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The H Van

Studies for the vehicle that would eventually become the Type H began in 1942 on the instructions of André Lefčbvre. The design brief was for a commercial vehicle which would employ the principal mechanical components of the Traction . The engine came from the 11 CV while the gearbox, suspension and the interior were derived from those fitted to the 15 CV. Unusually, the H had different wheelbases on each side.  The superbly practical and aesthetically odd body was designed by Franchiset. 

Scale model of the H Van bodywork

In 1947, the Type H was launched.


4 cylinders in line, wet liners, bore 78mm, stroke 100mm, cubic capacity 1 911cm3, 11 CV rating, 50 bhp @ 3 800 rpm 


Front wheel drive via 3 speed manual gearbox, single dry plate clutch


Hydraulically operated drums, handbrake operates on front wheels 


Torsion bars, four shock absorbers on front, two on rear 


Rack and pinion 


Length -  4,26m
Width -  1,99m
Wheelbase  (left) - 2,53m, (right) - 2,50m
Front track -  1,61m
Rear track -  1,65m
Unladen weight - 1 400kg
Maximum payload  1 200kg

Maximum speed:

78 kph

Fuel consumption:

13 litres/100km 

In 1949 came the HZ with a maximum 850kg payload and with a top speed of 88 kph. 

Then in 1958 the H was superceded by the HY with a maximum payload of 1 500kg. 

In 1961, the HY DI and HY DI were launched, fitted with a four cylinder Perkins diesel engine of 1 621cm3 capacity developing 42 bhp @ 3 600 rpm and rated at 7 CV. The six volt electrical system was replaced by a 12 volt one. 

At the end of 1963, the HY-72 and HZ-72 were launched, fitted with a new petrol engine of 1 628cm3 capacity developing 45 bhp @ 4 200 rpm. The reduction in capacity was achieved by a reduction in cylinder bore to 72mm - hence the model numbers. 

In 1964, a single windscreen was fitted to all models. The Perkins diesel was replaced by an Indénor engine of 1 816cm3 capacity developing 50 bhp @ 4 000 rpm. These models were called HY-IN and HZ-IN

In 1966, the HY 78 and HZ 78 were launched, fitted with the 1 911cm3 engine developing 58bhp @ 4 500 rpm. The maximum payload of the HZ 72 IN and HZ 78 IN was increased to 1 000kg thanks to the Indénor engine being increased in capacity to 1 946cm3 developing 57 bhp @ 4 000 rpm.

In 1969, a new model, the HX IN2 was launched with a fully laden weight of 3 100kg, increased to 3 200kg in 1969 when it was called HW IN2. Also in 1969, the vehicle was given a minor facelift with rectangular rear wheel arches, new front indicators, and, less visibly, the fitting of two instead of four shock absorbers at the front.

In 1972, the HW was made available with hydropneumatic suspension at the rear - and fitted with an ambulance body.

Numerous minor improvements were made until the end of production in December 1981.

A total of 478 743 models were built in the factories at Javel and Aulnay-sous-Bois.

An additional 10 016 H Vans were built in the Netherlands between 1963 and 1970.


100 approx














450 approx.

In the Netherlands H vans were fitted with front hinged doors from 1968 below and right

Above, above left and left the production line in the Netherlands

Below 1968 Dutch advertisement for the HY, 2CV AZU and 2CV AK

Above and below Heuliez conversions