Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord K's Garage - #29. Divco Milk Trucks

The Divco truck was built by the Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company and its successors. These trucks became a part of the American way of life.

1941 Divco Milk Trucks ad (via ptatransitauthority.blogspot.com)

Chances are your milkman drove a Divco truck. So did most other delivery services. The Divco was manufactured form 1926, until 1986. The Divco truck was a multi-stop delivery trucks unlike any others. The only vehicle that stayed in production with the same basic model for a longer period of time was the Volkswagen Beetle. Today many people consider Divco as the icon for the multi-stop delivery era.

In 1922, George Bacon, Chief Engineer for the Detroit Electric Vehicle Company designed a remarkable new electric driven milk delivery truck. It could be driven from four positions, front, rear, or either running board. However as we know electric trucks were no match for a gasoline powered truck. This was the main reason the George Bacon and others formed the Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company (D.I.V.CO.) to produce his invention using a LeRoi gasoline engine.

1941 Divco-Twin Delivery Truck

1941 Divco-Twin Delivery Truck by aldenjewell @ Flickr

In 1937 the Divco was completely redesigned with a welded all-steel van body and a snub-nosed hood which was used with virtually no change up to the end of production.

0486 1948 Divco Milk Truck and Mini

1948 Divco Milk Truck and Mini by bsabarnowl @ Flickr

1949 Divco Delivery Truck Model UM-8

1949 Divco models (UM-8, UM-8E, ULM-6)

1949 Divco Delivery Truck Model UM-8E

1949 Divco Delivery Truck Model ULM-6

Similar appearance in the Fifties:

1954 Divco delivery truck

Photo by sjb4photos @ Flickr

And in the Sixties, the song remained the same:

1962 Divco Delivery Truck

Photo by sjb4photos @ Flickr

1965 Divco Crystal Milk Truck 1

1965 Divco Crystal Milk Truck by Jack_Snell @ Flickr

  • Divco Twin

Twin Coach Motor Company manufactured buses and trucks. The Twin Coach truck was manufactured in the Ohio area but most of the trucks were sold to customers in California. One of the biggest customers of Twin Coach was Helms Bakery.


They used these trucks until 1965 when they stopped delivering bread.

Photo by dmentd @ Flickr

1934 Divco Helms Bakery Truck 1

Photo by Jack_Snell @ Flickr

In 1937 Divco Truck bought the Twin Coach Truck Company. Divco called their version of the model Twin Coach used, Divco Twin.

Divco-Twin Truck

1941 Divco-Twin ad via paul.malon @ Flickr

Text: old cars and trucks pictures, jcristmuseum

Special thanks to aldenjewell @ Flickr for the 1949 Divco Brochure. Headline pictures via PTA Transit Authority

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Comment by Joseph C. Moore on March 21, 2010 at 10:35am
There are metros around, and not in that bad of shape, The issue with me is the gas Mileage. Its original engine wasn't bad a Four banger. got maybe 10-15 MPG in the city. And even if you put a metro body down on lets say an S-10 chassis, the mileage still wouldn't be great.
I'm shopping right now, there are allot of models out there, element, xB, Cube, Soal. Which all get a mixed mileage of about 30.
I use a Saturn Vue now, with a hydrogen booster, it works well but with what has happened to Saturn, Parts have already become an issue.

Comment by Neil Crompton on March 21, 2010 at 7:16am
Them Harvester Metro's look very nice as well. Although I would wager there as rare as rocking hoarse teeth. Especially to find one for a reasonable price.
Comment by Joseph C. Moore on March 20, 2010 at 5:54pm
Lets not forget the Internatioal Harvester Metro, I would love to own one of these. I own a small vending company and would love to have one for my route.
Comment by lord_k on March 20, 2010 at 5:19am
Good luck with your project, Neil, it sounds great.
Comment by Neil Crompton on March 20, 2010 at 5:13am
Absolutely love Divco trucks And many thanks for sharing these superb examples. We are in the process of hunting an old Divco for my wife's mobile baking business. There's a couple in a sorry state of repair at www.goldenrod-garage.com. We wont be doing a strait restoration job, but rather mounting the cab over modern running gear. As it would have to deal with modern motering conditions on a daily basis.
Comment by IRON CROSS on March 19, 2010 at 8:18pm
very nice class and elegancy even for a comerical vehicle in australia we have and had nothing like this this type of vehicle could make a comeback in this age of high fuel prices and envromental needs
Comment by Larry on March 19, 2010 at 8:09pm
The fact that it had such staying power shows the genius of its design.
Comment by lord_k on March 19, 2010 at 6:23pm
I'm next in line for the Dick Tracy Special Edition, count me in.
Comment by Sparky Gage on March 19, 2010 at 5:16pm
I think we are getting to the point of too many early designs to copy. Ford, Chrysler and Government Motors are having a hard enough time copying there own past successes. I think it's going to take a small company with some ambition to attempt to retro something like this.

Ok, so who wants a Dick Tracy version that is a mobile communications center? Complete with a dish or beam antenna that rises up out of a hatch in the top! Or is that just me?
Comment by lord_k on March 19, 2010 at 1:41pm
In our postmodernist era this lovely car is begging to be copied. But nobody's willing to do it. Very strange.

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