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Hemmings Find of the Day: 1970 Citroen HY

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Filca-bodied 1970 Citroen HY for sale on From the seller’s description:

One of several companies in France that was involved in converting the Citroën HY was Filca France, a coach builder from Champagne-sur-Oise. They came up with a special concept in the mid-sixties. An HY with an extra rear axle. The cargo capacity would, of course be enlarged in this way. But this was not all. This last axle could be locked with a hand brake, and after uncoupling the rear part, the front part could be driven away. So, this rear axle was not just an extra rear axle, but it created a kind of trailer, a “semi remorque” as the French call it. In this way the HY actually drove out of the trailer and in most cases a “normal” HY pick-up appeared. The side walls and the roof remained with the trailer. Think of it as a kind of shell that sits over a HY pick up. In this way an enormous amount of workspace was created. An additional advantage, the HY truck could then be used for other transport. This while the trailer was left behind at, for example, the village market.

Filca France cooperated with one of the most famous coach builders in France, Currus. Currus offered the CH14 model, among other things. (Please see images) This conversion had a new cab model for the HY and in was available in various designs. The CH14 HY had lost its ridges and looked slightly more modern. Filca France often used this new model cabin for its creations. This vehicle is such a product; a Currus HY with a Filca France extension, except that the original Citroen cab design remains.

What is striking is that this model, unlike most of Filca France’s creations, is quite different. Usually the HY is driven “out of” the Filca trailer but here the trailer actually slides out of the HY. So, there is no HY pickup left here, but a HY truck with Currus superstructure. The trailer part disappears in the HY and is therefore not a shell over the rear of the HY.

To set the vehicle up for use as a field hospital, the brakes on the rear axle are locked, the rear section is uncoupled, the legs are lowered and the front part drives forward. In this way a huge HY has been created. In the past this could have been expanded with another sliding roof and a canopy with the same length as the trailer, and perhaps with various additional front and side tents. In this way a small mobile hospital was built in the event of major emergencies.

The vehicle’s history tells us it was built for the French fire department as a mobile field hospital. If we look closely, the text: “Sapeurs Pompiers” and “SMUR Infirmerie Mobile” can be seen on the sides of the vehicle. The chassis number reveals that the HY was built in 1970. It is not known how long this vehicle served with the fire department, but judging by the size of the town where the HY was used it well could have been around 20 to 30 years before she found a new owner through a sale by “les Domaines”. Fire engines used to last for a long time, especially the custom coach-built versions.

What we do know is that the car was sold in 1999 and moved to Spain. The HY was registered there on May 25 that year. The Spanish documents also indicate that the first date of registration in France was December 23, 1970. We also see on the Spanish papers that the car was sold on March 30, 2000 to the company “Mundo Traccion” in Toledo. This owner probably wanted to turn it into a vending truck at the time. On the right side of the trailer part we now find a large vending panel with a counter behind it.

I bought this vehicle not too long ago because she is just so amazing and unique. After the purchase she was transported to Holland’s finest classic Citroen specialist for a thorough evaluation. The body was found to be in outstanding condition, without any rust issues. Mechanically she was ready for a major freshening up: new battery, engine seals and gaskets, timing chain, heater and radiator hoses, muffler, 123 electronic ignition, tires (6!), wheel bearings, brake service, new seat upholstery and so much more. Please note, while mechanically brought up to specs, we decided not to ‘restore’ the in- or exterior. We like the patina!


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Mount Airy, Maryland
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