Citroën Currus HY Van-based Buses

From 1969 to 1980 Berliet and similar sized buses served as the primary means of ground transport for RAPT, the public transport operator in Paris and the surrounding region.

To satisfy line service where buses proved to be too large, (size and capacity compared to demand), in 1972 RATP commissioned the coachbiulder Currus offer a smaller capacity bus.

Based on the Type H Citroën (H Van), Currus fabricated 18 busses having a tubular metal body with a side body covering and roof of reinforced polyester resin. The mechanical basis was no different from the H Van. The busses were front-wheel drive and used a 4-cylinder 1911 cc gasoline engine, and a 3-speed gearbox.

Their empty weight was 2,140 Kg, and they had an authorized loaded weight of 3,260 Kg allowing the transport of 13 seated passengers, including one next to the driver, who was able to operate the pneumatically controlled two-leaf side door. Its operation was ensured by a small compressor with an intermediate tank. A hinged emergency door was located in the middle of the rear panel.

These reduced capacity buses, proved more fragile than the large Berliet buses. While the Berliet ones began to be phased out gradually commencing in 1980 with the disappearance of the last one in December 1982, the 18 Citroën-Currus busses had a shorter lifespan and were off the road by 1980.

A contributing factor to their early retirement was that RATP used them to reach Paris from the two main airports. Designed to travel at a speed no greater than 65 km/h, which for urban journey was more than sufficient, running them on the motorways when not hampered by traffic, they proved to be too slow.

You may recall that Currus was the coachbuilder for Citroën U55 Cityrama touring busses offered unmatched views of Paris. These hyper-futuristic double-decker buses were built atop a Citroën U55 truck chassis. As many as 10 are purported to have been made until 1965.

The only known survivor was located in abandoned condition in Fresney Le Puceux, France and as is being restored, hopefully to be debuted at Retromobile in 2026. Read more about the U55 Cityrama here:

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