The Truth About Cars » Delivery Van http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:58:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Delivery Van http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1974 AM General FJ-8A Ice Cream Truck http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-am-general-fj-8a-ice-cream-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-am-general-fj-8a-ice-cream-truck/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=706234 We see quite a few AM General DJ-5 mail Jeeps in this series, but what about all the big FJ-series mail trucks built by AMC with help from its Overland-Willys-Kaiser ancestry? For that, I had to venture to Southern California. Most of those 1970s FJ-8s seem to have become more or less sketchy ice cream […]

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21 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWe see quite a few AM General DJ-5 mail Jeeps in this series, but what about all the big FJ-series mail trucks built by AMC with help from its Overland-Willys-Kaiser ancestry? For that, I had to venture to Southern California. Most of those 1970s FJ-8s seem to have become more or less sketchy ice cream trucks, and it’s hard to find a creepier Junkyard Find than a dead ice cream truck.
BoogieManIceCream-1280px-4The ice cream trucks that aren’t in the junkyard yet can also be pretty scary. Here’s the “Boogie Man Ice Cream” truck, which I spotted on San Leandro Street in East Oakland a few years back. For the full effect, you’ll need to download some authentic ice cream truck music files.
18 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to beat this seat for simplicity.
05 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinJust a big steel box with an engine, a seat… and ptomaine.
14 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI’m sure this truck distributed many a stale Choco Taco in its day.
11 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe newest Long Beach food-vendor license seems to be 2005.
02 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAm I looking at this wrong, or is this AMC six installed backwards?

01 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Urban Electric Delivery Van Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-urban-electric-delivery-van-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-urban-electric-delivery-van-edition/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 15:15:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=403860 Would you be a little bit surprised if the man behind this tiny, funky little electric van was the man who styled the VW Passat CC and first-generation Mercedes SLK? Well, Murat Günak has been heavily into the electric car game since leaving Volkswagen, having designed one of my favorite EVs, the fresh-and-freaky Mindset. But […]

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Would you be a little bit surprised if the man behind this tiny, funky little electric van was the man who styled the VW Passat CC and first-generation Mercedes SLK? Well, Murat Günak has been heavily into the electric car game since leaving Volkswagen, having designed one of my favorite EVs, the fresh-and-freaky Mindset. But even though the Mia and the Mindset seem a little more in the same vein, Günak has actually moved well past the Mindset’s super-high-end positioning, as this Mia is set to sell for the lowest price of any EV in the EU, starting at €19,500 ($28k). For comparison, Mitsubishi’s iMiEV (the cheapest EV in the US market) sells for €34,390, or nearly $50k… although its European price is set to drop to closer to €15k when production ramps up.

But the Mia isn’t just (relatively) inexpensive… it’s downright cool. Built by the French firm Heuliez in either 9.4 or 10.5 foot lengths (the latter with 53 cubic feet of cargo space), it comes with a McLaren F1-style central driver’s seat and doors designed to operate in tight urban conditions. With a range of only 60 miles and a top speed of only slightly more than 60 MPH, it’s strictly an urban runabout, but as a small business delivery vehicle it seems to hit a lot of the right buttons… especially the three-hour charging time (an 80-mile-range battery is optional but takes five hours to charge). Production hits 10,000 units next year, when sales to private customers begin. [via Autobild]

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Doomed Value Van Triggers Bad 80s Roadie Flashbacks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/doomed-value-van-triggers-bad-80s-roadie-flashbacks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/doomed-value-van-triggers-bad-80s-roadie-flashbacks/#comments Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=381944 Some of you may be more familiar with this friend of the catering and drinking-water industries in its Chevrolet Step-Van guise, but I’ve always preferred GMC’s name: Value Van! I ran across this fairly complete example in my local self-service wrecking yard, quite close to the Simu-Wood™ LeBaron Town & Country wagon. Me and the […]

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Some of you may be more familiar with this friend of the catering and drinking-water industries in its Chevrolet Step-Van guise, but I’ve always preferred GMC’s name: Value Van! I ran across this fairly complete example in my local self-service wrecking yard, quite close to the Simu-Wood™ LeBaron Town & Country wagon. Me and the Value Van, we have a history!

Back in 1985 or so, I had some old friends who played in an extremely terrible, wish-they-were-Metallica band in Northern California (I’ll call them “Suck-tallica,” to spare the surviving members— a couple of whom are now in good bands— from embarrassment), and they purchased an ex-San-Francisco-bakery GMC Value Van for use as their gig rig. Unlike the small-block-powered, slushbox-equipped one here, the Suck-tallica Value Van boasted a 396, floor-shifted 4-speed, and Cherry Bomb mufflers. Within minutes of its purchase, the hirsute, alcoholic, stolen-Camaro-drivin’ members of Suck-tallica installed a dozen or so thrift-store house speakers, mounted them all over the interior, and drove them with an alleged 2,000 watts of swap-meet no-name-brand amplifiers, so that their godawful April Wine and Dark Angel cassettes would be audible over the roar from the glasspacks.

I admit being something of a Dark Angel fan myself, back in the day, but I still had misgivings about helping Suck-tallica with their gigs during my visits up from SoCal. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the band was usually short at least one member due to arrest (possession of meth and drunk driving were the most popular offenses), or just the extremely sketchy— and, often, heavily-armed— hangers-on in their inner circle. Still, friends are friends! What could go wrong?

One gig, at a shank-tastic speed bar in lovely Hayward, sticks in my mind. The Value Van’s throttle cable snapped immediately after firing up the van, and the lead guitar player had the brilliant idea of removing the engine cover so the driver could reach over and work the carburetor by hand. Of course, that meant he had no hands free for shifting, so the drummer sat in the passenger seat and worked the shifter. By that point, they’d all been bonging up many ounces of brown, seedy Mexican weed and knocking back many Mickey’s Big Mouths, so their ingenuity seemed like a great idea. I disagreed, but what does a 19-year-old college boy know about rock-n-roll?

So, the truck somehow made it from band HQ in West Oakland to the Nimitz Freeway (in fact, the section of the Nimitz that became very famous five years later), albeit with several hair-raising stalls on the freeway onramp and a backfire problem that kept roasting the “driver’s” right hand… which would make him scream “FUUUUCK!” and remove his hand from the throttle, at which point the van would engine-brake so bad that all the fifteenth-hand Marshall Stacks would slide forward and mash the remaining occupants against the seat backs. Still, forward progress was being made… until the bass player decided to open the rear cargo doors and relieve his bladder of some Mickey’s residual buildup.

Well, that wasn’t the wisest move, since one of the Value Van’s many throttle/shifter/alcohol-impaired lurches sent the bass player tumbling right out the door and onto the Nimitz Freeway at 70 MPH. He managed to slow his fall by grabbing onto the door edge for long enough to spin himself around, allowing the rhythm guitar player lunge over and grab a handful of the front of his leather jacket as he fell out the door backwards, but the bass player scaled in at a good 250 pounds and his savior might have had 110 pounds between all his monkey-bump-depleted gristle and stringy guitar-twangin’ forearm muscle. The choice of leather for jacket material turned out to be a prescient one for the bass player, because the jacket’s leather was scraping on the asphalt and keeping his back from being ground into hamburger in the first few seconds. I rushed over and grabbed the bass player’s feet, to keep him from leaving the van completely, while the rhythm guitarist did his best to haul him back into the van. We’d manage to get him a foot or so off the pavement rushing by, but the driver thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever seen (guess you had to be there) and he twisted the throttle to WFO and started swerving the van so much that all we could do was give the bass player brief respites from the asphalt belt sander below him.

“HEEELLLPP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” screamed the bass player as we tried to haul him him before the driver figured out that he could scrape the poor bastard off on any conveniently located guardrail. A legendary rock-n-roll death (though not quite up the standard set a decade later by Eldon Hoke) to be sure, but one that we really didn’t want to witness. Finally, I was able to brace myself enough to drag him to safety by the feet. The van reached the gig, Suck-tallica sucked as much as expected, and I decided to put a bit of distance between myself and the band’s Value Van.
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