This well-known Citroën delivery van was issued in June 1954 and presented in the following month in Meccano Magazine with other newcomers of the first half year. Numbered 25c it was the successor of the pre-war no. 25c Plate-forme (flat truck), which had left the French range in 1948.
The model on the 1/48 scale is painted entirely in metallic grey, which sometimes shines a little golden. The only tiny finishing touches are the red rear light and the black license plate above that. In phases the inside of the roof changed from completely smooth to fully checked in the end. The working sliding door to the side (porte de côté) was a first.
The typical corrugated sheet metal has been reproduced very nicely by the manufacturer. Accurate production thereof will have high demands on the mould and the casting. In his encyclopaedia Jacques Dujardin shows the construction drawing for the mould, which dates from 25 March 1953.
For those who find this version rather boring, the model, numbered 25CG (and after 1959 561), was more cheerfully finished in various supplier colours from 1957: CH. Gervais, Cibié, Glaces Gervais and Baroclem.
The real prototype, the Citroën H van, was produced between 1947 and 1982. It was very common in the 1950s, '60s and' 70s. The first blueprints were on the drawing table during the Second World War already, but the first prototype was manufactured well after 1945. Even nowadays some are occasionally found in operation.
With its characteristic corrugated sheet body, the H, HY, HZ etc. (various weight indications) was a well-known appearance on the European roads. This vehicle remained virtually unchanged during its 34 years’ production, a record for a delivery van. A total of 475,000 units were built. The practical loading space was used for all kinds of purposes, from transporting agricultural goods to use for patient transport.
The requirements for the design of the HY partly resembled those of the 2CV: front-wheel drive, low fuel consumption and good road-holding. The design of this vehicle is based on the self-supporting body. All the technology was concentrated in front of the vehicle (engine, gearbox and drive). The resulting advantage was that an HY could be extended quite easily by ‘sawing’ the car in half right behind the cabin; only the wiring and the brake lines had to be extended, if preferred. The car also has a flat, low loading floor, because the cardan drive is missing due to the front-wheel drive.
The HY appeared in many hundreds of variants. As a motorhome, catering sales car, pick-up, horse box, etc., etc.
Two years ago I came across a splendid original, on a parking place in my hometown, for sale! Kind regards, Jan
See also Jacques’ contribution on TMT: