1970 Vintage Saviem sg2 - perfect food truck or camper For Sale
I'm selling my rare 1970 Saviem SG2. I've had it for 5 years and used it daily to work the markets of North-West France.
It was assembled at the Saviem works in Blainville, near Caen. Saviem were the commercial vehicle arm of Renault and the SG2 was once the ubiquitous workhorse seen all over France and colonial Africa, they're now all but disappeared but back in the day there was a vast range of models to suit the needs of every artisan and entrepreneur. There were short and long wheelbase models, high and low rooflines, twin or single axles, leaf or coil sprung rear axles and diesel or petrol engines. Not to mention the 4 wheel drive models (TP3) which went mainly to the military and the SB2, which was identical to the SG2 but had front wheel drive (and a lower rear end to facilitate loading). Add to that the plethora of coachbuilders who turned the SG2 into everything from hearse to advertising platform to breakdown truck to pantecnican and the fact it could be driven on a car licence (and still can) and you can see why it was such a common sight on French roads in the sixties and seventies.
The virtue of the SG2 lay in it's "small lorry" approach. Built on a ladder chassis the SG2 uses sturdy, truck-like components and indeed the roomy cabs were modular and used on the whole commercial vehicle range, right up to 8 tonnes and above. The driver sits over the front wheels and the load space is excellent for a vehicle which, in stubby SWB form is barely longer than a car.
This particular beauty, which I bought from a confectionary trader in Eastern France has 80,000 km on the clock, which could well be correct. It's a short wheelbase model with rear trailing arms and coil springs, sliding side door and side windows. It's powered by the excellent MAN 3.4 litre diesel (because Saviem entered into a deal with MAN trucks whereby they re-badged the bigger MAN trucks as Saviem whilst MAN gained access to Saviem's small commercial van range) and if it sounds like a tractor it could be because this engine also appeared in John Deare tractors. alternative engines were an Alfa-Romeo 2.5 litre diesel and the antiquated (and thirsty) Renault Fregate petrol engine. The 3.4 litre MAN diesel is the pick of the bunch though, roughly 60 horsepower but mountains of torque.
In the time I've had it I've done a fair bit of work on it, mainly involving welding new metal into the somewhat flakey inner wheel-arches and various other places. I've also replaced the wooden floor in the load-bay, which was OK but had to come out for the welding. Various new parts have been fitted, including new tyres, a brand new original equipment starter motor, various ball joints, brake shoes and fuel lines. You'll notice the non-original seats in the photos - I sourced these from an Audi A8, they're all singing, all dancing Recaro jobs and they have pneumatic lumbar adjustment etc. etc. that make the driving experience that bit more comfortable.
I built a roof-rack for it and onto that I fitted a roll-out, heavy-duty wagon sheet that integrates an easily assembled aluminium tent-like frame and which forms an awning of roughly 12 square metres, indispensable for doing markets. There's also a removable bed which integrates storage space (again, ideal for the markets I did) and an easily detachable table and a 2 burner gas stove.
What's it like to drive?
Back in the day it was heralded as 'car-like' such was the improvement over the previous range of antediluvian Goélette and Galion vans. Nowadays, think Landrover series 1,2 and 3 from the same era and you won't be far wrong.
Steering the big, bakelite wheel takes a virile input, especially at low speeds, and you can't expect to stop on a sixpence with 4 drum brakes. Once you get used to it it's huge fun to bowl along at 50mph with the windows down and the healthy exhaust note barking back at you off walls and hedges. It'll go quite a bit faster but the resonance inside the cab might put you off. Expect plumes of white smoke on cold morning start-ups - as befits most indirect injection diesels of yesteryear. 2 x 6 volt batteries were fitted originally but I fitted the biggest 12 volt one I could find and this gets the beast running on cold, frosty mornings as much as the 'flam-start' pre-heat system, basically a little flamethrower in the inlet manifold.
Expect something like 25 miles to the gallon. More like 30 if you take the roof-rack off.
Spares are surprisingly easy to source, many parts are common Renault parts bin items and the main specialist is 'Alain Brink', who lists new and secondhand parts on his website, although far from exhaustive.
So, a far better truck than the vastly overpriced Citroen Type H or VW alternatives. Ideal as a food truck, mad camper van or just something different for tooling down to Morrisons' in.
Comes with repair manuals (in French).
I'm happy to deliver to the UK at cost price.
Ring 00 33 7 71 65 27 55 (Mick) or send me an email,
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