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GS 8 1/2 cwt van

In the UK, the GS Service van was sold, in very small numbers, as the 8 1/2 cwt van. It was available with a choice of 1015cc or 1222cc engines; three trim levels - Van Confort, Van Super Confort and Van Club; and when equipped with the 1220 engine could be fitted with the 'semi-automatic' (C-matic or Convertisseur) gearbox. The Van Club could be fitted with side windows and therefore did not qualify under UK tax rules as a van.

Special thanks to Eric Brough for the scans.

Above and below Eric Brough is on his third RHD GS van and claims the UK all-comers record. These his first one, a PROPER UK-market vehicle. The photos were taken in about 1983/4 in Chertsey, Surrey. Eric found the van parked in Sunbury with a For Sale sign in the window and acquired it ‘for a song’. It had a quite distinctive paint job with the brown waistband and tailgate treatment. The second picture gives a hint on what happened to just about all of the vans of that era – see the sill and door-bottom area. There were large holes where the floor should have been, and just about everywhere else. At 10 years old (L-reg = 1972) it was quite a survivor even then! It also shows some interesting grab-bars on the tailgate.

At some point, he lent the van to a friend at work whose own transport had let him down. He hacked it up to Manchester or somewhere and returned it with a blown engine. He advertised it in the Citroenian and a man from Sussex came and towed it away.

The vans were estates with a lot of components taken off and several extra panels added. Where the rear seats normally are, there is an extra floor panel which extends the boot floor space forward to a steel bulkhead behind the front seats. This floor panel could be removed and lo and behold you’d find the fittings to take a rear seat. Eric had such a seat installed for a while but it was a devil of a job to get people in and out of it! Other blanking panels cover the insides of where the rear doors would normally be. When these are removed what you find is the interior panel of a normal rear door somehow assembled into place, complete with hole for window winder, door release etc.

© 2010 Julian Marsh/Citroënët/2012 Eric Brough