1968 Custom Chevy Ice Cream Truck - Waffle-Cone Cruiser
Cue up your favorite rendition of "Turkey in the Straw," because this '68 Chevy will take you back to the days of your childhood when you chased down the ice cream truck with a dollar bill waving in your hand. Your neighborhood Drumstick peddler probably didn't ride on 22s or shoot flames out of its tailpipe, but if you're like us, you wished it did.
Jason Offenbaker, owner of Offey's Custom Car and Truck Accessories in Newark, Ohio, was searching for a unique vehicle to build, one that would be sure to grab attention at shows. With several imports and trucks already through his shop, Jason found the perfect candidate in a retired Good Humor ice cream truck that was rusting in a junkyard in Cincinnati. Since the motor was gone and the body panels were seriously rusted, he had his work cut out for him, but Jason just saw it as a good excuse for custom bodywork.
While they were busy repairing decades' worth of neglect, the crew at Offey's body dropped the truck 5 inches and installed a few custom pieces to tie in with the truck's new persona. Ford headlights from a '37 and '59 Cadillac taillights have more character and are a nice match to the original grille and door handles that were restored and re-chromed for duty. On top of the truck sits a crown of melting ice cream crafted from fiberglass and foam. With ice cream on top, you've got to have a cone underneath, so the guys at Offey's sprayed their custom roll pan, ground effects, and bumper with three shades of PPG paint to get a 3-D appearance.
Underneath the custom bodywork sits a modified factory frame. The front got 2-inch drop spindles with a '72 C10 disc brake conversion as well as dropped A-arms and relocated shock mounts. The rear also got relocated shock mounts but needed 4-inch lowering blocks and a C-section to get proper clearance. To adjust the suspension, each corner got Firestone 2600 'bags. With all that hacking and welding, the Eskimo Pie chariot tucks its 22-inch Mazzi Furi wheels deep into its waffle-cone fenders.
Motivating the truck is a 1980 305ci Chevy small-block bored .030 over. To get a little extra grunt out of the engine, an Edelbrock intake and 600cfm carb replaced the factory pieces. A custom exhaust system was bent for the truck using 2-1/2-inch tubing capped with Flowmaster mufflers with 3-inch tail pipes that hide fuel-injected flamethrowers, just in case you want to toast the marshmallows in your rocky road. Backing the engine is a Turbo 350 tranny with a 2600rpm converter that helps launch the short wheelbase box. Shifting duties go to a floor shifter with a polished ice cream scoop shift knob.
The interior of the truck is mostly utilitarian, but the flamed refrigerator obviously stands out. The rest of the interior maintains a clean black and white theme. Black bedliner spray provides a durable coating for the walls; black and white vinyl upholstery wraps the single seat, along with black and white tiles that cover the floor in the rear. The exception to the black and white is the diamond-plate aluminum that covers the dash, driver's-side floorboards, pedals, and the ice cream serving area in the rear.
We couldn't tell you about the interior of the truck without mentioning the ample stereo system. While most of the system is well hidden, it's the sound that counts, and it doesn't disappoint. A Panasonic CD player and 2000 watts of Audiobahn Dub Series amps give Jason control over two 12-inch subwoofers, two 4x6s, two 6-1/2-inch mids, and four tweeters, all from Audiobahn. The truck also has an amplified speaker that plays classic ice cream truck music or a custom version that gives the subwoofers a workout.
With its custom paint and flamethrower this '68 has netted a fair share of show awards, both for its looks and its tire-shredding ability, so Jason is definitely a happy man. Keep your eyes out for this mean little ice cream truck in shows across the South and Midwest because Jason is looking to repeat his show wins.