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CITROňN: 1968 H

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For years the standard equipment of fries, fish and flower salesmen: the CitroŽn H van. Introduced in 1947 and produced well in to the seventies this is one of Europe's best known and characteristic vans. It was simple to maintain, cheap to run and durable and more or less to vans what the 2 CV was to cars.
Its distinctive corrugated sheet metal bodywork was sturdy and light and its two litre engine, dating back as far as 1934, virtually indestructible. All this made up for drawbacks as rust, low engine power and very few comforts. In later years a diesel engine was also available for even better economy.

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Because of all mechanical components being in front, the H could easily be adapted to a wide variety of tasks and needs. Making the car longer or changing the bodywork was no problem, every local coachbuilder could do the job and probably did. In standard form the H was roomy and offered ample access facilities: one sliding door at the side and a back door in three parts. The back entrance was formed by two doors in the bottom part that opened to the sides and one door in the top part that opened upward. In this way cargo that was longer than the van itself could be transported by letting it stick out of the open top door, while the cargo on the floor didn't slide out of the van because of the closed bottom doors.

Technical data for the H (gasoline version):


Linear 4 cylinder 4 stroke water-cooled, 1911 cc displacement, 48 SAE hp @ 3700 rpm, compression ratio 7.5 to 1. Top speed: 78 kph.


4 gears forward, 2nd, 3rd and 4th synchronized. Drum brakes on all wheels. Rigid rear axle with coil springs; independent front wheel suspension. Front wheel drive.


Length: 426 cm, width: 199 cm and height 230 cm. Weight: 1400 kg. Wheelbase: 252 cm. Trackwidth front: 163 cm; rear: 166 cm. Loading capacity: 1600 kg.


Available as panel van, pick-up or cattle van as standard; 60 cm. longer wheelbase is an option.

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