planet. That’s why it’s so amazing,” he adds. You will not be alone in the car. In the first part of the expedition to North America, she will be shared by athlete Gaëlle Paillart, who will take care of various sports activities and will also be the photographer for this first section.
In the second and third parts, Paillart will be replaced by Maéva Bardyová, who is interested in nature and works as a documentary filmmaker and reporter. You’ll also take care of the visual documentation of the rest of the expedition.
Then the purely female crew completes the entire journey in Citroën Traction Avant, one of the brand’s most important models. Its production began in 1934 and ended in 1957. At that time, the car with front-wheel drive, a rigid self-supporting chassis, hill steering or independent all-wheel suspension, was one of the most modern cars. The most common was the sedan body, depending on the version, there was a four- or six-cylinder gasoline under the hood.
Of course this is not a car in full sequential condition. The Traction Avant 11B was built in 1956, at the end of the vehicle’s life cycle. It was modified for long-distance rallies in 2005 and between 2006 and 2017 it traveled practically all over the world, gradually being improved and improved.
The car has body reinforcements, a more durable engine, a five-speed transmission, a better electric grille and radiator, a 70-liter stainless steel tank, an electric fuel pump, a reinforced triangular front arm or disc brakes with a front booster. It was also believed that the car withstands the many dangers that await it on the road, and to be as easy to repair as possible. The crew can move only a limited number of parts.
In addition, however, safety and comfort were not neglected. New are the front seats with seat belts and head restraints, the car is distinguished by additional heating, better sound and heat insulation or protection of the windshield and headlights.
And why did Traction Avant choose at all? It is said that Adam has been fascinated by the car for a long time. It was used by her teammate, Gerard Dabeauville, who was the first man to cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and also participated in many long-distance competitions, including the Paris-Dakar Rally. He’s been driving a Traction Avant since he was eighteen, and Adams once loaned him to take part in a navigational rally. Apparently, her love for this Citroën goes back to that time. By the way, Daboville also took part in the technical preparation of the expedition car.