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Hy All,

I've got quite a lot to go through so hope it all gets mentioned. If I've missed anything then apologies. Lets start off with the National held in the Scrivelsby estate. I don't often attend meetings outside of Registers day but this felt it was near enough to have a trek out for the day. Pleasant drive out, lovely clear roads ahead, tons of traffic behind us I'm sure they where enjoying the day out too. The satnav took us down a dirt track with potholes the size only seen on the moon. Finally arrived to find out that there was a miss print in the mag and a days entry was £10 each and no discount for members. But the goody bag was nice. Parked up had a look around at the stalls had a great chat with Rob and Dalvinder who owns Mike Goodes van, we got into a long discussion about his clutch. Also met up with Richard Burch, I said I'd mention his name as I'd forgotten it at Registers Day. If you are reading this Richard can you send me your details of your van for some reason they are not on the website register. Sally and Mark Flemming where there selling there fantastic coffee and crepes, nice to meet up with Mark and have a chat. The picture I took of their van was very blurred so sorry about that hopefully next time.


I've had an email from David Ross who also attended the 70th Anniversary meet of H Vans at Thouars he sent in an article and loads of pictures. David wrote:-

70 ans du Citroen Type H, Orangerie deThouars

The Citroen Type H was launched 70 years ago this year at the October 1947 Salon de l’Automobile in Paris. I had attended La Traversee de Paris on 12th October 2007 with my 1965 HY72 ex fire service van, to mark the 60th anniversary. The decision to take my van to an event in France this year, to mark the 70th anniversary, seemed an obvious one.

After several searches, I decided upon an event being promoted by the delightfully named H Tendre et Chevronnés in Thuoars. I couldn’t find a great deal of information about the celebrations but the location looked attractive and the route there and back would be interesting.  

 

Thouars is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France and is described on TripAdvisor as “one of those pretty French towns that few people have ever heard of... it has many beautiful old houses and streets, a wonderful chateau….” all of which we found to be true.

 

Embarking on such a journey in a fifty-two year old van is always an act of faith however well you and the van are prepared. A recent engine rebuild and thorough overhaul, together with a couple of successful outings with the van, gave me a reasonable level of confidence before we set off for France. Despite all that, the van decided to deposit a large quantity of brake fluid over the shed floor less than 24 hours before departure! For a moment, I thought that the trip would be over before it started. However, a quick call to the ever-helpful Barry Lowdell at B.L. Autos & Sons in Welwyn Garden City (01707 327555) resulted in me taking the van to him there and then. Barry traced the leak to the rubber connector between the glass brake fluid reservoir and the pipe to the master cylinder; it had perished and allowed the fluid to escape. The next challenge was then to find something to replace the somewhat complicated rubber moulding. However, luck was on my side as I keep a box of “essential” spares in the van, to my amazement there was just the part. It had lain dormant and forgotten in the box for many years. Once fitted and refilled with brake fluid trip was on again!

 

A study of the maps indicated that taking the Portsmouth to Ouistreham (Caen) ferry was our best option, staying overnight in Caen before onward travel to Thouars the next day.

 

On Thursday 25th May, accompanied by my brother Sandy, I travelled from home in St Albans to Portsmouth using the M25 and A3. We got there in time to have our lunch in the sunshine, on the seafront in Southsea, near to the Isle of Wight hovercraft terminal. The van attracted the attention of many passers-by wanting to stop and chat which made lunch an enjoyable, though protracted affair.

 

Our arrival at the ferry terminal similarly excited interest, particularly when the two-tone siren echoed loudly around the customs shed! Well the customs officer did ask if it was in working order!   

 

The ferry crossing to Ouistreham was pleasant and uneventful, though the food service on board was rather disorganised and the food itself disappointing.

 

Our first night in France was spent at the Ibis Caen Herouville Savary, which is located in Herouville Saint Clair, a suburb to the north of Caen and convenient for the Boulevard périphérique de Caen.  On our way to the hotel we came across the track of the amazing guided light transit, which is an electrically powered guided bus system, serving Caen using three-section articulated vehicles. We explored this more thoroughly on our return journey – see later.

 

We concluded the day with some painfully, expensive Kronenbourg 1664 in the hotel bar.

 

We made an early start on Friday, as we had a journey of some 325 km ahead of us, at an average speed of no more than 50kph.  We had decided to keep away from the main roads as far as possible and had planned a direct route following mainly D roads to Thouars. Our route from Caen took us through Mayenne and Laval along lovely scenic “driving” roads that suited the Type H van well, though some of the longer hills required a bit of a crawl in 2nd gear.

 

We didn’t do too well with lunch having decided that a Lidl baguette was better than no lunch at all. Getting round Angers was our final challenge, though that turned out to be easier than we had imagined.

 

We arrived in Thouars in the late afternoon where we checked in to a warm welcome at the Hôtel du Relais. Later we unloaded our two additional passengers, an orange 4600 Velo Solex and a PliSolex (one of the rare folding VeloSolex) and went into town to find the rally site and register our arrival. A large number of H vans were already parked in their allotted space. Riding the VeloSolex in the warm evening air was a real pleasure after the noise and heat of the van. The bikes came into their own navigating the narrow streets of the historic centre of town.

 

Later on, we parked the VeloSolex on the pavement in the town square, found an excellent restaurant and sat outside under a clear blue sky. It was an idyllic setting with swifts swooping by whilst we ate our evening meal. Our return through the centre ville was accompanied by applause from local people in the restaurants and bars, who seemed to approve of our eccentric means of transport.

 

On Saturday, we took the van down to the rally site and got ourselves orientated. We were amazed at the scale of the event and impressed by the superb organisation. There must have been fifty or more Type H vans that were arranged in lines along the parade ground in front of and below the Orangerie. There was also a number of sales stands and marquees housing special displays that added to the general interest of the event.

 

Other classic Citroens including examples of 2CV, DS, SM and TA models were arranged around the perimeter. High above in the grounds of the chateau there was a fascinating and ever-changing display of other French classics including Simca, Panhard, Renault and Peugeot mostly restored to the highest standard.

 

We were positioned close to the bar and catering area which suited us well. A supply of reasonably priced, cool beer within close range was especially welcome as the temperature rose to the mid 30’s during the day.

 

There was a wide range of Type H vans in attendance, mostly presented in excellent condition. A little cluster of fire service and an ex-police Type H van displayed together with a police liveried Citroen Visa and an AZU fourgonnette were eye catching.

 

There were a few delightful genuine coach built camper vans alongside some later conversions of standard vans.

My favourite van because of its originality was a late 1950’s split screen van painted brown and cream and sign written in the livery of its owner “Vetements Evrard”. I also noticed on display a wonderful archive photograph of the van dated 1959 with it parked alongside a Citroen AZU van and an articulated unit all in the same livery. I do particularly favour originality and correct period detail in a vehicle and this one had it in plenty.

 

Many of the vans attending the event are shown in the photographs found by following this link http://citroenhy.free.fr/photos-thouars2017-citroen-hy1.php

 

Citroen themselves had kindly supported the event loaning three fascinating vehicles from the Citroen Conservatoire. These were the Citroen TUB (reputedly based on the Traction Avant car) that was the direct predecessor of the Type H van: the prototype Type G van that was a scaled down Type H though it never went into production and finally the futuristic Citroen Tubik concept vehicle. Deservedly all three attracted a considerable amount of attention over the weekend.

 

An interesting interloper was a Citroën C35 light van that had travelled from Switzerland to take part. The C35 was the direct successor to the Type H van and according to the Citroenet website ‘is a light commercial vehicle developed by the Sevel joint venture between Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroën. The vehicles were produced in Italy from 1974 until 1987 with Fiat engines, and then in France by Chausson, when Fiat discontinued its version. Citroën retained the model until 1992’.  

 

The Saturday evening dinner provided, perhaps, the highlight of the event. Several hundred people sat down, in the vaulted Orangerie, to a four course meal accompanied by speeches, musicians, singers and an excellent conjurer who toured the tables. Each table had been attractively laid with white linen table cloth and every setting had an identical tin-plate model Type H van as a souvenir of the event. Altogether most spectacular.

 

We had taken the precaution of returning my van to the hotel prior to the dinner and instead had the VeloSolex as our means of transport. We made our somewhat uninhibited way back on the bikes across the town well after midnight, much to the confusion of the few late-night revellers we encountered.

 

Another highlight was the Sunday morning 2CV road run. When we arrived with the van, the site was awash with 2CVs and other Type A derivatives lining up for the start. We couldn’t get the van to its allocated space until the 2CVs had departed. As it happened we had plenty of time to admire the rows of 2CVs of every variety which was a treat being the carer/owner of three 2CV variants myself (my wife’s 1986 2CV6 Special and my 1976 435cc AZU fourgonnette and 1963 AK350 Carroserie Commerciale pick up).

 

 

My favourite 2CV at the event had to be the fire service pick up based on an AZU fourgonnette. I think it was intended to be a hose carrier probably for use in fighting forest fires as it carried several long flails and had storage space for many lengths of hose. I had seen photographs of similar vehicles in the past but never guessed that I would ever see one in reality. How I would like to own it to accompany my own ex- fire service Type H.

 

The 2CVs departed from the site in small groups, immediately crossing the wide

valley of the river Thouet on a high single lane steel girder bridge, where we were able to enjoy that unique 2CV sound.

 

The rest of Sunday was spent watching the ebb and flow of interesting vehicles on display at the rally.

 

We eventually left the rally site after a memorable weekend. We were in need of a meal, though as is the way in rural France on a Sunday evening, virtually everywhere was closed. We eventually found La Pataterie, a chain restaurant next to a McDonalds, on an out of town industrial park. It was open and decided that would do. We should have considered first, why the McDonalds car park was full, whilst the only car outside La Pataterie was a run-down Rover 45. In short and to spare you the details, I can assure you that we had the most dismal meal either of us have ever consumed in our lives that evening!

 

We did however, console ourselves after with a long ride on the VeloSolexs out in the warm air of the evening. We followed the course of the river Thouet past one idyllic water mill after another. The ride along country roads, with hardly another vehicle encountered, soon put all thoughts of the dreadful meal to the back of our minds.

 

For our return journey, we decided to take a different route back to Caen and instead went via Saumaur, Le Mans, Alencon and so on, using the “old” main roads. These have now, mainly been bypassed by new dual carriageways. Unlike the UK, where the use of the old roads tends to be discouraged by the creation of traffic calming measures, those in France remain untroubled by such nuisances, so we are able to make good progress. We did learn though, to avoid the ring roads that had been built around most towns, as the extra distance, at the speed we were travelling, easily outweighed the use of the direct route through town. It did, however, mean that we had to navigate the “heritage” cobbles and flower planters designed to give pedestrians an even chance with the remaining traffic.  

 

We arrived back in Caen by mid-afternoon giving us enough time to investigate the guided light transit system mentioned earlier. This system, has the superficial look of a tramway. It has an over-head line supplying the traction current via bow collector to the vehicles running on the street level track below. However, the vehicles, though looking like modern three section articulated trams, are in fact hybrid trolley/motor buses running on pneumatic tyres. There is a single, central steel guide rail that directs the tram via steel guide wheels underneath each vehicle. The ride is not dissimilar to a conventional tram, with the steel guide rail providing the metal-to-metal sound of a steel tram wheel on rail. Acceleration is extremely rapid, catching out the unwary if they are not holding on tight!

 

I believe that the vehicles are fitted with an auxiliary diesel engine and conventional steering that allows them to run, away from the fixed infrastructure, back their depot. There are several lurid photographs, to be found on the internet, of vehicles having lost contact with the guide rail and crashed off into the surroundings with spectacular results.

 

The existing vehicles are unique to the system and the sole source of replacements is Bombadier who developed the system in the first place. The cost of replacement vehicles is said to be prohibitive whilst conventional trams are made in considerable numbers, by three or four well established manufacturers across Europe. Indications are, that the system is due to be converted into a conventional tramway system at great expense.

 

We rode on Line B into the centre of Caen with the aim of finding a good restaurant to counteract the unsatisfactory experience the night before in Thouars. Fortunately, that objective we met in full.

 

Our final day consisted of an early ferry from Ouistreham to Portsmouth. This journey was uneventful, other than the quayside policeman at Ouistreham wanting to photograph the van on his smart-phone and the lady on the ferry car deck, handing out location tickets, trilling ‘I so luuve your car’ – all rather touching.

 

We were hoping for a clear run home from Portsmouth to round off a successful trip. That was not to be, as we spent about 90 minutes stop-start along the M25 around Heathrow. The weather was hot and I was worried that the engine might start to overheat. However, the van retained its composure to the end and got us home without any problems at all.  


Overall, we agreed that the trip was a great success and had exceeded our expectations. It was, entirely worth making the effort to get to the 70th anniversary rally.


Finally, here is a photo of my van in France a few years ago when I took it back to Bonneval, Eure et Loir where it was based during its working life. The trip to Thouars this year was its fourth visit to France in my ownership.

 

Great article David many thanks for that. Well hopefully next month I should have some news about the Kettering Steam Rally where we have a small gathering of H Vans set in a small corner of a field. So if you are about that way pop in and say hi. We'll be waving the flag for the Citroen H Van. Enjoy the pictures of  Davids time in Thouars, and the National.
Tube it don't lose it
Martyn Brown (H Van register)

08/09.2017

 

 

 

 

 

Hy All,

I've had emails from Ray Wilkinson. (no not that one) He 's keen to sell a Citroen 350 pompier he writes :-

I am now in a position to sell the Citroen pompier . The last one up for grabs was a N350 on Car and Classics at £11,700 !!!
I am looking for offers just over 6k.
It will be up to the purchaser to arrange transport from St Samson 53140 near Pre-en-Pail. Just over 1.5 hrs from ferry port at Ouistreham.
Many thanks for your help with this I would like that it went to the right person rather than the free for all on the open market.
Kind regards
Ray
If your interested then please get in touch with Ray at sonja.wilkinson@gmail.com
We are hoping to be going to the National at the end of August, so I hope I'll have more to report.
 Following on with the changes to the H Van thoughout the years we are now at 1955. In January the H had a new light for the rear reg.plate a half moon shaped light the same as the 2CV AZU. In June the con rods body becomes thicker changing from 13mm to 19mm. In October the H and the HZ are available with a flatbed  with a removable top floor. Type HP was introduced with a weight of 1 450kg and the HPZ with a weight of 1400kg  November a presentation of Cibie headlights with a metal band holding the glass in.

Tube it don't lose it

Hy all,
As I write this the Tour de France is just finishing the first week, and what a week it has been. I was given a picture from the official magazine by my work colleague Alan Mann. The picture was taken in 1960 at the Col d'Izoard with Italian rider Imerio Massignan reaching the top first but would lose out on stage victory to countryman Grazino Battistini.  Great picture made even better with a H Van sitting up on the hill.

Stuart Whitell attended the 70th anniversary at Thouars he says :-Hi all,
Finally got to send Martyn the photographs I took at this years 70th Anniversary meeting at Thouars in western France.
Felt a bit miffed when I found out the northern anniversary meeting was at the same time we were at our place in the Charente, I knew it was a long haul I didn't fancy driving having just done the 740 mile journey a few days earlier to department 16!
Anyway luckily i got some wifi at Leclerc whilst shopping and via our clubs website found the western event mentioned.
I don't know how I managed to talk her indoors to a 4 hour round trip on a blisteringly hot day but she came along for the ride and said she thoroughly enjoyed it!
The setting was perfect outside of the old Chateau orangerie high above the river Thouet.
We counted approximately 26 H vans, there were 2 Citroen SM's that have the Maserati V6 engines installed. The two vehicles that really stood out were the concept van and the wooden 2CV!
Noticed one British registered Pompiers fire truck but never managed to see or chat to the owner. (That belongs to David Ross. Martyn)
Underneath the orangerie in the stone vaulted ceiling cellars was a display of vintage photographs and a massive model collection of new and old vehicles. I had been hoping to see lots of trade stalls but not to be, the only two there mainly had spares for anything but H vans.
Bought the T shirt and the cup!
Wonder if I'll be around for the 100th celebrations?
Stu Whitell
Many thanks Stu, it looks like you had a great day. Following on with the changes to the H Van thoughout the years we are now at 1953, in Febuary the dynamo is no longer fixed on the front of the motor but with a bracket on the exhaust. May the petrol filling neck pipe is reduced from 80mm to 68mm. July the appearance of Marchal headlights. October new rear brake pads with an increase of braking surface is introduced and a new speedo graduated to 120km either a ED or a Veglia.
Thanks again for all the pics Stu. Great to see an origanal TUB also a G Van. The best one must go to the two french men having a lunch at the back of their van. Very French.

Tube it don't lose it.

11/7/17

Hy all,
May was a busy month, but was helped out by the weather. We decided in our wisdom to hand paint our H Van. We set to by prepping the van which took a lot of rubbing down. All the windows had to be removed and all the chrome stuff. After a bit of filling we were ready to paint. Aldi was selling metal paint but only in Silver, Black, and Green. To get the right colour we decided to mix the silver with the black untill we got the grey we liked. After a test run on an old bit of tin, I set to on the roof thinking if it didn't work or look right nobody would see it. Suprisingly it went on very well. The hot weather in May helped. We found a nice burgundy colour for the wheels and the bumpers. The finish was very good. I managed to get some Mot on it just in time for Registers Day.
The turnout at Registers Day for H Vans was quite good. Charles Vacy-Ash with his Hy reg. number BHY247H, also Mike Goods old van now owned by Rob & Dal Hellawell SKM360W and ours VGV38R were in the line up for voting. Melanie and Richard Sadler's Black Tulip van OHR834X was in the master class section. There was also another, selling 2cv parts for charity who's owners name escapes me at the moment, I'm sure he will be in touch. Reg EKH519J. Our van was the overall winner for the second time. A great event and many thanks to everyone who organised the event. As it was the 70th anniversay of the H Van, Caroline made a cake which was greatfully recieved by all the voters no bribary intended. ( cough, cough)
To celebrate the 70th anniversary each month I'm writing about the changes made throughout the years to the H, we are now at 1953 in April, the H and HZ have a new clutch
enhancing progressivity. The 880mm clutch cable is now without a fixing bracket. The rear shock absorbers are equipped with rubber bushing to replace the biconical rings. In July
 new front hub bearings has two rows of tapered  rollers, instead of bearings with two rows of balls.
I'll keep the writing short so I can get more photos in. Enjoy the pics

Tube it don't lose it.

June 5th 2017

 

 

 

HY all,
With registers day just around the corner lets hope for a good turnout. I'm hoping our van will be ready, we've decided to repaint it, a darker shade of grey. I'll keep you posted.
 I've had one registration this month and some interesting pictures from Jeff Winterman. Also some updated pictures from Peter Mitchell.
 
The registration is from Martin Thomas who has a 1973 Hy 1.9 petrol engine blue and white van, its past history is that it used to be a French Outdoor Broadcast Vehicle. Martin says "This is my HY in its current state. I've old pictures of it before I owned it and before the restoration started but I thought I'd share a true representation of it. It's been like this for about 6 months now."
I think your making a great job of restoring the van Martin, its not easy and it takes up a lot of your time. I'm sure we'll see another great van back on the road soon.
Jeff Winterman got in touch and said :- " Hi Martyn, I was going through my photos and thought this one might be interesting for the magazine. My 4x4 couldn't get the van out". The picture was take East of Genoble. "Yes a Beautifull area. Not a good idea for me to collect a van in December. The harvester driver was drinking in the bar at 10 am before pulling the van out. I'm more careful now with collections".
Jeffs also nearly finished a restoration of an ex fire engine, I must admit he's got some shine on that paint work. Great looking van.
 
Peter Michell emailed saying:-"Hello Martyn,Van has been out and about and here are a few recent photos. As I lost my garage I have had to resort to parking it in a 'warehouse'amongst the local Porsches and a DeLorian but they do have a 4 tonne lift which is useful. I even have my own potted palm beside it and they have provided a ripple garage door to match! One picture shows the wooden floor which is enclosed in a metal frame and comes out in one if necessary. I inspected the van on the lift today and was very pleased to see that underneath it is completely solid - a few 50 year old dents but no rust or dodgy bits".
Continuing with the changes of the H Van thoughout the years to celebrate the 70th anniversary we are now up to 1952. In January there are changes to the rear glass, new 4mm thick vertical rear windows with rounded ends. New brakes, front and rear, with split drums, wings, and wheels with cooling openings. In March the height of the cylinder head is reduced from 85.5mm to 82mm. In June the cylinder head is fixed by studs instead of screws.

Well thats all for now folks and hope to see you in Princethorpe. Keep sending your articles in. Tube it don't lose it.

8th May 2017

 

 

 

Hy all,
I've had a couple of new registrations. The first is from Neil Tucker the details are as follows;1977 Hy Petrol 1900cc ex La Poste(PTT) telecoms van which I have redone its paint and blue bird logo. Seems it spent its life around Draguignan near the Cote de Zur,I have its bill of sale from the post office in Toulon to its next owner in Vidauban.I,ve owned it since May 2015 as for the French number its a departmental  one used on goverment vehicles but not all ?  if you google French PTT vans most will have a number followed by a D  DA  DB  DC  DE  etc depending on there age so I found out.   The orginal hand painted ones are still under the plastic UK ones which I take off at classic car shows    regards Neil

A lovely looking van and unusual to see one in the postal colours. The second registration is from Daras Rich who says :-

Hi Martyn.

 

I have just bought a 1965 LWB HY72. Although it’s been in the UK since the early 1990s, it’s still on French plates: 355MV54. I bought it from (Ex 2CVGB Chairman) John Blakely but I’m not sure whether or not it’s on the register. I’ve got it mot’d and will be getting it UK registered shortly.

 I have no history from its time in France but it seems to be an ex fire department ambulance. From looking at similar spec vans on the internet, I believe it’s probably a Filca France conversion, (judging by the half-frosted windows, type of rear doors, etc). I’ve attached some photos of my van.

 

Many thanks Daras, I will be doing an article later on in the year about Filca France conversions.

 

Simon Saint dropped me a line saying :- I thought it was about time that I made contact. You might have read snippets about Henry the H over the last two years but, to my shame, in all that time he has not been on the road. However I have been doing a bit of necessary body repair prior to taking him for an MOT and that has involved crawling around underneath. This activity reminded me of something that I already knew, that the many 50mm diameter 'access' holes in the box section chassis have mostly lost their blanking plugs. At least I assume that they are meant to have blanking plugs because a few still do. I have been checking some suppliers' parts lists on line and have made a couple of phone calls but so far I have drawn a blank. So my first question is whether you know of any supplier of these parts. It seems to me that it would be a good idea to close up these holes to stop the road rubbish and moisture getting in.

It would be a great idea to blank up the holes, as chassis box section can be very hard to come by and repair. Hopefully Citroworld has helped you out and it would be great to see it back on the road.

 

Continuing with the H Van changes through out the years we are at 1951, in Jan. A new flexible oil gauge with a rubber seal peplaces the rigid gauge. Feb. The steering wheel is made of molded plastic instead of ebonite. June the gearbox receives a positive locking of 2nd and 3rd gear controlled by the clutch pedal. Sept. A new type of lock system on the rear lower doors is intruduced. The starter motor changes the brushes from a postive to a negative. In Nov. a bodybuilder ironicaly called The Bastard changed a fleet Modalux Cafe H Vans with an enlarged grille an enveloping bumper and headlights that look like something from a science fiction movie.

 

Well thats all for now folks, keep sending stuff in.

Tube it don't lose it.

April 3rd 2017

HY all,
Spring is on its way, the blue tits are looking interested in the bird box, the daffs are out and the sound of H Vans turning over trying to start after being dormant for months. Looking ahead the thought of taking your van to meetings drives you on to get your van ready for the road. Talking of meetings I've had a email from Hans Sütterlin asking about meetings in the uk and if anyone is interested in going abroad for meetings. He told me a little bit about his exploits he says :-  I had a look on your pages and I was impressed that quite a lot of H vans are registered in UK.
I wonder whether you have H meetings like we have in Switzerland with our H van interest group ("IG HY"). 
I will send a copy of the list of our meetings to you, as soon as it is finalised. We had our annual discussion about when and where recently.  
It starts off with Easter weekend near Colmar, Alsace, and ends the last September weekend in Ticino, where it is still warm at that time.

My own van is not a HY, it is a HIN because of the Diesel engine. It is the yellow CW-HY 52 on the picture of the meeting near Berne on the long Ascension weekend.
I had 2CVs for 35 years, but in the moment I only own the HY. I am looking for a 2CV, but haven't found one. Of course there are offers, but either they are very well, then they are quite expensive, or they are in bad condition, then they have to be cheap (and quite often they aren't even then). 
But anyway we are also interested in the 2CV meetings (as I was already 1975 at the first world meeting in Pistohiekka, Finland). As I saw, there are dates already on the german CCRR pages, but I don't know whether it is the complete schedule.
So we have on Easter two meetings to visit, "Ostertreffen" of 2CV-Club Karlsruhe and the Easter meeting of out HY group, which is possible to do in a two days/tweo days split because there are not very far from each other.
I will send our timetable of meetings as soon as I have the final version!
Attached to this mail you'll find an invitation to the 44th meeting of the 2CV club which I founded with a few other people in 1972.  
HY forever, Hans
Thanks for that Hans its great to know that fellow H Vanners are reading the website and are finding it interesting.
Carrying on with the changes to the H Van through the years we are now at 1950 and in Feburary that year the front steps changed with a bevelled edge and a plain top, In May the torsion bar was extented on the H and the HZ from 658mm to 672 and made thicker. The clock on the dashboard was removed. In September the water pump receives a grease nipple and in December the sliding door is modified with a lock system that can be dismantled. The jack changed to a single lift instead of the original double lift.
Well thats all for now and keep sending your articles in.
Tube it don't lose it.
 
8th March 2017
 
Hy all,

I've had an email from John Sobey who says :-

The H Van and Friends Camp, Tudor Caravan Park, Slimbridge, Glos. GL2 7BP. 5-7th May 2017.  It is near the Wildfowl Trust so just follow the brown duck signs thoughtfully put up already. If you get to the ducks you have just passed it! £15 p.unit p. night. No need to book, but please let me know as we are in the Rally field
Lets hope for a good turnout.

This month I've had email's about water pumps, It seems the cold spell we had in January has took its toll on the cooling system. I've helped out Rui Principe who was struggling to find a water pump for his Indenor Diesel engine. see pic. I've pointed him to Citroworld who I hope has sorted him out.
Also Mark Fairbanks ask about his water pump and also how to adjust tappets for his Indenor diesel engine. Mark seems happy with the information I gave him.

As this year is the 70th anniversary of the H Van each month I'm mentioning the changes of the H thoughout the years. Last month we started with 1947. The launch of the H.  with its flat foot steps its chrome insert around the front windscreen rubber. Also the Citroen logo in the middle of the front bumper. In 1948 1st June The type H goes into marketing. In October subtle changes to the diff. having 4 planet gears instead of 2, lengthening the clutch pedal from 50mm to 100mm travel. The starter motor changed from cast iron to aluminium. Also the removal of the Citroen logo on the front bumper. (shame)
Birth of the HZ its trade name is Pick-up 850kg its technical characteristics are identical to those of the H except for the useful load reduced to 850.

On a lighter note, if you are thinking of starting a coffee business and can't afford a H then you could always give Big Kahuna Huts a call and get a Citroen H Cart.

 
Well thats all for this month enjoy the pictures and please keep sending stuff in.

Tube it don't lose it.

Martyn

5th Feb 2017

 

 

 

HappY
new year,

As you are all aware this year is the 70th anniversary of the H Van, so each month I'll be adding a piece about the changes of the H Van thoughout the years. So we'll start at the beginning. In June 1947 the H Van was launched, CEO Pierre Boulanger drafts the specifications: a unibody, front-wheel drive adopting lots of features from the four-cylinder Traction Avant with strong rear suspension. The main aim is to carry over as many parts as possible from the existing brand model. The picture shows the launch of the Citroen H.

Distinctive features of the early H are, flat foot steps, chrome insert around the windscreen rubber also the front bumper had the Citroen logo on it.

Our latest registration is from Roger Hoskins who says :-

I purchased this vehicle in 2008 in a very rough state, mechanically and body wise.
Worked on getting mechanics done first for MOT,  then did the body work repairs and sprayed.
MOT and British plates put on in January 2009. Also had a new tonneau cover made.
She has been exhibited in a couple of steam shows in Reading most years, and a couple of shows on the Isle of Wight.
 
Thanks for that Roger, keep sending in your articles. If you're having difficulty logging in to the website drop me a line and I'll sort it out.
Tube it don't lose it.
Martyn
 
2nd Jan 2017
 

 

Hy All

The website is up and running and I've received a great response, it still needs to attract people to use it and get involved in the Forum, time will tell. Our latest

addition to the register is from Paul Walters who wrote :-

I have for many years had a passion to own an H Van after visiting France on family holidays,  where I spotted these vans in various guises either as utility, camper or street food vehicles.  I bought my 1954 HZ van " Eric" in June 2013 as a restoration project for a camper van, after the van had been brought into the UK. The van was first registered in dept 49 - Pays de Loire in France and then re- registered in the Sarthe region, dept 72 where it was used as a camper by its previous owner. The electrics had previously been uprated from 6 volts to 12 volts. 
When I acquired the van it was driveable, however it needed some bodywork restoration, therefore I decided to strip off the paint to bare metal, working under a marquee on my drive, had some welding work done, followed by a complete paint job, replaced the rubber seals around doors and windows and then fitting out the interior with a folding bench/ bed, cooker, sink, radio, tv and electrical hook up with leisure battery. I completed the restoration in February 2014. 
The engine is the original 1911 cc petrol and I have only had to replace the usual service parts i.e. plugs, points and starter motor brushes, although there is a lack of synchromesh with the gearbox which I need to double de clutch when changing down through the gears. It's a good job there are only 3 gears + reverse !!
I use the van for day trips and occasional overnight camping,  mainly in North Wales and "Eric" always attracts a lot of interest wherever we go. 
 
I attach some photos which show the van before and after the restoration.
 
Kind regards, 
 
Paul
Many thanks for that Paul, your van is looking fantastic, I hope you can share some of your experiences about your van on the forum as I'm sure there are many out there who would love to be able to do the same to their van. Paul also sent in some photo's of van's he spotted whilste on holiday in France.