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Berlingo 4X4
The wicked Controle-Technique examiner condemned my old ex-Forestry Commission 1.9d to an early grave due to terminal tin worm that it probably caught in its first 8 years of life living in Wales. My local garage who do the repairs on our vehicles also specialise in ex-Gendarmerie Berlingos. These are typically 10 - 12 years old with around 200,000km on the clock, which is about a quarter of the annual distance UK police cars would cover. The French cars also get serviced and repaired by Citroen main dealers, not the police authority's own mechanics. And they are Four-Wheel-Drive. And 120bhp.

The 4x4 conversion is done by a French company called Dangel. They have been converting French cars for over thirty years; C15's to C25s but mainly Berlinos and Partners and these are used by the Gendarmes, Post Office and utility companies. The Norwegian Post Office also run them. The conversion amounts to a prop shaft and differential with viscous coupling. There are options for diff' locks and other things, but mine is a simple full time AWD. The suspension is raised, 15" wheels fitted and protection underneath added.

The Berlingos are what you in the UK call 1.6HDi Multispace, in France Bivouacs, that is five seaters with six doors. He takes off all the police stuff, gives them a full respray, new cam-belt kit, new tyres, and a 2 year C-T plus a full service. So, after a minute's negotiations a deal was struck, confirmed in writing in the dirt of my van's rear window and three weeks later the car was delivered.

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It is noticeably higher than the standard Blingo and has a different ride. The suspension is softer and I expected it to handle differently to the standard van especially with Alpine tyres on it. It does. Unlike the standard Blingo this one goes round corners like it is on rails. I couldn't believe it. The motor is also a lot more powerful than the 1.9 non-turbo slug I was used to. Acceleration is impressive, but the mid-range torque is absolutely stunning. Put it in fifth and drive it like an automatic in most situations.

I took it off road onto the types of surface that would defeat the standard van. I drove Partners as police dog vans in the noughties and then bought the ex-Forestry 2003 van to use for fishing and work. I am sure that many of you will have experienced the Bambi on Ice off road handling. I have had to dig mine out, fit snow chains and even phone a friend to get out of places I took the van when out fishing. The biggest issue was a firm surface covered in wet grass or mud with an uphill incline. I carried snow chains for such situations. I drove the Dangel up a 1km farm track that was a sludge covered limestone cobbled surface all uphill. It flew up and felt really secure. The next track was wet mud and again there were no issues.

Around two months in and 3,000km on the clock and the consumption is exactly the same as my old 1.9d van; 10 miles / 16Km per litre of fuel, making it 45mpg in old money. And it will do the ton - Imperial  Smile
Berlingo 1.6HDi Dangel 4x4 120bhp
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Nicepix for this post:
  • RJBingham
Fascinating, thanks for posting this. I see Dangel's website is multi-lingual and the also do a 2WD option (raised ride height and protection plate).

They even have their own Wikipedia page
Must be a French one as well.

This Spanish language B9 model promo gives a good visual idea:
Thats one of my dream cars, wich we dont have over here. Beautiful!
Great insight into these vehicles.,there’s just about none here in the UK.
I would certainly consider buying one if I had chance.
I took a little video of once at a Ski resort, a few years back.
It’s one of my most watch videos.
Just a tip; if you buy one go for the blue ones, not the yellow ones. All that stop, start, stop, start every 20 metres and in and out of the vehicle a hundred times every day isn't likely to endear it to its second owner.
Berlingo 1.6HDi Dangel 4x4 120bhp
No diff block Sad

Everything else  Cool

Best regards,
That video reminded me of the roads I used to travel on in Cyprus in a hired Vitara or Jimney. My wife used to get out and walk behind the car in some places Smile

Looking at the Dangel website they look to offer all sorts of options including diff' locks. The Gerndarmerie version that I have has a simple permanent four wheel drive. I don't think that they trust bobbies of any nationality with switches Big Grin
Berlingo 1.6HDi Dangel 4x4 120bhp

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