Quite possibly what led you to this page is the well known iconic Citroen HY – boxy, corrugated and somehow uniquely lovable as a brand statement for high end food trucks. Yet more than one truck type was made in France – would you believe? Many of the same period vans have some of that French flair, style and elegance, and one such excellent example of this is the Peugeot J7.
If you are in the market for an elegant classic French food truck, want to stand out from the fleet of step vans at the food truck park and be slightly more price conscious than the Citroen HY allows, the tiny Lion d’Or (French for Golden Lion, as Peugeot refers to itself without even a trace amount of irony) will get you there.
There’s no bad reason why the Peugeot J7 is cheaper than the Citroen HY – there are simply more still available. Peugeot J7s were in production from 1965 up to 1980 with a substantial number rolling off the assembly line, making it easier for us to source them in a better condition than many other classics. Which, classic car restoration being a substantial part of the investment of getting a retro food truck, lowers the total conversion cost.
A Peugeot J7 makes for the perfect vintage high-end catering experience, with the size and appearance lending it a certain unresistable appeal for wedding and event rentals that almost guarantee you a fully booked summer. Sure, clearly size constraints will play a part in your offering – a standard Peugeot J7 clocks in at just over 15 and a half feet including the drivers cabin – but creative entrepreneurs should be undeterred, as plenty of food truck operators run a profitable business on this truck.
Fully functional – size isn’t everything – the Peugeot J7 makes a perfect coffee food truck or ice cream truck,
Yes, we build food trucks – but we also do camper and vanlife builds. Perfect for shorter stays and couples who really really really get along.
Are you a mall operator, hotel, restaurant, golf course – or you name it, any other sort of venue where a truck will forevermore be stationary? Use the Peugeot J7 as a static kiosk,
Expert restoration of your soon to be retro food truck is done in a small village near Utrecht, the Netherlands – by a team with over 20 years experience – over 50 years if you add up everyone in the shop.
Whereas normally a classic car restoration can only be priced out by a company once a van is in the shop, with enough experience and a steady stream of J7’s we are confident in our quote once we make it – and the quoted budget is the final price paid.
The work that happens in Holland is:
From the very beginning, our design team will be involved in making sure the eventual build is fully up to code in your local area. We do this by employing US-based designers and by following a thorough process: if your county has an approval process for food trucks and trailers, we always submit the plans before construction. As it usually takes a while to get the classic restoration part of the retro food truck build done, the timing works out and you’ll have sign off from the appropriate authorities on your build long before it is completed.
To ensure what is designed is what is actually built, we have our own workshop in Atlanta GA where your classic European retro food truck will be fitted out with electric wiring, plumbing and gas piping that is up to your local state and county code and equipment that is NSF certified.
And of course the final touches are done in Atlanta, such as the vinyl wrap, decal and detailing of the food truck.
Originally the Peugeot J7 came with the choice of a small 4-stroke gas engine (1468cc) or a larger 1816cc diesel engine. Later engines were more powerful, going up to as much as 2300cc for the last diesels that came off the production line.
Whether you’ll be ok with a revision of the original or if it needs to be replaced depends on your specific situation – a moderate daily trip in California or Florida will be just fine, as will operating as an ice cream truck during the summer months anywhere else. And while the truck is very reliable in the general sense, it is good to keep in mind it is a classic car and if you are doing catering and events or festivals further afield, it might be a good idea to trailer the J7.
Another important point to keep in mind is that the Peugeot J7 is a stick shift – and not a modern stick shift either, but a French classic one that will take you some time to master if all you are used to is a modern automatic.
Karpatia offers both engine conversions and transmission changes or replacements – a custom process that has to be done in the USA in order to comply with DOT regulations.
While the Citroen has some recognition a Peugeot J7 is an absolute unknown outside of France – and certainly a unique love on first sight experience for many.
That will be true both at the food truck park or operating your concession drawing in the passersby but also on your website and Instagram where the unique truck will have people inquire about booking you for catering or an event.
A Peugeot J7 also makes good business sense – well restored classics go up in value – not down. So while there’ll be some wear and tear over the years as you operate the food truck, in the base of it you have a very stable asset.
Peugeots are relatively economical in use – take up little space, are easy on the maintenance and have good fuel economy.
a small footprint
If a bed and some coffee are all you need, the Peugeot J7 makes for a very cool retro camper van for you, the partner and the hairy partners – dogs, that is, or at least that’s what we meant.
Not too practical for a fulltime vanlife existence with the limited space available, a Peugeot J7 camper might nevertheless be a fun little car to take out on weekend trips, beach trips or to add to the menagerie of your Airbnb rentals on a campsite.
By assessing your dreams we come to a shared understanding of who we are building for and why
Exploring multiple design options lets us find the solution that best suits your business goals
We refine the concept and provide you with a detailed design that meets your needs
Close monitoring during production ensures we meet your standards. You can always fly- or drive in and take a look!
We offer a range of extra services to support your operation, so you can keep your focus.
There are literally hundreds of food truck builders.
SO Why KARPATIA?
We also provide additional services to help you get started – from financing to food truck websites
Good point! It’s a default feature of our model pages, is why – specifically relating to the model we get few questions indeed as it is a very very rare base model to use for a food truck!
Yes, we ship to Canada and Australia too, although extra rates will apply.
Karpatia has recently opened up a showroom in Atlanta GA – right next to Rodney Scott’s BBQ at the MET – you’re welcome to visit any time during business hours.
Quotes are 100% free no strings attached
Every truck and trailer is unique - we will help you fine tune your project and get it on the road!