Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bread Vans, Ice Cream Trucks, Divcos and Stepvans


I'm not exactly sure why...but I've always had an interest in old Milk/Bread/Ice Cream/Delivery Trucks. It is a rare occasion when you see one, either restored or sitting neglected and abandoned somewhere, however I've always thought it would be cool to own one. In fact, a couple of years ago, I was pursuing the possibility of purchasing the Divco Milk Truck pictured above from SOBE Beverages. I had found it on their website and made contact with someone in their corporate office. They actually made me a reasonable offer, but I had to "close the deal" by that year's end and find a way to get it from the east coast to the midwest. The thing had the original engine and transmission...so driving it on the interstates at a top speed of 35 miles/hr was out of the question. Needless to say, the 'deal' never happened.

This post is filled with pictures of trucks I have either taken at swap meets or car shows or ones I found while surfing the Internet. Some are pictured unrestored, some are restored to an orginal condition, and others have been customized and/or hot rodded. I threw the picture above in the mix. It is a picture of my oldest son. We spotted this Divco go kart at a swap meet last year and could not resist taking a photo.

I found this picture on the Divco Collector's Club website. It's owned by a family farm. As you can see from the blower sticking out of the hood, this thing has been hotrodded and tubbed.

Here is another picture of a hotrodded Divco I found on the Internet. This one is called "Milk Shake".


Here is a photo I found on the Internet of a restored Ice Cream truck. This type of vehicle was manufactured by many factories. Unfortunately very few remain in a restorable condition. Many were sold by their original owners in the 60's and 70's and cutup and converted to RV's during the "hippie" generation.

This is a picture of a very unique looking vehicle. I believe this truck was manufactured by Helms. I've never actually seen one of these vehicles, but found this picture on the Internet

(editor's note: received this information today, see comment. Thanks Finklebean for the correction concerning this truck! Would love to post the photos you've mentioned, please email.) Hi, I was in LA a few weeks ago and visited the Peterson Automotive Museum. There is a Helm's bread truck on display there. If I recall correctly, the trucks were made for Helm's by Twin Coach, which eventually became Divco.

This picture shows a stepvan that was most likely manufactured in the 70's. It sure looks like the stepvans I saw most everyday growing up in Union City, IN/OH. The Union City Body Company produced stepvans for many years. This one has been equipped with hydralics, whitewall tires, and chrome reverse smoothies.


If memory serves me, this Chevrolet truck was advertised on eBay a year or two ago. The burnout is impressive, however, if you look closely, you will see that the front tires are blocked in the picture.

Not only were trucks like this manufactured by many small companies, the big names in Detroit were also involved. Here is a picture of a Ford delivery truck rotting away in a barnyard somewhere.

Delivery vehicles have been around for most of the history of the automobile. Here is a picture I found on the Internet of a very early example.

I took these photos of a hotrodded Divco truck at the customer appreciation cruise in at Aesthetic Finishers in Piqua, OH this past summer (2007).

Here is yet another example of a custom Divco milk truck.


International Harvester was also manufacturing various sizes of delivery trucks in the 50's and 60's. Their version, called the "Metro" had a snub nose and chrome grille that I think is pretty cool looking. Here is a photo of an unrestored Metro I found on the Internet.

Although I like the looks of early 50's Chevy pickups, the engineers that designed the chevy delivery trucks of that same period did not try to create something that honored the smooth designing lines of the cab. I guess function overshadowed beauty.

Here is a pretty cool truck that was listed on eBay a few months ago. I can't remember if it sold, but if it did, someone got a VERY cool ride.

Once again, if a guy had some "play money" he could have owned this beauty. I took this picture at a swap meet this summer. The International Metro was in unrestored "patina" it was in running order and had been driven to the meet. I think it sold for $1800.00
Here is another truck that was advertised on eBay a few months ago. They don't show up on eBay to often, but there is usually one or two every couple of months that is worth a look. This one had been carefully restored to a stock condition.

Not really a delivery van, this customized ice cream truck from the early 50's was way to cool not to be included in this post. I believe the Good Humor company had many of these trucks built during this time period. The coolest thing about these trucks was their "chopped, top-down" look.