Andre Lefebvre and the Cars He Created at Voisin and Citroen Paperback
This biography of Andre Lefebvre gives a revealing insight into the work of a practically unknown aeronautic engineer who, after building and racing competition cars for Gabriel Voisin in 1933, created for Andre Citroen the revolutionary front wheel drive Traction Avant (light fifteen in the UK).
He was responsible for the minimalist 2CV and the Citroen DS, which was the sensation of the automotive world in 1955, and is still an icon of original automobile engineering and avant-garde design today.
Together with his colleagues at Citroen, Andre Lefebvre created the Traction Avant (1934), the TUB (1939) - Citroen's first front wheel drive utility van that was succeeded by the H and HY vans (1947) - the Deux Chevaux (1948), and, last but not least, the DS (1955).
From 1923 to 1931 Lefebvre also designed several highly original and outstanding competition cars and record-breaking automobiles for Voisin.
He even drove some these cars in races and record attempts.
It is obvious that during his 16 years with Gabriel Voisin he was very much influenced by the ideas of this illustrious aviation pioneer and car manufacturer.The experience gained during that period gave him the self-confidence to persuade his successive bosses at Citroen that his unorthodox approach to automobile design was what the company needed; first he convinced Andre Citroen, later Pierre Michelin, then Pierre-Jules Boulanger, and finally Robert Puiseux and Pierre Bercot. His oeuvre for Citroen alone earns him a place of honour among the great automobile designers of the past century.
The fact that most present-day cars still carry the DNA of his design philosophy makes him stand out above other automotive pioneers and innovators.
That is why it is amazing that so little is known about this fascinating and brilliant engineer.
This book was written in order to remedy that, and to pay tribute to Andre Lefebvre: the passionate pioneer who left car enthusiasts around the world such an important heritage.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 144 pages, Illustrations (some col.)
- Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date: 27/08/2009
- Category: Biography: science, technology & engineering
- ISBN: 9781845842444
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Review by Shrike58
Andre Lefebvre would be worthy of note if all he had done was create the Citroen 2CV. However, the man took his background in aeronautical engineering and made a sustained career of applying advanced materials and aerodynamic concepts to cars in the service of comfort and practicality. The only reason I mark down this book a bit is that the author could have spent a bit more time putting Lefebrvre in context by comparing him to his contemporaries, as otherwise the material to discuss the man's life is a little thin on the ground.