If You Need the World’s Coolest Food Truck, This 1955 Citroen H Van Might Be It

The Citroen H Van is just about the funkiest looking piece of work the French automaker Citroën built between 1947 and 1981 - and that says a lot. It was developed as a simple front-wheel-drive van after World War II but, though it’s horrifically underpowered, it happens to be the coolest van you could buy.
Citroen H Van 18 photos
Photo: Liverpool FC
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A total of 473,289 H Vans were produced in 34 years in factories in France and Belgium, and the ‘H’ series featured a unitary body with no separate frame, independent front suspension and front-wheel drive. With a flat floor very close to the ground and 6 ft (180 cm) of standing heigh inside, the H Vans also included a side loading door and a wide panel along the side that made it an ideal platform to serve food or adult beverages.

Corrugated bodywork was said to be inspired by German Junkers bomber aircraft, and Henry Ford used the same construction ideas for the Ford Tri-Motor passenger aircraft. The ribs added strength and cut back on weight and required the simplest presses to manufacture. The body panels were supported on the inside by what they called a 'top hat' box section, and the welded-in floor was strong enough to support a horse or three motorcycles.

Introduced in 1947, the Citroen H Van was miles ahead of its commercial competitors due largely to its monocoque construction, economical 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine, and an easy-to-maintain three-speed manual transmission which it shared with the Traction Avant. It’s not exactly a speed demon as, on its best day, the H could reach just 60 mph (88 kph).

This one was converted into a beverage sales van by the vendor, and it includes a full bodywork restoration. It runs and drives - but barely - as this Citroen has been sitting still and used as a bar. It was purchased in 2019 and taken down to a bare metal bodywork restoration, all corrosion was cut out, and panels were either repaired or replaced as necessary.

It was used for the most part on the seller’s grounds, but this Citroen runs and drives. You would need to address issues with the braking system, but as with all H models, those brakes are accessible for repair.

This funky Citroen will set you back between £12,000 - £14,000 ($16,500-19,000 USD).
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