As of last week, Volkswagen looked like an absolute lock to steal the camper van portion of this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. This week, however, Citroën has something to say about that. VW's Grand California has the DNA of the classic, wave-chasing campers of the 50s and 60s, but Citroën's all-new Concept Type H WildCamp actually looks the part. Inspired by the highly distinctive Type H van of half a century ago, this new concept camper van looks vintage but rides modern, complete with everything you need to live away from civilization.
Introduced in 1947 and built until 1981, Citroën's Type H van didn't experience quite the same ongoing success or explosive international following as Volkswagen's Transporter. But it's still a beloved classic, and looking at its corrugated bodywork, boxy nose and standalone headlamps, we'd say it's every bit as agelessly cool and unique as its German counterpart, and yet another piece of evidence that old vans are the best vans.
Last year marked the Type H's 70th anniversary, and to celebrate, Italian builder Caselani Automobili launched a Type H-inspired conversion kit for new Jumper/Relay vans. The kit doesn't completely mask the underlying Jumpy to create a dead ringer for the original Type H, instead channeling Type H inspiration into the modern Citroën van.
The Type H WildCamp debuts as a Caselani-clad Jumpy painted in a 1977 shade of "beige gazelle" paint, a tribute to classic safari cars and motorhomes. Inside, it carries all the trappings of a modern camper van, thanks to the Roadcamp R conversion from Pössl.
As we've seen with the Campster, Pössl is quite adept at making itself (and you) at home within the confines of a Citroën van. With the Roadcamp R package, it squeezes in a kitchen area, bathroom, multi-leaf dining table and rear bed, along with plenty of storage. The central bathroom extends out into the hallway when closed off with its rounded door, doubling as a bedroom/living area divider. It includes a toilet, sink and shower. The kitchen is home to a dual-burner gas stove, stainless steel sink and fridge/freezer.
The WildCamp show van is powered by the 161-hp (120-kW) BlueHDi diesel engine and comes with features like hill start assist, ABS and electronic stability control. Options include a Poclain traction control system with limited-slip differential and a 9-in Alpine infotainment and navigation system.
While Citroën refers to the WildCamp as a concept, interested and determined buyers will be able to recreate the package. As listed in Citroën's announcement, the Jumpy L2H2 with Pössl Roadcamp R camper van kit starts at €41,597 (approx. US$47,450), and the Caselani Type H body kit tacks on another €27,132 ($30,950). Not the cheapest "old van" camper conversion, but it certainly does provide a unique mix of retro style and modern camper van design.
Caselani's website suggests that it will offer the WildCamp as a complete turnkey van, but pricing and other details remain of "to be announced" status.
Citroën has been rather active in the camper van space lately. Just a year ago, it was preparing the SpaceTourer Rip Curl for debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It also plans a second debut at this year's Düsseldorf show, explaining that its camper van market share has been growing in recent years, particularly in the German market.
New Atlas will be attending the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon starting on August 23, and we'll bring you more news, views and updates once the show gets underway.
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