Whilst the global economy suffered a severe downturn in the final two quarters of 2008 and the 1st couple of months of 2009, some areas are starting to show indicators of improving. The housing and construction sectors in England are nevertheless suffering, and it does not appear like relief will be coming anytime soon in these regions.
New data shows that building suffered a a lot sharper decline than analysts had expected in the very first 3 months of 2009. The estimated decline was two.four% but in actuality the decline was 9%, the sharpest decline since 1963. Construction accounts for about six% of Britain’s economy, so this worse-than-expected decline has dealt a heavy blow to the GDP. A lot of construction workers have been laid off, further hurting the economy as these households continue to limit spending.
New housing construction is down by record numbers, but the commercial building sector is down by much much more. When the credit-crunch showed signs of enhancing, many were hopeful that building would begin to boost as the housing marketplace had hopefully reached bottom. Material costs have sharply decreased, but that has not led to an improve in construction that was anticipated as the credit sector began to flatten out.
The odd factor is that housing rates are up in England, displaying slight increases each and every month even though the number of authorized mortgages remains low. This may be due the low supply if new houses are not being constructed then the demand for current residences increases. With the reduce in housing prices considering that July of 2008, several families feel that now is the time to get in on very good bargains. People that can nonetheless qualify for mortgages are buying properties at the deflated values, which looks like the housing market is enhancing and drives up the price tag of residences.
Until new building begins to improve, the economy will continue to sag. Developers and homebuilders are not reaping the positive aspects of new lending practices to fund their projects, and there are handful of new projects on the books. It seems that construction is nevertheless a risky investment in 2009 and that could not change by the end of this year.
Commercial true estate is still suffering and not seeing the identical sort of enhance as home prices. It seems that some of the construction numbers are enhancing in Scotland and Wales due to government spending on public functions projects, but England continues to post worse-than-expected results in all regions and it does not appear like recovery will happen in 2009.
This report was written by Tom Sangers on behalf of Gateway Houses who provide Money for House services and a Quick Home Sale.
Citroen 7 CV
Image by pedrosimoes7
MotorClássico, Lisbon, Portugal
Traction Avant monocoque
Front torsion bar suspension
The Traction Avant, French for "front wheel drive", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the 1st production front wheel drive car – Alvis built the 1928 FWD in the UK, Cord produced the L29 from 1929 to 1932 in the United States and DKW the F1 in 1931 in Germany – it was the world’s first front-wheel drive steel monocoque production car. Along with DKW’s 1930s models, the Traction successfully pioneered front-wheel drive on the European mass car marketplace.
The Traction Avant’s structure was a welded monocoque (unitized body). Most other cars of the era had been based on a separate frame (chassis) onto which the non-structural body ("coachwork") was constructed. Monocoque building (also referred to as Unit Physique or "Unibody" in the US right now) outcomes in a lighter vehicle, and is now utilised for practically all car building, although physique-on-frame building remains appropriate for bigger vehicles such as trucks.
This technique of construction was viewed with great suspicion in a lot of quarters, with doubts about its strength. A variety of crash test was conceived, taking the kind of driving the car off a cliff, to illustrate its great inherent resilience.
The novel style created the automobile really low-slung relative to its contemporaries – the Traction Avant often possessed a special appear, which went from appearing rakish in 1934 to familiar and somewhat old fashioned by 1955.
The suspension was quite sophisticated for the car’s era. The front wheels had been independently sprung, employing a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement, exactly where most contemporaries utilized live axle and cart-kind leaf spring styles. The rear suspension was a easy steel beam axle and a Panhard rod, trailing arms and torsion bars attached to a three-inch (76 mm) steel tube, which in turn was bolted to the monocoque.
Given that it was considerably lighter than standard designs of the era, it was capable of 100 km/h (62 mph), and consumed fuel only at the price of 10 litres per 100 kilometres (28 mpg-imp 24 mpg-US).
Traction Avant rear
1937 7C Coupe Traction Avant
A French "familiale" 11 F 1954, 6 windows, 9 seats
Citroën 11 Commerciale 5-door
Traction Avant rears. The boot was lengthened and its volume doubled in Autumn 1952.[four]
The original model, which was presented on 18 April 1934, was a modest saloon with a 1,303 cc (79.5 cu in) engine. This model was known as the 7A, which was succeeded in June 1934 by the 7B with a larger-energy engine of 1,529 cc (93.three cu in). The 7B in turn, was succeeded in October 1934 by the 7C with an even larger-output 1,628 cc (99.3 cu in) engine. Later models have been the 11 (launched in November 1934), which had a 1,911 cc (116.six cu in) 4-cylinder engine, and the 15 (launched in 1938), with a 2,867 cc (175. cu in) six. The numbers refer to the French fiscal horsepower rating, or CV. The 11 was an 11 CV, but curiously the 15 was truly 16 CV. The 11 was built in two versions, the 11L ("légère", or "light"), which was the same size as the 7 CV, and the normal model 11, which had a longer wheelbase and wider track.
Citroën planned two variants that never entered production, considering that there was not adequate funding available to create them, except as running prototype vehicles. One particular was an automatic transmission-equipped model, primarily based on the Sensaud de Lavaud automatic transmission, the other a 22 CV model with a three.eight liter V8. The transmission (which was truly originally created for the Citroen) was a "gearless" automatic, making use of the torque-converter alone to match engine revolutions to the drivetrain revolutions, much like the Dynaflow Transmission introduced later in the USA. The auto was supposed to have a much less spartan interior than the other Traction Avants and it was to function Citroën’s own new V8 engine. About twenty prototypes had been created, but when the project was canceled in 1935 due to Michelin’s takeover they were almost certainly all destroyed.
In addition to the 4-door physique, the auto was also made as a 2-door coupé with a rumble seat, as a convertible and as an extended length Familial model with 3 rows of seats. There was even a hatchback-sort Commerciale variant, in 1939, well ahead of its time, in which the tailgate was in two halves, the decrease of which carried the spare wheel with the upper opening up to roof level. A 1-piece best-hinged tailgate was introduced when the Commerciale resumed production in 1954 after becoming suspended in the course of Globe War II.
In September 1939 France declared war on Germany and in June 1940 the German army swiftly invaded and occupied Northern France. The war years have been characterised by a desperate shortage of raw components for civilian market and of petrol, but these factors have been not apparent instantly. The Paris Motor Show scheduled for October 1939 was cancelled at quick notice, but Citroën’s own planned announcements had involved the forthcoming 2CV model rather than any significant adjustments to the Traction. For the Traction, the final “normal” year in terms of production levels was 1939, and 8,120 of the 2910mm wheelbase 1628cc engined 7C models have been made. This tumbled to 1,133 in 1940, which was the initial year when the plant suffered serious air-raid damage – on this occasion brought on by a German attack – on 3 June 1940. Production of the vehicles was suspended in June 1941, by when a further 154 had been produced in the six-month period just ended. The 7C would continue to seem in Citroën price-lists till March 1944, but production of this smaller sized engined “7CV” version of the Traction was not resumed after the war. For the more effective 1911cc engined 11 B-light models, the equivalent figures have been 27,473 units created in 1939, 4,415 in 1940 and 2,032 for 1941, even though for this model production in 1941 ended only in November 1941 so the figure for that year represents 11 months of production.
In 1945 production restarted only slowly: the 11 B-light reappeared quite tiny changed from the 1941 vehicles except that headlight surrounds were now painted rather than finished in chrome. By the finish of December 1945 the year’s production had reached 1,525. Currency depreciation is evident from the car’s listed price tag which had been 26,800 francs in January 1940, and had risen to 110,670 francs in October 1945. In 1945 the auto was the only model accessible from Citroën, and as yet another sign of the instances, consumers not capable to supply their own tires had been charged an further 9,455 francs for a set of 5. In May 1946, presumably reflecting an easing of the war-time tire shortage, the vehicle could at last be purchased with tires at no added expense, but by now the all round price tag of an 11 B-light had risen to 121,180 francs.
The 11 B-regular model, differentiated from the 11 B-light by its 3090mm wheelbase, knowledgeable a related drop off in volumes among 1939 and 1941, with just 341 automobiles developed during the first seven months of 1941. Following the war, a single 11 B-regular was developed in 1946, in time to be presented at the October 1946 Paris Motor Show: production built up throughout 1947, but for the duration of the car’s ten-year post-war period the shorter 11 B-light would, in France, continue to outsell the 11 B-standard.
Initially the French army lacked enthusiasm for the Citroën Traction, believing that it offered insufficient ground-clearance for their needs. Nonetheless, by September 1939 roughly 250 had identified their way into military service. With losses of cars at the frontier mounting, Citroën supplied a additional 570 to the army among February and Might 1940, and subsequent deliveries almost certainly took spot prior to military defeat intervened. Throughout the war several of the cars had been reregistered with "WH…" (Wehrmacht Heer/Army command) license plates, possessing been requisitioned by the German Army. These gave reliable service both in France and additional afield, notably in Libya and Stalingrad. Tractions were also favoured by the Resistance, and as occupation gave way to Liberation they turned up all over France with FFI inscribed proudly on their doors. Significantly less gloriously, the cars were identified as favourites among gangsters such as the then infamous Pierrot le Fou, and his Traction gang.
UK built cars
Left-hand drive versions had been built in Paris, in Forest, Belgium, in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Scandinavian industry, and correct-hand drive vehicles in Slough, England. The Slough version of the 11L was named the Light Fifteen and the extended wheelbase 11 was known as the Huge Fifteen. This confusing terminology referred to the British fiscal tax rating of the time, which was greater than the French, so the 11CV engine was 15HP in England. The 15CV model was known as "Big Six" in reference to its six-cylinder engine. They had been equipped with the leather seats and wooden dashboards well-known in the UK, had a 12-volt electrical program and were distinguished by a diverse radiator grille and various bumpers. Some models also had a sliding sunroof.
A 1,911 cc (116.six cu in) Light Fifteen tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1951 had a top speed of 72.six mph (116.eight km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.two miles per imperial gallon (11.2 L/100 km 21. mpg-US) was recorded. The test vehicle expense GB£812 such as taxes.
A 2,866 cc (174.9 cu in) six-cylinder model was tested by the same magazine in 1954 and for this automobile the best speed identified was 81.1 mph (130.5 km/h), acceleration from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) 21.2 seconds and fuel consumption 18.6 miles per imperial gallon (15.2 L/one hundred km 15.5 mpg-US). The test auto price GB£1,349 like taxes.[six]
Citroën 11 CV Légère
The Traction Avant employed 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 traits. The gearbox was placed at the front of the vehicle with the engine behind it and the differential in between them, a layout shared with the later Renault 4 and 16 and very first generation Renault five but the opposite way round to numerous longitudinal front-wheel drive automobiles, such as the Saab 96 and Renault 12 and 18 and most Audi models. The gear change was set in the dashboard, with the lever protruding via a vertical, H-shaped gate. Simply because this vertical orientation could have resulted in the car dropping out of gear when the lever was in the upper positions (i.e., second or reverse gears), the gear shift mechanism was locked when the mechanical clutch was engaged and released when the clutch pedal was depressed. The outcome of this layout, along with pendant pedals, umbrella-type handbrake handle and front bench seats, was a quite spacious interior, with a flat and unobstructed floor. The low-slung arrangement also eliminated the need for running boards to step into or out of the vehicle. These features made them best for use as limousines and taxi cabs, and they have been fairly common among drivers and passengers alike. Till 1953, black was the only color offered.
Impact on Motorsport
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 utilized in front of the engine located in the rear, but was quite radical at the time.
As well as being a considerable portion of the weight savings, the manufacturing facility for this transaxle contributed to the beneath mentioned monetary crisis. But when John Cooper looked for a light transaxle case for Formula 1 rear engine revolution, Traction Avant unit was about the only candidate, as Volkswagen magnesium alloy transaxle was much smaller and lacking the space required to residence heftier gears required for Formula 1. The Traction Avant transaxle was employed on Cooper T43 which won a F1 championship race as the 1st mid-mounted engine auto to do so in 1958, and on its successors Cooper T45, T51 and T53. Cooper T51 won the GP World Championship in 1959.
Unlike the Volkswagen alloy case employed by Hewland, the Traction Avant case could not be utilised up side down, as the input shaft height was a lot greater in relation to the output shaft axis so that the oil level necessary to lubricate the gears would exceed the then-unreliable input shaft oil seal height if used upside down. So the engine needed to sit higher above the ground with the oil sump space under, which was not needed by dry-sump racing engines. But the French transaxle was employed by many racing car constructors in the late 1950s to 60’s with numerous levels of good results.
In the case of Jack Brabham, who personally visited the ERSA foundry in Paris to talk about a possibility to strengthen the case ,[eight] the transaxle became recognized as "ERSA Knight" with an additional spur-gear set mounted in the bellhousing spacer (engine to transaxle adapter) recommended by Ron Tauranac, named for Jack Knight who designed the modification and created the straight-cut gears. The height offset designed by the spur gear set enabled the engine to sit lower, and became the cause why Cooper T53 was known as the ‘Lowline’, which not only produced Brabham the World Champion in 1960 but also became the precursor to the establishment of Brabham as a Formula One constructor.
Effect on Citroën
1954 six-cylinder 15CV with hydropneumatic suspension fitted to the rear wheels – in ‘high’ position
Traction Avant as contemporary wedding car
The improvement costs of the Traction Avant, combined with the redevelopment of its factory, were very high and Citroën declared bankruptcy in late 1934. The largest creditor was Michelin, who then owned Citroën from 1934 until 1976. Beneath Michelin, Citroën was run as a investigation laboratory, a test bed for their radial tires and new automotive technologies.
In 1954 Citroën’s experiments with hydropneumatic technology created its initial outcome, the "15H" – a variant of the 6-cylinder model 15 with a self-leveling, height-adjustable rear suspension, a field trial for the revolutionary DS released the following year.
Directly after the introduction of the Citroën ID, a simplified and far more competitively priced version of the nevertheless revolutionary DS, production of the Traction Avant ended in July 1957. Over 23 years, 759,111 had been constructed, including 26,400 assembled in Slough in England, 31,750 assembled in Forest near Brussels and 1,823 assembled at Cologne in Germany. The total reflects the production stoppage during Globe War II.
The Traction Avant nowadays
Massive Fifteen sedan
In 2006, the oldest surviving 7A has production quantity ("coque nr") AZ 00-18, and is displayed in partly dismantled shape (engine and front wheels detached) in the Citroën Museum in Paris. The oldest running 7A is almost certainly number AZ-00-23, which was, till 1 September 2006, in possession of a Dutch owner and is now with a Slovenian owner.
Traction Avants are relatively robust automobiles even by contemporary requirements even so, they are prone to leaking water inside the cabin and care needs to be taken when buying one particular. Every single few years, Traction Avant enthusiasts ship their autos to an exotic location for a rally. In 2002, for instance, a group of over 30 Traction Avants drove from Los Angeles to New York without incident.