Monday, July 8, 2013

Anti Aerodynamic.

Forget a sleek, air-cheating design, this Citroen Type H van ('fourgon') was the automotive equivalent of a brick wall. There was no question that the name of the game was utility with this corrugated steel vehicle.
Apparently the idea of these vans started during the Second World War, but it had to be designed in secret during the occupation of France. After the war the designs were quickly finalized, and the Type H would become the choice for many businesses and services (police, fire, ambulance) due to its very rugged and robust construction and huge interior volume. Almost 500,000 examples would be produced between 1948 and 1981.

Today you still occasionally seem them around, and quite often they are used as moving billboards, like this example I stumbled across the other day (with an ad for a café). The very strange design stands out next to all the other cars in the street, especially with the corrugated body panels. While it is understandable that today automotive designers aim to make vehicles as aerodynamic as possible so that they use less fuel, it is fun to see squared-off relics like this that are 100% function over form.

Didn't I say the other day that I was looking for a tiny ice cream van? Maybe I should think bigger...

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