Car S.O.S restore rusty 1963 French van in memory of Manchester Arena victim Alison Howe

A French van has been restored in memory of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack with the help of TV programme Car S.O.S.

Steve Howe from Royton bought the 1963 classic with his wife Alison Howe, with dreams of doing it up for their daughter Darcie.

But when Alison was killed in 2017, those dreams did not materialise and the van has been sat in Steve's garage ever since. 

Citroen HY Camionnette

Alison Howe was three metres away from bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated his homemade device at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.

She had gone to the arena with her friend, Lisa Lees, to drop off two of their daughters for an Ariana Grande concert. The pair died instantly.

Her daughter Darcie has struggled to talk about the attack since but Steve hopes converting the rusty van could provide a business opportunity to lift her spirits.

Alison was described by her family as the glue who held them together.

Steve contacted Car S.O.S who specialise in restoring old vehicles, but the 1963 Citroen HY Camionnette proved a challenge - even for them.

The van was covered in rust and there were several missing panels that had been stripped for other vehicles.

However the cutting, welding and respraying that followed result in a remarkable transformation.

The big reveal to the rest of the family took place in the home ground of Steve's other true love, Manchester United.

The Ali-van even includes Alison's signature and daughters Darcie and Sasha says it is the best possible tribute to their mum.

With Alison's 50th birthday approaching, this mobile milkshake maker is one present she really would have loved.

  • Car S.O.S airs on Thursday, 28 April at 8pm on National Geographic.