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Coca-Cola Carrier: 1954 Chevrolet COE

Ever since Coca-Cola went mainstream in the late 19th Century, they’ve had some form of a distribution network. The more products they sold, the more complicated that network would become. Coke has been using delivery trucks from practically every manufacturer over time, including this 1954 Chevrolet COE (Cab Over Engine). The truck is said to be wearing its original paint from its service days and has been made operational, though not quite roadworthy. Located in Kiel, Wisconsin, this Chevy is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $11,750 OBO.  Our thanks to Barn Finder NW Iowa Kevin for this way cool tip!

These Cab Over Engine trucks came in a variety of payload ratings and the seller doesn’t say much about this truck’s mechanical heritage. It could have a 235 cubic inch inline-6, the same as used in pickups, and has a 4-speed manual transmission. This is a stake truck which means it was probably used for delivering cases of Coca-Cola to a variety of retail outlets. If this is a 5700-series truck, for example, it would use the COE chassis rated at 16,000 pounds (that’s a lot of Coke!).

When the seller purchased this vehicle, it was not in running condition. Some effort has been put forth to get it to where it can run around town but will need more for regular use. We’re told the paint is original which probably also means the Coke graphics. The seller was thinking of taking the work a bit further but was concerned about the vehicle losing its originality. This could be an interesting marketing device if your business somehow has a tie-in to America’s number-one selling cola.

If you’re interested in the history of Coca-Cola trucks, we found a couple of resources that could provide some great reading. To learn more, check here or there, and enjoy!


  1. Johnnymopar

    Though the Coca-Cola patina is cool, if it was a Pepsi truck I’d be interested.

    Like 7
  2. Stan

    Imagine moving 15000lb of coke w only the 4spds 😱 😨

    Like 5
  3. Lincoln B Member

    Imagine unloading it all, every day.

    Like 3
  4. Yblocker

    This may have been a Coke hauler at one time, but not lately, apparently some farmer acquired it, at some point, that’s a grain bed mounted on the back. A lotta money for the shape it’s in

    Like 8
    • HoA Howard A Member

      I agree. It was not unusual for beverages to be hauled on flatbed straight trucks, but never with sides and a tailgate like that. I believe that’s exactly what this enterprising farmer from the Badger did. Coca Cola trucks came in all shapes, most the familiar open type. As delivery distances grew, they became the enclosed type.
      I know, it bamboozles many to think hauling 15000lbs of anything with a 235 in line 6, may seem horribly underpowered, and by todays standards, it is, but back then deliveries were mostly contained to the cities, and it was not unusual for drivers and a helper, to unload 500 cases of beverages every day. It wasn’t a job for couch potatoes, and paid well. Today, many truck drivers get their start on beverage trucks.
      FIVE FIGURES? Good heavens, greed has infiltrated my home state, and 10% of the asking price is what should sell for. What is wrong with these sellers today?

      Like 4
  5. Robert Proulx

    This is the kinda proposition that makes you wonder should i or shouldn’t i. Bringing this back to its former glory cosmeticaly and mechanical wise will require muy deneros and when finished its not the kind of machine for a sunday drive with girlfriend. If its work task is related to Coca Cola its would be a very nice piece of history to pull out once in a while. Now Yblocker has a good point for the bed swap, i wonder what was in back when its was hauling Coke.

    Like 3
  6. Robert Proulx

    I’m imagining this monster with no power assist on the brakes or steering like it was back in the day with drums on all four. Must have been a doozy to handle and i cant imagine nothing more than a 235 stovebolt six underhood to move that when loaded up. Brings to mind a nice 375 + pony LS motor with corresponding 6 or 8 speed auto that would wake up this piece of history

    Like 1
  7. MrBobbbb

    I remember these with an enclosed box, NOT a stake bed. Hauling food items would be unsanitary. Unless it hauled raw materials for making Coke. The company would probably be happy to provide any historical context. I always wanted to put a COE on a regular Chevy truck frame. Maybe 4X4?

    Like 2
    • arkie Member

      I agree, MrBobbbb. I remember the stake bed trucks such as this being used for delivery of vending machines and store displays. Does anyone else remember those special Coke racks in the stores which had the coiled up plastic “shelves” on which to stack the six-pack cartons? Or the wire racks for empties?

      Like 2
  8. Cooter Cooter Member

    Cut the rear frame up to the size of a shortbed chevy, put a stepside bed on it, 6.2 litre LS under the hood, 6 speed with .373 gearing and you have something really different than the rest. That’s the direction many of these snubnoses are going now.

    Like 2
  9. Richard

    That’s not a COE. It’s a Low Cab Forward.

    Like 5
  10. T. Mann Member

    or you can do this:
    1954 coe 5700

    Like 3
    • T. Mann Member

      the engine is under the bed

      Like 3
  11. lori neuenfeldt

    My husband’s family used this exact truck on their farm to haul grain to the elevator in Hemlock, MI. They sold it about 15 years ago and it’s made it’s way to Wisconsin!

    Like 5
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Wow, lori, that’s awesome and takes BarnFinds to a new level, you are actually familiar with this truck.

      Like 1
  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    Good trucks these were. LCF trucks were never very popular with the farming community but other operations kept them going.

    If I were to take a project like this on, I would try to preserve the original paint and even the Coke lettering. The box would go and probably be replaced with a stake bed. I’ve seen beverage haulers with stake beds, freight boxes, and beverage beds. No matter what they hauled you can bet they were loaded down to the point where they were looking for a way around the scales.

    Like 1
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Go AROUND a scale, why, I’m shocked and appalled. I can say with all honesty, I went around more scales than over them. Generally, farmers hauling grain didn’t go very far, many only a few miles to the elevator, and the cops were mostly locals, family, perhaps, and didn’t mess with the farmers. Many times, farmers would repurpose trucks they got for little or nothing. None of the farms I worked at ever had a new truck. The last farm I worked at, the guy bought a repurposed Roehl Freightliner tractor they made into a grain dump. Worked rather well too. Never underestimate the “can do” spirit of a farmer.

      Like 2
  13. charlie Member

    I had a toy Coke delivery truck in 1950 or so, same COE front, slightly slanted cargo area with roll up sides like in a roll top desk, shelves inside, separate roll ups on the sides, maybe 6 each side, and a bunch of crates decorated to look like they were full of bottles of Coke. Only one kind back then, not the dozen you see in the supermarket.

    Like 1
  14. Dan Overcash

    May have a 261 engine. They can be made to put out some power and torque. I agree with other post. May have been set up to haul vending machines or Coke boxes and other merchandising materials. Bottom truck would have dropped frame to make room for more product. Would have to be reworked to be a grain bed truck. You

    Like 0
    • Yblocker

      Chute in the tailgate. It’s a grain bed.

      Like 0

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