World’s Strangest

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Cute Vintage Ice Cream Trucks

Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

“Stop Me & Buy Some!”… “Often licked, never beaten!”…

Ah, ice cream trucks. What great memories they represent from so many people’s childhood years! The sound of those distinctive tunes and melodic chimes are still guaranteed to send shivers down the spine even today.

(images credit: I Love Lucies, Thomas Ackroyd, 3, 4)

The original idea of the ice cream truck was relatively simple, that the delicious tasty treats of the ice cream parlor are coming directly to you. We still see them during the summer months at public events, parks, beaches anywhere where crowds of people are likely to gather, as well as driving down residential streets hoping to entice customers. These examples here at Dark Roasted Blend may not be the cream of the crop, but they’re certainly some pretty cool pictures.

(Shane McGill of Muscatine with his 1957 ice cream truck, more info; right image via)

(1954 “Good Humor” ice cream truck, image credit: Jack Snell)

Very cute 1954 Morris ice cream van, Plymouth Barbican:

(images credit: Richard & Gill Long)

Fully restored British 1962 Commer Karrier BF van (more info):

(image via)

In the early 1920’s, before ice cream trucks and vans, the first ice cream bicycles appeared in London. The Walls ice cream company expanded their manufacturing facilities in 1924 and invested in a fleet of tricycles. Annual sales in 1927 are said to have been over £440,000, or $US 700,000 at today’s exchange rate, but still a huge sum at the time.

(images via 1, 2)

Walker Electric Vehicle Co. built electric and gasoline-electric hybrid trucks in Chicago from around 1918 until at least 1942. This Walker Electric Truck, had a top speed of 12 mph when empty and 9 mph when fully loaded, even with ice cream:

(see the full-size image here, via Shorpy)

This Good Humor truck (left image below) dates from the 1920’s and may have guaranteed a slightly faster delivery of your ice cream treats:

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A couple more of Good Humor trucks:

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Here we have a fleet of ice cream trucks:

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A few of 1920s ice cream trucks from the Ken Goudy Collection:

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A blast from the past maybe, but that ice cream bar still looks very appealing… plus, ice cream men get to serve ladies first! -

(left photo courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, right photo via)

This restored model dates from 1931 (and it is for sale, see here):

(images via 1, 2)

During World War II, ice cream in the UK was considered to be a luxury and the country’s resources were devoted to the war effort. Manufacturing resumed after the war and ice cream trucks became a familiar sight in the UK and North America in the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.

This is the original 1953 Liberty ice Cream truck:

(image via)

This is a 1959 Mr. Softee ice cream truck (left), and the die-cast toy made by Corgi (right):

(images via 1, 2)

Early ice cream trucks weren’t as sophisticated as they are today. Back then most families didn’t own a freezer and the trucks sold simple ice cream. Once freezers became common household items, ice cream trucks began selling more specialized novelty ice cream items, such as ice cream bars and popsicles. The vehicle’s refrigeration system consisted of large blocks of dry ice. This entailed the engine being turned off when customers were actually buying their ice cream. A hand-driven crank was usually employed to operate the truck’s familiar chimes or music.

Here is the 1956 Ford F-100 Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, seen in Gateway Colorado Auto Museum:

(image via)

This Good Humor 1966 model still looks in pretty good shape:

(image credit: James Benetzky)

1959 Morris ice cream van, seen in Leicester:

(image credit: Leicester Vehicle Photography)

This Divco truck apparently dates from 1950. It was restored as a fully functional ice cream truck, with heavy duty electric systems so the freezers can still be running when the vehicle’s parked:

(images via)

You’d certainly see this one heading your way down the street with its ice cream, frozen treats, milk shakes and cold drinks in Sydney, Australia:

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Also from Australia, this is an interesting streamlined truck “Clipper” for Peters Ice Cream, 1953:

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A well protected ice cream truck, just in case customers can’t control their cravings, perhaps? (made by Banksy, and spotted in Glastonbury):

(image via)

This one, spotted at the Sandbach Transport Festival, looks a little cramped for the driver:

(image credit: Zan Wheelock)

Cute ice cream truck spotted in Utrecht, Holland:

(image credit: Rudy Roels)

Check out the Ice Princess, hard to resist of a hot summer day (left)… and the one on the right claims to be “often licked, never beaten”:

(images via 1, 2)

How about this little three-wheeled one? (left image) …Italy is famous for its ice cream and there are still a few scooters making the deliveries there (right):

(images via 1, 2)

We mentioned at the beginning of the article about the bikes and tricycles that were used as the first ice cream distribution vehicles. Today, in some parts of Southeast Asia, ice cream is still frequently often sold from modified motorcycles with attached freezer sidecars. This one’s from Cambodia:

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Here is the ice cream “truck” in Astana, Kazakhstan:

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Hot Rod Ice Cream Trucks

“Good Human!.. I Scream!” – more info:

(images via)

…and another one, 1947 Ford half-ton pickup conversion, spotted in Newport, WA (more info):

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Avi Abrams is the creator, writer, and owner of Dark Roasted Blend;
Simon Rose is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels for children, including The Alchemist’s Portrait, The Sorcerer’s Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic’s Tomb and The Doomsday Mask and The Time Camera.

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