This car hauler intrigues us for a number of reasons. Though it looks unmistakably like an H Van, close inspection reveals a number of body details that are Citroën-based but indicate extensive customization.
The door has a straight edge on the bottom and the step-up plate is more wedge-shaped. There is the very clever use of early 2CV rear roof sides that form the back section of the cab. Retaining a pre-1973 H Van look with the split windshield gives it that classic look.
There are definitely some custom pieces made; the front bumper’s left and right sides mimic a 1950s 2CV but are elongated versions that sweep back from the front hood (another custom piece of work) to the wheel wells. We suspect the centre portion of the front bumper and the overriders lift up along with the hood for engine access. (Just the hood opens on a regular H Van and the smaller bumper remains fixed to the frame mounts.) Also, note the truck rims masked by full-size hubcaps and de-emphasized somewhat by the whitewall tires.
These features make us think that the body has been fitted onto conventional truck chassis and running gear. After all, it would make sense that if you are going to put in this much effort, you may as well have the power to haul any car and do so at highway speeds.
To match the H Van engine out front layout, one would need a truck where the engine protrudes out front. At first, we thought it might have been based on one of the classic cab-forward trucks that GM and Ford offered in the 1960s, and although that would explain the overhang in front of the front wheels, the size of those trucks and their big wheel rims would be too large to adapt to an H Van.
Instead, we looked at smaller, modern and more conventional trucks that are used as car haulers… A Citroën Jumper could have been used to underpin the design. The engine protrudes out front about the same amount, it would not be too difficult to re-locate the cab slightly forward while incorporating many aspects of the H Van interior while sacrificing some height, and the wheels look to be about the size.
Or, this Iveco 3.5 ton Beavertail recovery truck seems like it could have been a candidate. Like the Jumper, the engine protrudes out front, though even a bit further, cab re-location modifications would be similar and the wheel rims size appear to be similar.
We wonder if the side windows roll down into the doors because the window shape does not allow for the split-window – horizontal slide-opening windows that a standard H Van would have. Given the effort that has been put into this car hauler, there is air-conditioning.
Even in the rear, 2CV shaped fenders that appear to be slightly larger and more pronounced than originals, have been crafted that cover the rear wheels.
We’re not sure if we would have retained the charm of the original H Van headlights (which are the same part as a 2CV) or done the ‘flare-in’ on the vehicle with headlights and bezels taken from an AMI 8. Certainly the latter works!
And of course, the matching paint themed classic 1950s 2CV is the cherry on top! What a great vehicle – one any Citroën Club or serious collector would love to own.
Overall – brilliant! Even in comparison to regular H Vans that have been converted to vehicle haulers.