The small van Manusa used to start our expansion
It was roughly 1968 and Manusa started to get around Barcelona and surrounding areas with our first van, the famous Citroen 2CV. Thanks to that van we could install doors at any location that required our services.
The mechanisms and operators weighed around 150 kg, so when they were loaded on top of the van – using a type of roof rack – it became unbalanced. In addition to this load, we had to find room for the technician’s toolbox, a drill and a small ladder. Our first van did not consume very much petrol, but it did leak a lot of oil.
At the time, we only had one van to transport two technicians. We worked with a lot of enthusiasm and installed one door per week. We did not have the resources of today and it took from 2 to 4 days to fit each product.
Josep M. Guilera, Manusa’s founder, remembers using the Citroen 2CV in the 1970s to travel to Madrid for the first time in order to complete an installation. The technician driving the van took 24 hours to reach the centre of Spain because its top speed was just 80 km/hour, the motor would overheat and they had to stop to let it cool down. They would pick up speed going downhill and the technician would try not to brake, so they could take advantage of the momentum.
Interestingly, for several years we used copies of the rectangular glass in the van’s rear doors as the viewing windows in Manusa’s operating room doors. The windows were used vertically in the Citroen 2CV, but we placed them horizontally in the Manusa doors.
The 2CV, which we affectionately still maintain today, sowed the beginning of our company’s expansion over 50 years ago. Nowadays our products can be found in over 80 countries across five continents. It is our history and we are proud of it.