In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
While it is unlikely that style icon Coco Chanel was inspired to say the above by the H Van it certainly can be argued that this unique French automobile meets the criteria to be considered irreplaceable. There is nothing else like it.
The H Van was introduced after the 2nd World War the design brief was to provide an automotive workhorse as France went about rebuilding after the conflict. Monsieur Franchiset designed the distinctive body. The corrugated body work was inspired by the German Junkers aircraft of the 1930s. A body that could only be French, a Gallic body that makes you smile. It really was a simple design incorporating lightweight corrugated removable panels and hinges without pins for the doors. The H Van has a front sub frame where you will find the engine, gearbox, transmission and suspension all held together by just four large bolts. There were a couple of engines to choose from with the most powerful reaching a top speed of 100 KPH. However the H Van is all about French style and not speed.
Standard production of the H Van included a van, beast carrier and pick up. That didn’t stop coachbuilders using their imagination to fully realise the potential of this brilliant design creating minibuses, fire engines, mobile laboratories, campers and purpose built promotional vehicles. How does it drive? Press the red button and the engine bursts into life sounding like it had just enjoyed a pack of Gauloises. The driving position is high giving you a king of the road vibe, steering is light and accurate once you are moving, but best of all you are making your mark in a design classic.
The H Van has always had star quality and that is why the French fancy has appeared in many Gallic movies and TV shows including Belleville Rendez-vous, Haute Tension and Inkheart. The H Van has it all personality, style, star quality and most of all the X factor.