Retro Makeover for Citroen Relay Van Unveiled

Citroen has just pulled back the curtains on a custom body kit that re-imagines the modern Relay LCV as a tribute to its iconic forebears.

Citroen has just pulled back the curtains on a custom body kit that re-imagines the modern Relay LCV as a tribute to its iconic forebears.

This year marks seven decades since the Citroen Type H van was originally launched. And to celebrate this momentous occasion, the French manufacturer has just pulled back the curtains on a custom body kit that re-imagines the modern Relay LCV as a tribute to its iconic forebears, according to Auto Express.

The Relay body kit has been created using lightweight materials and is intended to be compatible with most modern vans in this range.

70 Kits Available

70 custom kits are set to be created - one for each year that has passed since the Type H van hit the market. And any fans of classic commercial vehicles will be impressed by how faithfully designers David Bendorfer and Flamino Bertoni have been able to recreate the look of the vintage model using a contemporary van as the framework.

With more than 20 pieces in total, each kit adapts everything from the front grille and headlights to the side panels and even the roof, providing what is effectively a full aesthetic conversion of the Relay. And a multitude of body types should work effectively with each one, from standard panel vans to the Relay minibus models and more besides.

A project spokesperson explained that the aim was not to entirely replicate the exact styling of the H Van but rather to pay homage to it while still being able to make the conversions practical and aesthetically pleasing to modern audiences.

Since a relatively small number are set to be produced, demand for the kits will inevitably outstrip the available supply, and so actually seeing one of these converted vans on the road will be about as likely as encountering an original Type H van.

An Excellent Example of Progression

The lifespan of the Type H extended over three and a half decades following its arrival in 1947, during which time almost half a million examples were produced. It was a stalwart of the post-war era and offered a number of benefits over its competitors at the time.

As well as boasting independent suspension on all four wheels, it was also a front-wheel-drive LCV, which helped to provide it with a low load height and a flat space in the rear to boost its capacity and improve ease of use.

The distinctive angular look of the front end in combination with the ridges of the panelling gave the Type H a recognisable appearance, and it was actually inspired by the designs of early aircraft.

By comparison, the modern Citroen Relay van looks like an entirely different beast, with an almost aristocratic aspect up front and a host of cutting-edge features on the inside. It retains class-leading payload capacities and benefits from featuring fuel -efficient engine options which are also much cleaner than any power plant that would have been available in the past.

Many manufacturers seek to look back on iconic models on important anniversaries, and the Type H van is an excellent example of how far LCVs have progressed in the past 70 years.

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