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Lot 324: Divco COE Truck with Sleeper Custom

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

This one-of-a-kind truck combines the streamlined appearance of a 1940s art-deco COE (Cab-Over-Engine) semi-tractor with the over-the-road comforts, performance and towing capability of a modern vehicle. The frontal appearance pays tribute to the famed snub-nosed Divco milk truck, a classic commercial design produced for many decades after its 1937 introduction. A steel body shell was hand-fabricated for the truck, with the hood and front and rear fenders coming from an original Divco. The balance of the cab, including the doors, sleeper, front lamp panel, rear body and rear skirts, were custom crafted. A shortened Ford Econoline one-ton cube-van chassis was modified and strengthened as necessary to accept the new bodywork. The rear axle is equipped with dual rear wheels and an air-ride suspension. Towing provisions include a fifth-wheel plate that is concealed by a custom removable cover when not in use. The cover is styled to flow with the rear body panels and displays an authentic Divco emblem. The design of the steps and the triple LED tail lamps also accent the flowing lines of the rear deck area. The unusual exterior finish began with multiple coats of black, white and green epoxy primer, rubbed through to create the appearance of weathered surfaces. Traces of faux surface rust were added before the matte clear top coat went on. The sculpted canine hood ornament (which can perform a special trick) and solid-metal cab handrails are made of copper. Inside, the full-custom cabin and sleeper are paneled in genuine maple wood. The power air-ride driver's seat and customized passenger seat were professionally trimmed, and the headrests are embossed with DIVCO lettering. The steel dash and aluminum instrument panel were handcrafted. All power switches and controls for the Vintage Air heat and air conditioning are built into the dash. A completely rebuilt Chevrolet 350cid V8, equipped with a Weiand supercharger and dual-feed carburetor and aluminum cylinder heads by Edelbrock, powers the Divco. Dual fuel tanks are equipped with electric pumps. The rebuilt GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission is equipped with a Gear Vendors overdrive unit. The single-piece hood tilts forward electrically, and the custom-made grille shutters are also electrically operatedin the same manner as seen on new trucks. A new custom-built radiator enhances engine cooling. A truly unique creation, the Divco COE has covered just 5,281 miles since its completion by the vendor in 2007 at a cost of over $250,000, with receipts. It is ready to provide much pleasure to a new owner appreciative of its artful presentation, quality workmanship and numerous special features. The vehicle is registered as a 1944 Divco COE and is accompanied by ownership documents issued by the Province of Ontario, Canada.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCommercial
Lot Number324
Estimate$40000-$60000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1944
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberCOE00044
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors