HY From Hell! Part 2
Here’s one of my favorites from my file of pictures of the (in)famous HY van, from Serbia, no less:
The HY, best known in the UK and the Netherlands, appears to have been introduced to the former Yugoslavia in a venture between Citroen and the Slovene manufacturer Tomos, best known for its mopeds. In the early 1970s, this collaboration was officially dubbed Cimos. Cimos is best known for its version of the 2CV, known locally as the “Spacek” (Frog). Construction of a “Cimos Building” in Zagreb, Croatia was begun in 1988, only to be abandoned during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Rather than being manufactured in Yugoslav factories, Tomos/Cimos vehicles were shipped incomplete from Citroen to Slovenia, where local plants provided additional parts, completed assembly and painted the vehicles. Evidently, the final products were uneven at best: Egist Zagoricnik reports that these vehicles commonly suffer from engine problems due to substandard assembly, as well as “premature rust” due to subpar paint jobs.
Cimos HYs appear to have been very few in number, and documentation of Yugoslav production is not readily accessible. Surviving HYs in former Yugoslavia are, by all indications, very few: According to a Croatian participant the forum where the above photo was posted, there were only 6 in Croatia as of 2005, and another 6 in Slovenia. Figures for Serbia and other ex-Yugoslav republics are unavailable, and probably even smaller.
Meanwhile, the Cimos Building is still standing; a 2010 photo documents creative reuse of at least one face of the hulk as a very oversized billboard. It is, surely, a fitting companion to any decrepit, angular HYs still lurking in the Balkan landscape.
Photo and other information courtesy http://www.citroenhyforum.nl
David N. Brown