Prepare to be captivated by the fascinating story of the 1959 Divco Model U, a delivery truck with a rich history. Founded by George Bacon in 1926, Divco emerged as an innovative force in the automotive industry, driven by the vision of using gasoline engines for enhanced range and reliability. Fast forward to 1959, and Divco finds itself on the brink of a merger with Studebaker, only for the deal to fall through. Today, an enticing opportunity presents itself on eBay, where a 1959 Divco is seeking a new home. Located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, this remarkable vehicle, currently lacking an engine and transmission, awaits a visionary owner willing to unleash its true potential.
Originally equipped with a Continental four- or six-cylinder engine, the Divco Model U prioritized sturdiness and maneuverability over sheer speed. Designed for start-stop conditions and boasting robust brakes, these trucks served as dependable workhorses for dairies and grocers alike. The seller of this particular Divco tantalizingly suggests its hot rod potential, an enticing avenue that has been explored by many enthusiasts. Picture a roaring 468 cu. in. Chevy engine, igniting a thrilling transformation. Of course, such a hot rod project would likely involve a new chassis, departing from the truck’s original form.
One cannot overlook the ingenious design elements introduced by George Bacon. The Divco offered multiple driving positions, allowing the driver to sit, stand, or even use a tiller from either running board. In the provided photo, one can catch a glimpse of the exterior grab handle, located by the side-view mirror. The clutch and brake were conveniently operated with a single pedal, while the “step-through” feature facilitated effortless deliveries from either side. The rear of the truck, the true business end, served as a loading zone. Various versions of the Model U existed, varying in wheelbase length and interior insulation. Remarkably, this Divco still bears the vintage “PET Fresh Dairy” signage, a testament to its bygone era.
Despite its over fifty years in storage, this Divco showcases remarkable preservation, with most of its original parts intact. Rust damage is minimal, limited to a crusty undercarriage and a few roof holes. The truck’s Art Deco-inspired nose exudes timeless elegance, epitomized by its graceful hood ornament. When it comes to value, aspiring hot rod enthusiasts should bear in mind that the ultimate cost of a mild or wild rod will outweigh the initial purchase price of the donor vehicle. With the 1959 Divco Model U as your canvas, prepare for a thrilling journey into the realm of automotive creativity, where the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination.