Swine Snout: 1960 Peugeot D4B Panel Van

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Collectors are conferring almost as much favor to vintage vans lately as they are to vintage trucks. Here on craigslist is a rare one, a 1960 Peugeot D4B panel van. These vans were first made in 1946 by Chenard-Walcker, founded in the late 1800s and famous for winning the inaugural 24 Heures de Le Mans. Chenard was a division of Chausson, a manufacturer that purchased it out of bankruptcy in 1936. This was not the end of the ends for Chenard: Peugeot supplied the engines for its vans – first a two-stroke and later a four-stroke four-cylinder. The consequence of these trade credits and mismanagement on the part of Chenard/Chausson was yet another bankruptcy in the late 1940s. This time, Chenard fell into the hands of Peugeot, its primary creditor; the vans were rebranded in 1950. This particular van is a non-running project, located in Santa Ana, California. We have T.J. to thank for this unusual tip!

This van is a D4B, with flashing turn signals mounted front and back on the body, replacing the semaphores used through 1959. By this time, the engine was a front-mounted four-cylinder making about 55 bhp; rather than redesign the van for the larger engine, the company simply appended a “snout” to accommodate its dimensions. Unfortunately, the seller isn’t giving us a glimpse of the power plant. In fact, the ad is confusing, with some photos showing a fairly intact van, and then the stripper we see above. The flashers, badging, wipers, lettering above the snout, side trim, and outside mirror are absent in most of the photos. Either we’re seeing two different vans, or the seller has sold off all the valuable parts in his quest to realize a return on his investment.

The dash is missing virtually all its instruments and switches. At least the steering wheel is present, as well as the driver’s seat frame. By 1953, Peugeot was equipping this van with a passenger’s seat; it’s difficult to see for sure but I think that’s missing too. The interior is capacious, with plenty of room to haul almost anything. Might make an interesting camper too.

This van could be ordered with side doors, but this one has only the barn doors at the rear. This photo shows the side trim; I’d want to ask whether the rear door trim and even the handles are still around. Maybe they’ve been sold as well. As to value – well, these don’t come up for sale very often. About 22,000 were made all told, and survival was likely a challenge given the tough life of endless hauling. But we’re in luck: this one sold at auction for $18,000 a couple of years ago, and here’s a very nice D4B for sale in Germany for about $42k. Both these examples are better than our subject van; in light of these price points, should we expect a discount from the seller?

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Never heard of it, and probably never would have. Additional research shows, the author is kind with the “swine nose”, but most sites call it a “pig nose” Peugeot. The barnacle hanging off the front, is obviously the radiator, and was needed because the front drive, a novel idea, btw, the motor could be moved as far forward as possible, for more inside space. Apparently, these filled a number of roles. Delivery, ambulance, and probably a slew of municipal depts. used them. While horribly inept for Americas roads, it’s a neat find, for the back alleys of Europe, I-70, not so much.

    Like 7
  2. 370zpp 370zppMember

    To me it looks like it snuggled up right behind a lonely space heater.

    Like 11
  3. Troy

    What a interesting blank slate, I think the price is to high, I suggest personal inspection to check measurements for drive train options

    Like 2
  4. Yblocker

    The first thing that came to mind was Rudolph

    Like 0
  5. HoA Howard A (retired)Member

    I read, Pink Panther fans will note, Inspector Clouseu was hauled away in one after being caught with an eponymous diamond.

    Like 6
  6. Kenneth Carney

    If it’s FWD, any modern driveline is on
    the table provided you do your homework and measure it out first.
    The power train for me would be a
    four cylinder sourced from a wrecked
    KIA or Hyundai. That way, you get
    modern reliability and an automatic
    tranny too. Or you could go with either a hybrid setup (if you can find
    a wrecked one in your local wrecking
    yard) or better yet, go full on EV.and
    your problem is solved. Between the
    re-gen braking and a roof mounted
    solar panel, you’d be pretty much good to go. What a neat Door Dash
    van this would make!

    Like 2
  7. Lance

    Oh crap we forgot about the radiator. I know we’ll just put one on the outside no one will ever know. Yeah thats the ticket.

    Like 1
  8. MarkMember

    This one has been advertised for ages. I seem to remember that it was originally listed in the $3000-$4000 range. It was purchased by a flipper and immediately relisted at triple the price and photographed while still on the trailer-

    Like 1
  9. TheOldRanger

    Now this is one ugly vehicle… and I agree with Lance, no one will ever notice it… lol

    Like 1
  10. Tom

    Not too keen on the presentation here. Looks like a “bait and switch” to me. If this seller expects anything near asking… they better have some explaining to do. DEFINITELY needs an in-person inspection prior to any kind of offers. Good observations in the write-up!

    Like 0
  11. Troy

    Can always paint it up to look like the Scooby do van from the early cartoon

    Like 1
    • Kenneth Carney

      No Troy, the Mystery Machine was
      based on a ’61-’67 Ford Econoline.
      Good idea though.

      Like 0
  12. Handsome Pristine Patriot

    VW TDI ALH with a 6 speed conversion with a Malone stage 3 tune.
    Throw some blankets and pillows in the back and go cross country.
    Easy-peasy.

    Like 0
  13. jeff

    It has got the sliding door on the right – and it looks like somebody took off all the trim and started to apply some primer to paint the van –

    Nice shape and proportions apart from the snout

    Like 3
  14. Walter Lopez

    It definitely will need some serious cash to rebuild it properly cause finding remanufactered parts will be impossible. I am scratching for boneyard parts for over a year for my 1885 El Camino.
    Something a young kid can’t afford these days.
    Definitely a unique vehicle and will catch eyes at a car show once it’s redone.

    Like 0

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