Since the dawn of the automobile, businesses have used cars not only a way of transporting their goods and services, but as mobile billboards to advertise their wares. As cars and trucks grew more sophisticated and capable, so too did the methods companies used to show off their products. Flashy lettering and clever slogans were just the start, as businesses sought ways to make their fleet stand apart from the rest. Many famous companies developed distinct promotional vehicles that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, and with varying levels of functionality. Some of the more notable examples included the Diamond T Texaco “Doodlebug” tankers, the MoxieMobile (a wooden horse on a car chassis), and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. Coca-Cola was an early adopter of the promotional vehicle, and a long established tradition of smart advertising ensured the iconic brand would grace the sides of brightly colored cars and trucks from the turn of the 20th century onward. For the company’s 50th Anniversary in 1936, several of Ford’s new Model 51 flatbed trucks were specially painted in yellow and black, with a large sign proclaiming 50 years of Coke on the back of the beds. The 1936 Ford trucks were beautifully designed, with sweeping fenders and a dramatic, elegant V-shaped grille. The Coke yellow over black fenders and red accents made for a truly striking appearance on the already handsome Ford. This fabulous recreation of the 50th anniversary delivery truck starts with a correct 1936 Ford Model 51 1 ½ ton dual-wheel truck. So much more than a pure cosmetic tribute, this is a highly accurate recreation of a long-lost truck that is both extremely well executed and highly detailed with many period correct accessories. For starters, the quality of the restoration is top notch. The paint and body present extremely well in correct Coca-Cola yellow with excellent quality finishes and detailing. It is of course a work truck, so it is very basic in terms of equipment and comfort, but what trim can be found is in good order, with some of the basic brightwork showing in very good original condition. The cab is trimmed in black vinyl as per original, with just the basics to keep the driver informed and comfortable – such a pop-out windshield for ventilation and basic instrumentation. Red heavy-duty wheels with period-correct tires and red and green trim on the bed finish out the color scheme. Of course, Coca-Cola logos are prominently displayed all over the truck, adorning the doors, a large sign across the top of the bed and that beautiful 50th Anniversary Billboard across the back. All of the lettering is executed beautifully, a celebration of the art of the master sign painter. Under the hood lies a tried and true 80 horsepower flathead V8 mated to a 3-speed manual transmission. To help both acceleration and cruising speeds (especially when loaded to this truck’s 10,000 lb capacity) an Eaton 2-speed rear end effectively doubles the available ratios. The undercarriage is appropriately finished in chassis black and appears clean and tidy from front to back. Where this truck truly shines, however, is in the details. The restorer had acquired several original wooden Coca-Cola crates during the restoration process and, using the originals as a template, went on to recreate a staggering 160 wooden cases to fit on the bed of his truck, all finished properly in yellow with correct stenciling on the sides. And to top it all off, those 160 cases were filled with 3,840 glass bottles of Coke. A period correct hand-truck and the original cases add yet more detail to the already incredible display. In the past owner’s care, this delightful truck was taken to shows and events where he handed out cold Cokes to patrons and passers-by and it was most recently displayed at the National Auto and Truck Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Coca-Cola themselves have even used it as a promotional tool at several national events. This unusual and marvelous Ford truck has been impeccably restored and detailed, artfully recreating a bygone era. Large in size and scope, it will be sure to create a buzz wherever it goes.
stock number 5577
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