Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vehicle WANT

It's no secret that my tastes in vehicles are quirky; I'd love to own a Ford Model A (electric start, please), miss the old black Suzuki Samurai I drove for a decade and still regret not having made an offer when Moe & Johnny's (a sort-of Depression-era-themed bar/restaurant in Broad Ripple) sold their much-modified 1920's pickup truck (modern engine, steering, drivetrain, brakes and electrical).

I'm still giving serious thought to a Corvair "Rampside" pickup truck (and I do need to own some kind of a truck); but when I saw a Citro├źn H Van in a YouTube video, I just about swooned. What's not to love?Ferociously underpowered -- it used the same engine as the lovely Traction Avant (also WANT!) but ends up with a power-to-weight ratio more like the tough little 2CV ("has to make an appointment to merge onto the freeway") -- surviving examples appear to be remarkably durable. Camper versions have carried tourists all over the globe, trundling gamely along where drivers of more powerful vehicles might fear to set a tire.

22 comments:

Blackwing1 said...

I dunno if you're a John D. MacDonald fan or not (I'm thinking of the Travis McGee series), but Travis' pickup truck seems like a perfect match for you. "Miss Agnes" was the electric-blue converted Rolls.

In a later book Travis had it modified with an updated engine, brakes and suspension, but it was never quite the same...

Alan said...

I had a black Samurai too. I loved that thing.

Turk Turon said...

Wow! That's corrugated.

Just fill le tank with Burgundy, top up the radiator with Perrier, and you can deliver fromage all day.

Tango Juliet said...

French engineering... :)

Larry said...

wow...and my wife thought I had eccentric tastes in vehicles (I had a Dodge Rampage and currently have a Subaru Baja).
Ah heck, it would be a boring world if everyone liked the same thing, wouldn't it?

Roberta X said...

BW1: Oh, yeah, I'm a McGee fan from way back and always thought "Miss Agnes" was a marvelous vehicle. (You might like John Varley's Red Thunder, btw...)

Alan: they're wonderful, if treated with respect.

Turk: ain't it just? Like a Ford Trimotor!

Anonymous said...

A John Varley fan. Great. How did you like the that wonderful trilogy he wrote; Titan, Wizards, Demon.

North said...

I swear I saw something like that in bladerunner.

Here. I'll give you one:
http://pierreg.free.fr/carton/projet/citroh/cithsp11.pdf

Robert Fowler said...

That is a truly ugly vehicle. Now I want one. Of course I still want a Gremlin with the big motor too.

og said...

Ms X: You're a born Land Rover owner. The very best one for your purposes would be a Series 3 88" wheelbase.

Underpowered? Hell yes. Ugly? Nothing uglier. Poor fuel economy? Oh, you could expect to get 12 mph. (13.5 with the tyre on the bonnet, it improved the aerodynamics that much) Expensive to repair? Well, don't break it!!!


I loved and miss mine.

Joe in PNG said...

Citroen... man, they are the most French of any of the French car makers- so much so that even the most car ignorant could look at one and would say "Wow, that's the most French looking car I've ever seen.

And I so want a SM!

Drang said...

You're making me feel downright conventional for wanting a Toyota Hilux...

Turbo diesel four door p/u, indestructible, per Jeremy Clarkson et. al., but friggin' Uncle Sam says NO!!!

Ditto Mahindra & Mahindra's clone...

Drang said...

Apparently, my previous comment was incorrect: I now read that the EPA certified M&M's p/us as meeting US requirements--which means they're underpowered compared to anyone else's--but there is a "legal snarl" regarding importers. Also RUMINT of Navistar building them in Alabama, and/or Korean SUV maker Ssangyong ("Twin Dragons") building/importing them.

BGMiller said...

The more I look at the pic the more I want one.
The reverse hinged door is the quirky little cherry on top.

Mind you...
I'm also the sort that has considered getting a Pinzgauer so my tastes may be somewhat suspect.

BGM

TSG said...

I'll have to admit it does have curb appeal! Never saw one before, but I do like it! I have a 49 Diamond-T

Don said...

It could probably be said that my taste in vehicles is also "quirky." One of my first toy trucks was a Tonka that looked like a Ford Econoline pickup (looked like a van with the back half of the roof off). To this day I'd love to have one of those. I could go on and on about other "odd" vehicles I think are cool...

@BGM: You're not the only one who would love to have a Pinzgauer in the driveway. I wouldn't be able to afford the fuel for it, but it would look GREAT.

:-)

NYEMT said...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Citroen-H-Van-/360421634751?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item53eacdb2bf#ht_3567wt_1111

wrm said...

I know of one on a farm... in France*. Way too much of a schlepp, but I was thinking about it.

I was once asked what I'd bring back if I had a time machine and one chance -- answer is, I want a brand new Citroen SM.

@Og: Series ? You're nuts. Series I or II, not III, they have a damn plastic dashboard! Or a Forward Control! Yea! **

* Obviously, there are many on farms in France. This one however belongs to a friend and is mine for the asking.

** I happen to own both a Series II (That actually runs) and a Forward Control...

Robin said...

There is a whole genre of French comedy cinema involving gags with the 2CV aka "deux cheveaux".

Anonymous said...

Better yet would be the "Fridolin" Volkswagen Type 147 Kleinlieferwagen . I took several photos' at a car show in Az a while back; have to post them on the web someday

Noel

Able said...

Oh no! Eclectic taste in vehicles is one thing but.. French???

I do admit to having a penchant for Land-Rovers (especially early lightweights) but my dream 'car' would be a Volvo Sugga, now that is a seriously eclectic car!

Chuck Kuecker said...

I hope it has better suspension than the 2CV - a guy around Crystal Lake, IL was selling rebuilt 2CVs a few years ago, and I test drove one. Weird thing. You turned a knob on the dash that regulated the angle of the headlights - no dimmer switch - and the shifter was a knob on a lever coming straight out of the dash. What really got me was the lack of shock absorbers and roll bars - every corner was an adventure.

Corvairs are neat - but I hope you like crawling under the critter a lot - the engines were famous for leaks - and cab heat came off the cylinders. A slight head leak will give you a headache real fast, if not CO poisoning.

Ever check out a VW Bus pickup? The double cab version is about the same as the Corvair in appearance and parts are a lot easier to come by. They are real easy to hotrod, too.