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French Find: 1966 Citroen HY Pickup

In the continuing quest to find and bring unusual vehicles to Barn Finds readers, here’s another for the “seldom seen” category, a 1966 Citroen HY pickup. Unusual? You bet, I know I’ve never seen one in the steel and this example looks to be in pretty good shape. Let’s look more closely at this Helendale, California domiciled truck. It is available, here on craigslist for $18,700. Thanks to Ikey H. for this most unusual find!

The Citroen HY series truck was produced, largely unchanged, between 1947 and 1981. Offered in van, pickup and chassis only versions, approximately 470K found buyers in those 34 years. Assembly occurred in both Paris, France, and Vigo, Spain.

The listing for this pickup is, unfortunately, very limited. The seller states that it has been off of the road for two years but the engine has been started regularly. It is referred to as, “clean with beautiful patina”, our readers can debate the value of the “p” word as it relates to this vehicle and others as well. The body does show well – no dents, misaligned body panels or signs of corrosion/rust. It does have a bit of a “southwest burn” to its faded silver finish but that is probably the result of its California residency. The cargo bed stake sides appear to be removable, and perhaps homemade, but they offer good utility. And speaking of the cargo bed, it’s in sound condition.

Upfront is an in-line, four-cylinder engine that more than likely displaces 1.9 liters and generates approximately 50 HP – the seller isn’t specific. As stated earlier, the motor is started regularly, but there is no description of, or reference to, this Citroen’s driving ability or quality. When running, top speed is about 60 to 65 MPH and forward momentum is managed by a three-speed, manual transaxle – this is a FWD vehicle.

The interior is as austere as they come but that is expected in a truck of this vintage and nature. The seat fabric is in nice, clean condition and the instrument panel, basic as it is, appears to be intact while providing the driver with the minimum information required.

As is so often the case, the question is, “What do you do with it”? Images found online are usually of the van version of the HY and the logical direction with those seems to be a food truck. I suppose you could do something like that with this example, maybe with a barbeque grill in the back. Or, you could use it as a business prop, or use it as it was intended, a pickup with stake sides that can be removed or used as needed. The one thing to consider, however, regardless of intentions, is driving attitude – this thing has gotta’ be slow and first gear is not synchronized. Sure it would be a novelty, at first, but long haul, I’m not so sure. And then there is that price to consider… Anyway, it would be interesting to hear your suggestions, potential uses?


  1. Avatar photo claytonc.sherburne

    Where can we see it at send address n. Phone no.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Mr.BZ

    Quirky-cool for sure, but for 18K+ you can find a much more capable P/U for everyday use. It’s true value seems to be as a promotional tool in my book, and in that capacity the new owner would be limited only by their own imagination. I love big old trucks of any kind, so I would love to drive one.

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo CJinSD

    This will go back across the pond, where these are remembered fondly. It looks too much like a corrugated pre-fab shed to promote a patisserie here.

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Paolo

    I think these came equipped with a canvas cargo area cover. The Europeans never seemed to embrace the “pick-up truck” concept.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo scott m

    Thank you Barnfinds :^)

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo 86_Vette_Convertible

    Now that’s one for the record books, another one I’ve never seen in person. I don’t know if that’s considered rare or not so this is just wild thoughts. Slide a modern drivetrain under it so it can get out of it’s own way on the highway and enjoy showing it off. I don’t know if it’s left original how hard it would be to get parts for it, and the way it sounds it’s only good for the Granny Grand Prix the way it is today.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo whmracer99

    With 1940’s vintage safety equipment and a drivetrain configuration which puts most of the unloaded weight over the front axle, driving and stopping at any speed over 30 mph has to be an adventure. Neat vehicle that would garner lots of attention but a low speed delivery vehicle or portable signage would be it’s best use.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Phlathead Phil

    Remember that scene in the movie “Home Alone” where John Candy gives Kevin’s worried mom a ride in the back of a U-Haul truck?

    I can just see him and the boys in the band playing in the back of this thing doing a rendition of: “Polka, Polka, Polka.” 🤣

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo steve

    I wouldn’t say these are “rare” as a resurgence has found a company or two that rebuild them. But as mentioned above, most have seen service as food trucks of some sort. Next to me in SF, one of these is parked in front of a bike shop. It is split down the middle and when pulled apart, is used as an eating/drinking area. Parklets are popping up all over SF due to Covid, but this has been around for quite a while.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Peterfrom OZ

      These are often turned into coffee selling trucks.

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo SDJames

    My first thought was that you can use it to haul all of your other ugly, bad decisions around. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beer holder!

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo mainlymuscle

    1966 ??
    If you had said it was a 1936 ,I would have had no issue believing you.
    Really cool style,but you’d spend a fortune making it useable.I’m glad it will be somebody else !

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo 370zpp Member

    Interior is austere? First time I have seen that word used here, but you are dead on the money with this one.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Aaron S

    Having recently rehabbed the mechanicals of an HY van it’s a challenge. They’re very simple but definitely quirky – some parts unobtainium.

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo Lance

    Sorta like some French wine….it’s an aquired taste.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Theo B

    in europ you wil ghet 4 hy for 19000 dollar. parts no problem

    Like 3
  16. Avatar photo GEORGE E DORDONI

    Would be great promotion/prop for a winery!

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo charlie Member

    Friend brought a van version back from Europe, in the ’80’s, used it in Europe for a summer as a “caravan” which we call an RV, all was well until the Customs drug sniffing dog found weed under the slat floor in back. Customs held the van, agents believed my friend that it was not their weed, and ended up fining them $150 for “importing illegal agricultural materials”, and released the van

    Around town it was fine, on a 65 mph road, not so much, uphill it would only go 50 or less, and this in the flat seacoast of NH, and was a danger to all.

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Wayne from oz

    There was an edition of “Wheeler Dealers” on one of these. Apparently they’re popular in the Pom. Some mob make a Ford transit engine conversion for them.

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo ChingaTrailer

    Hope it has survived the fires in California

    Like 1
  20. Avatar photo chrlsful

    yup, I C it haulin lavender (other goodies) to mrkt in the french country-side. Not here…
    Well… may B infrnt of 1 of those foo-foo restaurants in Cal – where they sell tiny portions of sculpture-on-a-plate for 40 – 60$?

    Like 0

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