Earl's Story

Meet Earl, our vintage Citroen HY Van. As a former horsebox he'd had a hard life in the south of France, so we decided he should spend his retirement in Cornwall! 

Read on below for all the info! 


This was the first photo we saw of Earl, way back when in 2013. 


As soon as we saw him we feel in love, although we weren't head over heals with the colour!


We had a an awful lot to do but time was not on our side.


Vital Statistics

  • First registered in Provence in southern France in November 1981
  • The roof was raised by a "coachbuilder" after purchase, in order to facilitate his life as a transporter of "Les Chevaux" 
  • Original Left Hand Drive, there were 3 RHD Vans made as a trial for the UK, however there wasn't the uptake Citroen hoped for. (This may have been due to Ford's new Transit!)
  • He has his original 1900cc water cooled petrol engine, which due to his youthfulness runs happily on modern unleaded. The engine was rebuilt by a team of experts in North Wales in 2015. 
  • He runs on 12v alternator charged electrics (most of the time)
  • At birth he developed around 58bhp, although we are fairly sure a few of these horses have escaped over the years!

We took delivery of Earl, on 8/3/14, freshly painted, hatches fabricated and MOT'd, (his first ever, with only one or two advisories)


We started his conversion that very afternoon, after getting aquainted with his controls! 


With the expert help of Jodi's dad Colin we converted Earl into what you see today in 3 weekends and a few late evenings, painting into the night!

His little foibles

  • ​In order to facilitate mechanical work the floor of the cab lifts out in 4 sections, the drivers side footplate section sits down around the pedals, this ensures there is plenty of air flow between the pedals and up the trousers of the driver! In wetter weather wellington boots are advised! 
  • Other "coolant" gaps include around the suicide doors, encouraging the doors to flap around a little bit whilst moving, the windscreen vents stop some of the flies but none of the wind. Lovely in summer, leathal in winter. 
  • In wet weather, windscreen wipers must be used intermittently for fear of the wiper motor burning out, or running out of electricity for the indicators!
  • Currently, the brake pedal doesn't return fully after use so one must drive along with your left foot under the pedal to ensure the brakes stay disengaged, especially noticable when tackling one of Cornwall's mountains. 

We were due to move from our flat in Woking back to our new HQ in the homeland of Cornwall on 5th April 2014. 

We finished Ear's conversion on the 2nd, having booked the transport for that evening! 


Earl arrived in Cornwall a few days later and settled in to his new home, and the rest, as they say is history! 



Check out the video below to see loads of images and Earl's Story

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