In October of 1926 Parisian car manufacturer André Citroën introduced his B14. The successor of the B12 came with a full steel body, a lighter chassis, a much more supple engine and brakes at all four corners.
From March of the following year these even got a genuine booster. As ever Citroën was far ahead of his time compared to the competition. With the B14 the Quai de Javel got itself a real success number, with numerous body styles in the factory price list.
When you walk into Ton Dietvorst’s barn, you’ll immediately realise you entered a world of brocante with a strong whiff of 20th century engineering. He doesn’t really need to explain how much he loves his mechanics. His heart being inseparably attached to all that magnificent engineering from days long gone by. Curiosa might be the most adequate word to describe his collection. A little paradise for everyone with a smudge of engine oil in their blood. That he is completely unable to hide his enthousiasm is something we won’t hold against him. To the contrary. Finding a few exclusive classic cars amongst all his precious items isn’t that big a surprise. The yellow Citroën B14 Torpedo feels completely at ease in this oasis of technical ingenuity.
Behind the wheel of his B14, Ton Dietvorst is in the right place. And amidst the elements, since he prefers to drive it without the top. Just to experience that feeling of driving a motorised chariot to the max. In a way this description doesn’t do right to this masterpiece of European industrial revolution. The Citroën B14 was the youngest shoot in André Citroëns family tree, the man that geniously combined Henry Ford’s assembly line with groundbreaking changes in the social organisation of his factory. Maybe that is what makes this sympathetic little car much more of a peoples car than it ever got credit for. At least it’s the perfect addition to the beautiful collection in Ton’s workshop.
Marc GF Zaan