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1950? DIVCo Milk Truck Project

These old milk delivery trucks are super cool! DIVCo (Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company) are the folks behind a majority of these vintage rides. This particular one is a mystery year, so if you think you know what year it was made, drop us a comment. You can find it for sale here on Craigslist with an asking price of $5,900.  Located in Auburn, California, the truck is ready for a new owner to complete the project. Thanks to Roger for the tip on this great ride!

According to the Divco Club of America, “From 1926, until 1986, Divco produced multi-stop delivery trucks unlike any others.” The truck pictured above was sold by A&E Classic Cars and is probably similar to what these trucks looked like when new (or better). There aren’t too many bigger symbols of “Americana” than a neat old milk truck like this.

This project is perched on a Chevrolet truck chassis and features an Oldsmobile 455 cubic inch engine with a turbo-hydromatic 400 transmission. You can see a bit of a rats nest under the steering wheel. It looks like there have been some patch panels made from diamond plate as well.

It looks like the interior has been stripped. This will leave a blank slate for the new owner. These trucks make great advertising pieces, hot rods, customs or merchandise trucks. If this was your project, what would you do with it?

Here is a full-custom DIVCo. How cool is this one? Laying in the weeds (probably on airbags) with bright paint, custom interior, and really cool wheels! I’m in love. What do you think?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Wife wants one for her grocery cart. Told her to get out the tools. Her second vehicle in life was a bakery truck converted to a camper so maybe I’d better keep my mouth shut. Slick little vehicles.

    Like 8
    • Steven Stull

      If I am not mistaken. This what the Bat out hell drove in a three Jeepers Creepers movies

      Like 0
  2. Kenneth Carney

    Might’s well give in and let her have it Bob! Wives have a special knack for
    getting their way in all things. I learned that from the 22 years the Good Lord
    gave me with my late wife. And yeah, these are very cool little trucks that
    could be re-used for just about anything you could dream up. Sure could’ve
    used one of these when Mrs.and I were running paper routes in the ’90’s.
    Bet we could’ve carried 500 Sunday papers with no trouble at all. Good luck
    Bob, You’re gonna need it!

    Like 5
  3. Howard A Member

    Kind of comical in the old car hobby, like, what’s next? It’s difficult to determine the year, as they were introduced in the late ’30’s ( it looks like it) and remained virtually unchanged for their 30+ year run. Every kid in America’s cities knew about the “stand-up Divco”. It seemed so odd to a kid, to see someone standing and driving. Just about every house had a milk chute ( that we used to crawl out of at night) or those metal cabinets in doors, and the milkman was a regular visitor. There were so many “milkman” jokes. The last thing I ever expected, was for them to be customized, but here you go, many became tool sheds outback. They do make a neat van, but have to be updated mechanically, as these had 4 or 6 cylinder Continental engines, or a 3 cylinder Detroit ( good Lord) and never went over 40 mph, especially the Detroit powered ones. Strictly city rigs. Pretty cool.

    Like 6
  4. Chevy Guy

    So is the Chevy frame and Olds Engine not Original? (I know, it sounds like a ridiculous question)

    Like 0
    • Howard A Member

      Not a ridiculous question, they are not original. The builder did what probably should be done with these, drop the cab on a more modern chassis. Not sure where the Olds engine came from, but more than likely a Chevy dually pickup frame was used.

      Like 3
  5. Sandy Claws

    I recall in my long ago youth one was converted into a traveling musical ice cream truck that us kiddies adored. Such fond memories pulling out my shiny nickel for a Push up. (Little did I know it was cleverly disguised orange sherbet in a cool container!) Wonder if there are anymore ice cream trucks left in America? We have lost something in this land, its innocence. Of all the memories these old cars bring up for me, I think the memory of that, I miss the most..simpler times.

    Like 9
    • The Crow Flies In Square Circles

      I just saw an ice cream truck driving through my neighborhood today. You do still see them occasionally. Today’s ice cream trucks just look like smallish modern food trucks covered in random stickers, though, and lack a lot of the personality that the old ones had. But at least you can still buy expensive ice cream from a guy in a brightly colored musical truck.

      Like 4
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      They do still have ice cream trucks around here in the summer. No common vehicle though, they range from vans to suburbans.
      I think the Divco could be something fun to play with though parts could be an experience in patience to find or make.

      Like 2
  6. local_sheriff

    I remember reading about the Divco a while back that they were designed with controls outside the vehicle, so as the driver could move it standing on the running board. Anyone have knowledge whether that’s a feature available on the ‘later’ models also?

    Like 1
  7. KSwheatfarmer

    Howard, never knew these carried a Detroit,hope the drivers shut it down before the little ice cream lickers got too close,wouldn’t want to give them hearing loss or a big whiff of 2 stroke smoke.
    Sandy, My daughter says there is a truck that comes through her neighborhood in town,think it comes from a larger town near by, haven’t seen it but I bet it’s not as cool as any of these. I know of one of these way up a big draw in a neighbors pasture,maybe I should hike up and check it out,has to be rough,it’s been there forever.

    Like 3
  8. Ben T Spanner

    So that the driver could drive while standing, the clutch and the brake were on the same pedal. The clutch was disengaged first, and depressing the pedal further activated the brakes.
    My 1954 AH 100 was similar. In cold weather the slush would freeze the mechanical clutch linkage and the brake pedal together. I quickly learned to shift up with no clutch.

    Like 3
  9. Little_Cars Little Cars Member

    ” It looks like there have been some patch panels made from diamond plate as well.” Looks like the ENTIRE floor was done this way. Did this with one of my ratty Spridgets. Looks cool if you don’t plan on installing carpet or using mats. Problem I found was dissimilar metals (mild steel original floor, aluminum diamond plate) would eventually fuse and start corroding in ways your normal rust bucket truck wouldn’t. You have to enlist the help of some pretty caustic chemicals to break the bond and start over. On the other hand, these diamond plate pieces may actually be factory original on this Divco. Cool ride!

    Like 0
  10. John

    I restored to original a 67 Divco, I did change the rear end to a friendlier ratio, and a 300-6, the 240 was junk and the original 6;?? rear end wouldn’t give 40MPH. This had duel wheel rear end, and when I got it still had the refer unit in it. It couldn’t go by a gas station W/bias tires and duels. Then ran W/single rear and doubled the fuel milage. Later the original transmission gave out so put a 3 spd. Ford Auto in it which was an option in 67. Used it in my business for 6 yrs then sold it to a fellow in the Cape which is still using it. This was rated as a 1 ton but by the springs was more the 2 to 2.5 ton The little single wheel ones were rated as a 1/2 tn. but more like a 1.5 ton. Tough heavy duty thruout

    Like 5
    • Reilly

      where did get your 300-6 gear and did fit the original housing

      Like 0
  11. Milo

    I once had a Divco milk truck that I got cheap it was in good shape but sure did like its fuel so I sold it And it was different fun driving for a while

    Like 0
  12. Mike

    Soon to be a customized shop truck for an upcoming car cable show. You know, your standard, run of the mill car show with 2 paunchy bearded dudes, an older cranky guy, a hot wife of the owner, a millennial running the front office, two hispanic shop techs that do most of the dirty work, complaints of cost overruns, impatient customers and customized cars that look like they will be dated in 5 years.

    Like 7
  13. Patrick J

    Had them in the 60’s around here (top of NY state).
    Maybe into the mid 70’s if I can remember.
    Not sure where they all went.
    Didn’t the originals have some weird type of drivetrain?
    Front WD maybe??

    Like 0
  14. Guggie 13

    My dad had a Divco for his Heating business used as a service truck , it had a ford engine and you could drive it standing up . Boy it was slow ,until the rear got changed and it was a little better . My brother and I used to call it Divco Duck. We ended up going to Ford Ecoline vans which were a much better fit for the type of work we were doing. I remember a lot of milk delivery men using the Divcos !!

    Like 0
  15. Miles Chappell

    Randy Grubb incorporated one into his Magic Bus !

    Like 3

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