Back in 1984 when Citroen first launched the C15 van, few people imagined that this kooky little contender would outlive all its contemporaries.
But that is exactly what happened and believe it or not, the Citroen/Peugeot factory in Vigo, north western Spain, is still churning out C15s – and what’s more Britain’s fleet buyers are still snapping them up.
Vans have come and vans have gone but the C15 thunders on regardless.
So what is it about this cranky looking vehicle that has captured the hearts of the nation’s van operators?
For starters, an ex-VAT special offer price of just £4,995 must come into the equation.
There simply isn’t another commercial vehicle on the roads that boasts such a ludicrously low price for so much space.
Even the dinky Daihatsui Hijet is two grand more expensive and only just beats the C15 on load volume and payload.
The other heart-warming thing about the C15 is its sheer zaniness.
It looks rather like an upturned pram and only Citroen could get away with a look like that.
But much as with the old 2CV6 it is charismatic and so hard-wearing that it is sure to plug away for years to come.
Ok, so we’ve dealt with the looks.
It won’t win any beauty contests, but then neither will my 87-year-old father.
But both have given valuable service to their countrymen over the years.
The C15 also boasts a tough outside armour that should keep it free from knocks and scratches.
At the front there is a large plastic bumper, the sides and wheelarches all have plastic protectors and at the rear, a chunky tubular steel arrangement may prove a surprise to anyone who happens to run into the back of one.
In the front
Don’t expect too many creature comforts, but that is no surprise for a van of this price.
Entry is by manual lock and you have to wind your own windows. If you want to adjust the side mirrors, you simply reach out of the window and give them a tug, like in the good old days.
The dash is very much like you’d expect from a 1980s van but the C15 does come with a radio/cassette player which has a detachable front.
The seats are a bit on the squashy side for my liking but they are nonetheless comfortable and certainly not the worst in class.
In the back
In the business end, things start to get interesting.
The C15 boasts a load volume of no less than 2.66 cubic metres, not far short of the Berlingo which costs almost twice the price.
Payload is either 600kg or 765kg and the load area is good and square so that all kinds of cargo can be carried.
At the rear are the usual glazed double doors and the cargo area has a half-height bulkhead and four load-lashing eyes in the floor.
A dose of ply-lining would be a wise investment for any fleet buyers to keep the rear end free of scratches.