Bodied by a prestigious coachbuilder
Incredible original condition
Chassis n° 59113
If we had to name or retain only one emblematic utility vehicle of the Javel brand, it would most probably be the Type H. Introduced in 1947, it will only retire in 1981, having practically never evolved aesthetically or technically. This longevity is unique in the history of European car production. Mechanically simple, very robust but also extraordinarily versatile, the Type H is still very much in demand today. However, even with almost 500,000 units produced, it is not so easy to find a healthy and working example. Even less so on a Type H bodied outside the factory.
It is not easy to recognize a Citroën utility vehicle from the 1950s under the bodywork of the vehicle that illustrates these pages. However, it is indeed a Type H from 1953 that Mr Charlin, the owner of a flourishing company in Lyon specialized in the supply of garage equipment (Socome), entrusted to the Ardèche bodybuilder Barou, that same year. Jean Barou, based in Cournonsur-Rhône since 1940, began to manufacture bicycle trailers, which were very popular during the Occupation, before turning to racing cars and utility vehicles after the Liberation. It must be said that the revival of the Tour de France and its famous advertising caravan kept the company busy, with, in particular, Type Hs re-bodied for Reynolds pens or the newspaper Le midi libre. Socome entrusted him with a base he knew well to transform into a «truck trailer» and to build an office trailer to sell his tools at fairs in central and eastern France. The result looks great, with its American-style grille and chrome, and its generous dimensions. Inside, the driver’s cabin and living quarters are an anthology of 1950s/1960s gimmicks, with a panoramic Plexiglas roof, and plenty of formica, skai and linoleum. Not to mention the gas stove, the During refrigerator and the toilet area with sink, water heater and chemical toilet, all supplied by a 100 l water tank! On the bedroom side, there is even a 120 cm folding bed. This atypical vehicle, out of the ordinary, signed by an important French body shop, is of course unique, and we offer you here the chance to acquire an incredible motorhome with a clear history, which will stand out in the collection of an enlightened amateur, during a concours d’élégance or to do retro camping on big events. Please note that the office trailer will be available at the seller’s home at the end of the sale.