Saturday, May 15, 2021

Automotif CCXV...

BRICS, the ice cream shop on the Monon Trail in the heart of Broad Ripple Village, has the most incredibly twee ice cream truck: A Citroen H Van.

The H Van was a commercial cargo van offered by Citroen in the early postwar period. Debuting in 1947, it remained in production largely unchanged until 1981.

Unusual for a van, it was of unit-body construction, with no underlying ladder frame. This fact and the fact that it was front-wheel drive allowed it to have a long, low, unobstructed cargo floor, barely above axle-height. Supposedly the floor structure was strong enough to support a horse. The driveline was a longitudinal inline 4-cylinder above and ahead of the transaxle; basically a Traction Avant's powertrain rotated through 180 degrees. 

The somewhat faired-in front turn signal lamps and the squared rear fenders make this a 1970 or later. Almost certainly a gray-market import, since we'd enacted the Chicken Tax* by then.

*The Chicken Tax is why you can't get any of the cool little commercial vehicles manufactured in foreign countries. It's also why the Subaru BRAT had those weird plastic seats in the bed.