Wooden Cage? 1947 Citroen U23 Truck

I’m not sure what this 1947 (it says both 46 and 47 in the ad) Citroen AX wood-bodied truck was originally designed to carry, but I do know it was carried from France to Canada at some point and is now listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is starting extremely low at $500 but of course there’s a reserve higher than that. The truck is currently located some 15 miles from New York State in Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, Quebec, Canada. Thanks to our friend Peter R. for this cool wooden-bodied find!

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures on this one, but they are the best that was available. I find the wood body (which is said to be original) fascinating. Perhaps it reflects a shortage of steel immediately after World War II? The truck body looks as if it were make to hold livestock of some sort inside, and the panels laid on an angle here could be internal dividers. That’s an engine in the corner as well, which the ad states is disassembled. There’s another Citroen block that comes with the truck.

The U23 had an incredibly long life, with examples manufactured from 1935 to 1969 with only one major restyling in the 1950s. Trivia: after the fall of France in World War II, approximately 6,000 (!) captured U23s were pressed into service by the Germans for supply purposes.

Naturally, the cockpit area is pretty sparce, with a four-speed shifter one of the few things present beyond pedals and a steering wheel. The seller thinks this would be a nice vehicle to refurbish for the 100th anniversary of Citroen (which was last month–so you’ll be a little late). What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Frank M

    Looks like it was a truck used for hauling chickens or geese. The slats aren’t very wide.

    14
    • George

      I agree. The doors show that there was a platform between each section in between. Definitely poultry.

  2. Jeffry Harris

    Livestock i would think, but then again, maybe not. beautiful craftsmanship. the details are lovely.

  3. TimM

    Great truck!! I wouldn’t buy it cause I’m a hot rod guy!! I would want to chop it channel it or both!! Put a modern V-8 in it with a 9 inch rear. After seeing the wood body it’s to cool to scrape or leave sitting around!! This truck needs to be restored to show what it once was not cut up and made into something totally different!!!

    3
  4. Laurance

    There appear to be hinges and latches on the outside of each section. This leads me to believe this was a truck to transport racing pigeons. The sections inside were probably used to make up different sized cages depending on how many pigeons you were sending to a race. The truck is driven a specified distance, say 100 miles, and then you quickly open all the doors to release the pigeons. There is a money pool and you can win quite a large sum. Pigeon racing is an old sport and many clubs are still active today. If you were to see a modern racing pigeon truck it would be almost identical to this one in the back.

    4
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      What a cool thought! I hope you’re right!

      2
  5. Bill Shields

    I was thinking old time chicken coop too.

    2
    • Brakeservo

      Well then it’s the biggest coupe I’ve ever seen . . .

      8
    • Chinga Trailer

      Without a title it may be impossible to import.

    • Howard A Member

      A chicken coop, to me, was always a pesky truck weigh station,,,

  6. Mountainwoodie

    These Citroens always remind me of a World War II movie for obvious reasons.

    I would guess if the wood cage was stripped and refinished you’d have one HUGE woodie :)

    Pretty interesting

    3
    • Howard A Member

      Hey, MW. I was going to say the same thing, like Spencer Tracy should be jumping out the back, just before it rolled over a cliff, or was blown to smithereens. Might want to consider a motor upgrade. I read, these used the 1.9 Avant motor, rated at 56 hp. With a top speed of a claimed 100kph ( 62 mph) I’d have to think 50 mph, if you ever got there, would be pushing it.

      1
  7. Ted

    These were built to drive around with the Citron/lemon/Citroen engineers and stylists locked in the back so the locals could throw fruit and garbage at them for designing rubbish vehicles.

    Viva les ordures!!!!!!!

    1
    • Howard A Member

      Don’t forget the fish heads too,,,

      • Derek

        …eat them up, yum…

        1
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If I had to speculate, there likely is divider boards that slide in to form the floor for the upper third of the body and that probably is for poultry.
    The bottom 2/3 of the body would be the right size for sheep or goats. Leave the boards out and you could fit cattle in it but anything of size IMO would put that box at risk if they leaned or were pushed into it.
    As far as a wood body goes, talk with someone that’s raised chickens. Chicken crates are wooden, the truck bed is wood, etc. The reason is chicken is very corrosive to metal and wood can be simply washed off (raised laying hens on the farm when growing up).

    As far as the truck goes, it has a lot of character to it, I like it. Hope someone puts it back on the road, it’s got too much character not to even if it’s got a new drivetrain under it.

    4
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Forgot one word:

      The reason is chicken poop is very corrosive to metal and wood can be simply washed off (raised laying hens on the farm when growing up).

      2
  9. Chris in Clover

    cattle or horses is my theory.
    spaces between slats are too large for chickens.
    j.m.h.o.

  10. BlondeUXB Member

    Don’t chop this coupe…

    1
  11. Steve

    I think this truck started life with fowl intentions.

    • Brakeservo

      I was gonna make a joke like that but I chickened out.

    • Howard A Member

      and must have a fowl odor, as well.

      • Chinga Trailer

        But if you feather the throttle, you’ll get better mileage.

  12. Chinga Trailer

    Maybe it was designed by egg-zecutive decision, but is it roost free?

  13. Peter

    After reading it was imported into Canada and looking at the open air wooden slats, my first thought was that this vehicle transported circus animals and was left behind after the show season finished.

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