Italian coachbuilder Caselani revived an obscure, often forgotten model from Citroën’s past to offer van buyers an additional retro-style option. It is called Type HG and is based on the current generation of Citroën Jumpy.
One of the most famous vintage vans from the French car manufacturer is the Type H, which was built between 1947 and 1981 with only minor modifications. It has aged into a sought-after classic that is popular as a food truck and camper from Paris to Sydney. Few realize that Citroën planned to release a smaller model called the Type G that looked almost exactly like the H, but used an air-cooled flat-twin engine shared with the 2CV. Several prototypes were made, but the project was canned in favor of the 2CV-based nine horsepower AU bus released in 1951.
It is this little-known prototype that exists only in Citroën’s official heritage collection and in the minds of the most indoctrinated French car enthusiasts that Caselani chose to bring into the 21st century. And because the Type G (pictured below) was a crimped copy of the Type H from a design standpoint, it was relatively easy to create a body kit to match the Citroën Jumpy. Caselani generously borrowed styling cues from its modern version of the Type H, which is based on the larger Citroën Jumper sold in the United States as Ram ProMaster. It adds a new look to the front with a vertical grille, chrome chevrons and round headlamps positioned as far from the body as regulations allow, corrugated body panels and a redesigned rear end. Whitewall tires are optionally available.
Caselani offers the Type HG as a passenger van, a van with double cabin and a panel van. Prices start at $ 29,400 excluding taxes, an amount of about $ 35,000, which is equivalent to a short wheelbase panel model powered by a four-cylinder 100hp turbo diesel engine. Alternatively, drivers who already own a Jumpy can purchase the Transformation Kit for just $ 14,800 (approximately $ 17,500). For added peace of mind, Caselani pointed out that the conversion was made with input from Citroen and that the brand has authorized the kit.
We know what you’re thinking: what the hell is a Jumpy? Glad you asked!
It is a van that is at the heart of Citroën’s commercial offer. It fits between the Berlingo, which competes in the same segment as the Ford Transit Connect, and the Jumper, which is marketed as an alternative to the Ford Transit. It’s close in size and positioning to the Mercedes-Benz Metris sold in the United States, and it’s a hugely popular model in some parts of Europe. If you call a plumber in France, chances are he will show up in a Jumpy.
It is also sold by Peugeot (Expert), Opel (Vivaro) and Toyota (ProAce). And because the name Jumpy sounds more like a clown on a trampoline in English than a van, it’s known in the UK as the Dispatch.