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Milkman Special: 1965 Divco Delivery

These days the trucks used for household delivery are big and square and IMHO boring. This classic shorty multi-stop delivery truck built by the Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company (Divco) is the opposite. So much style and class, you can practically picture the delivery man with his white uniform and hat, driving along from house to house dropping off the days milk. Thanks to Matt W for submitting this desert find listed here on eBay from Rancho Cucamonga, California.

This would be a full restoration project. It’s solid but aside from what looks to be a solid body (thanks to the desert) it’s going to need practically everything else. The listing says the brakes and tires need to be replaced, there is no engine or transmission, no odometer and “was told the year is 1965” but is not completely sure. I would say that’s about about right. The earlier models were built for driving while standing, with no seat and pedals on the steering column. Typically the back storage areas in the earlier models rusted from the inside from the ice used to keep the milk cold.

It would need a new power plant, and although there is an open space there doesn’t appear to be that much room. A smaller engine makes sense anyway since I highly doubt this would be brought back as a racer. It would never be a very practical daily driver but I could see a business using it as a marketing tool. It sure would turn a lot of heads and grab attention.  You could even just clean it up, skip the engine and use it as a stationary billboard, an idea that has even more merit since there is no ownership. What would you do to bring back a vehicle from the good ol’ days when milk was delivered right to your house?


  1. Dairyman

    I guess the milk is spoiled by now. You can buy these restored for not much money and a very limited market if you want to sell.

    • Allan Beek

      Who or where can I buy one

  2. chad

    room for a 300/4.9’n C4?

  3. Dave

    That used to be a career.
    My Great Uncle drove one his whole life after he put the horse drawn one out to pasture.
    Probably drove one just like this one when he retired.
    Wondering if he filled bottles and lonely wives also?

    Like 1
  4. Rustytech Member

    Daaave! That wasn’t nice! I do remember these, milk man, and bread delivery twice a week. I long for the good old days, back when customer service, and jobs were more important than corporate profits and 7 figure salaries for CEO’s.

    • Dave

      Nothing bad about the milk man.
      Just an old joke about “Your kid looks like the milkmans” when one kid didn’t look like his brothers and sisters.
      Totally agree about the last part.
      BTW my milkman Uncle always had a new imperial in his garage every couple years.

  5. Jay M

    One of my neighbors has a pair of these in his back 40.
    He uses them for storage and told me “There not worth 2 pinches of $hit”
    I should tell him there is a market for them…
    right after I trade him for 2 pinches.

  6. Milt

    Looks like it had its heart cut out like a Mayan sacrifice.

  7. Billy Banger

    I guess most people will have heard about the milkman who was going around giving his customers bad teeth. You all might find this somewhat amusing.
    Cheers. Billy.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Excellent Billy!

    • On and On On and On Member

      Billy, that was great. My type of humor at it’s best. If you can’t laugh at something it’s not worth thinking about.

  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    These were very popular in the 60’s in my home city. They were called, “stand-up” Divco’s, because the seat would swing away, and the driver could stand up, operate the controls, and not have to sit down. These trucks were incredibly durable, with probably over a hundred stops ( and starts) per day. These trucks were the most continuous style, surpassed only by the VW bug. These used Continental motors, 4 cylinder, then the 6, but in the 60’s, went with Ford 240 and 300 in line 6’s, for the remainder of the run, which ended in 1986. And Dave is right, I can’t think of more jokes made about the “milkman”, with the exception of ethnic jokes, and Dave makes a good point, why did that brother or sister look nothing like their folks? IDK, we never talked about it,,,

    • mike D

      was going to mention delivery in my parents CNY home, the truck was beat, rear doors didn’t close right, when he would leave after delivery, would leave a blue cloud of smoke , dripping water ( ice) in the summer , always drove with the front doors open.. seems like he drove it standing up, but was fairly young, so maybe didn’t pay attention

    • scottymac

      Not to pick nits, but if you meant what I thought you did, the DIVCO is not the “most continuous style”. The Ford C cab cabover truck was first produced in 1957 and last made in 1990, spanning five decades. I don’t know of any other vehicle that can make that claim, except maybe the Beetle or the Citroen 2CV.

  9. Ken Smolecki

    My father was a route driver, which was the guy that gave the milkman his days off. The business was seven days a week, he’d drive for several different milkman during the week filling in for them on their days off. He did this from the end of WWII when he was discharged from the Army, until 1957 when my sister was born, then he went into factory work, he needed work with benefits to support a wife and 4 kids. He drove Divco’s exclusively except for one Dodge owner( he hated that one, and that was eventually replaced by a Divco). We had milk delivery, and I as a kid would help our milkman deliver on saturdays running bottles up apartment steps, bringing down the empties, all for 1 buck, and Ioved it, rode on the right side of the dash for many miles.

  10. Billy Banger

    And not forgetting Sargent bilko aka the milkman..
    Cheers. Billy.

    • On and On On and On Member

      Billy, you da man. If you’re in Wisconsin ever, I’d like to have a couple beers with you and listen to your story.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Count me in.

  11. ChevyTruckGuy

    What an awesome find! If not for the vehicle, but for the memories it’s generated here. I too, have fond memories of our milkman driving one, showing up bright and early every Monday morning, at 6am. Milk, cheese, butter and ice cream!! This would be a fun project. If done for fun, not an investment. Would be neat to drive to car shows – what a conversation piece!!

  12. Henry

    My father was a Milkman for Lehigh Valley Dairy and then Pocono Mountain Dairy. He drove a truck similar to this one, but this one pre-dates me!!! He was a route driver, after being a relief driver (Relief Driver equals driver who fills in for days off and vacations). He would sit at the dining room table in Sunday’s doing paperwork. I got to ride with him once in a while, but the most fun was going to the warehouse to load the truck with him. He delivered, Milk, Choc Milk, Cottage Cheese, Cookies as I recall

  13. Al

    Saw one of these at Right Coast Nats in Syracuse maybe 10 years ago. All done up as a hot rod, SBC, auto, back featured old milk crates and bottles, big slicks underneath, very well done. Loved it.

  14. To

    The High Country Creamery, in Grantsville, MD uses one as a stationary billboard.

  15. Jay

    Check out the Metro on Iron Resurrection before writing off square delivery trucks.

  16. Rustytech Member

    Dave. That was just good natured chastisement. I knew what you meant😉.

  17. Stu

    What a shame. It looks as if the donor engine was rejected. My condolences.

  18. Bob

    The Sig Ep fraternity house at Purdue University had a stand up to drive Divco in the early 60’s. Clutch and brake were the on same pedal. To drive, you balanced your weight on your right foot by holding on to the steering wheel, twisted the hand throttle located on the end of the “three on the tree” shift lever and let the clutch out with your other foot. Not too many brothers mastered this so those of us who did drew the duty of driving sorority girls to class. Great memories and I still love those old trucks.

  19. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Do they mention if the other half of the hood comes with? Was there a piano hinge between the two pieces?

  20. lowbusman

    There is lots of room for a big block!

  21. lowbusman

    done this 20 years ago for a friend!

  22. charlie Member

    Local brewery has very good body shell mounted on modern GM chassis, drive train, etc. 4 taps on passenger side, kegs inside. Can be hired for parties, wedding receptions, etc. Can be driven anywhere in state with no issues about reliability, etc.


    That someone actually paid $3k for this amazes me.

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