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Vans Used to Be Cool - Citroen HY Camionette

Despite their utilitarian and commercial applications, vans used to be cool, back in the 1950s and 1960s. The coolest of the lot were the first Ford Transit, and this, the very-French Citroen HY. A total of 473,289 were made in its 34-year lifespan, between 1947 and 1981.
Citroen HY 5 photos
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Most ended up in France and Belgium, as well as the Netherlands and Germany, yet no right-hand drive version was every made, so the UK never got them. Mechanically, they used bits which had already proven themselves in other Citroen models - the engine and gearbox were lifted straight from the Traction Avant, as the HY was front-wheel driven, as well.

The HY’s most recognizable feature, though, was the corrugated steel from which it was made. It wasn’t a style statement, though, as the fact that the sheet metal wasn’t straight added to the rigidity of the shell, without adding unnecessary weight. It also had rear-hinged doors, and since it was so boxy, and the engine was pushed right up front, there was a lot of room inside, and the load bay, being a very regular shape, could easily accommodate all sorts of loads.


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