The local fries farmer used to do with his Citroën HY the round. That was a holiday. Much later I heard that the deep-fat fryer earned quite a bit by selling jenever – there were no more exotic spirits at that time – from under the serving tray. Cheers! Real entrepreneurs see their opportunities.
Citroën HY: Devised during the war, a success after the war
De Citroën HY was presented in 1947 and entered the market the following year. Bee Auto Motor Klassiek we have found a HY with an even better history. That copy has been with the same owner for 46 years.
And in the meantime we were pleasantly surprised that at Wheeler Dealers one was once restored/made ready for sale by installing a Ford Pinto two liter block and a lot of electronics, which a French village would be jealous of. Typically a case of "Is that allowed?"
The iconic quality of the Citroën HY works through the decades
And the range of HYs is limited. But in the meantime a solution has been offered that will make the purists shudder. An even worse solution is that mounting a Pinto block in a HY: you can get a fresh one Citroën – luckily it still is – Turn Jumper into a with a special, simple body kit Citroën HY. The idea of this special body kit comes from a certain Fabrizio Caselani and designer David Obendorfer from FC Automobili. The result? We think that's funny, but it's pointless for us classic enthusiasts.
Back to basic
With its characteristic 'corrugated sheet body' for ultimate rigidity with minimal weight, the HY became a well-known appearance in Europe. The bus remained virtually unchanged in production for 34 for years. That was and is a record for a delivery van. A total of 475.000 units were built. And many of them have come to a terrible end after a long and hard life.
There was also a heavier version with a higher load capacity, which was called 'HZ'. The practically box-shaped loading space was used for all kinds of purposes, from transporting agricultural goods to use for patient transport. And the buses were also wanted by the gendarme and Dutch police.
Must be practical
The book of requirements for the design of the Citroën HY were in fact equal to that of a 2CV: a simple, reliable construction, front-wheel drive, low fuel consumption and good road holding. The first drawings of this legend were ready during the Second World War, but the first prototype only rolled off the production line after the end of it.
The design of the Citroën HY is based on the self-supporting largely box-shaped body. All technology was at the front of the car (engine, gearbox and drive). An additional advantage of this approach was that a HY can be extended quite easily.
De Citroën HY has been made and converted in countless variants. As a motorhome, catering sales vehicle, pickup, horse transport vehicle, etc.
In recent years quite a few specimens have been upgraded to continue working as a food truck even after their retirement.
At the moment the prices are from around 4.000-35.000 euros…
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