What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Vintage Milk Delivery Truck Update

$_2qqas0 $_20lloa-1 $_2''p0-2 $_2qq0980-3 $_20qqoknf-4 $_20okg0-5Early Canadian Bottle WorksCurrently for sale on Kijiji, Toronto. No engine though.

This post is from a couple of years ago. Recently the owner of the truck got in touch with me and was kind enough to supply his story as well as photos of his restoration/preservation work.

Mark G. writes:

Hi Greg,

Here is the story of the milk truck.
I bought it last summer from a guy in Wasaga Beach. He bought it from somebody else who removed the original drive-train, interior and a lot of other parts, so by the time I got the truck a good portion of it was missing.
I am an architect by trade (Hence the appreciation for your website and it’s historic and architectural content) but foremost I’m a custom motorcycle and hot-rod builder. I was looking for a truck for hauling motorcycles and parts but I wanted something totally different than what everyone else was using, so when I came across this milk truck I fell in love with it right away. The guy whom I bought it from was planning of painting his company logo on it so I was glad I was able to buy this truck before the original patina was going to be painted over and destroyed.
I brought the milk truck home and restored the original paint by hand in the exact way it was painted by the original sign maker. His hand signature still visible and legible saying “Signs by Maquis”.
After restoring the signs, finding a grille, head lights and other missing parts I ran into space and storage issues with this truck so, with a heavy heart, I decided to put the truck up for sale. The truck was too tall to fit into my shop and I knew I was going to be too busy for the next year or so to take on such a massive project on top of several existing projects already waiting to be finished.
The pictures of my truck you posted on your website were from my Kijiji ad from that time.

CIMG1155 CIMG1162 CIMG9912 Milk Truck 1 Milk Truck 8CIMG0033 CIMG0037 CIMG0038 CIMG0058 CIMG0076 CIMG0084 CIMG0087 CIMG0123

Several interested individuals responded to my ad. To my dismay most of them were interested in using the truck as a form of advertisement for their companies and their choices of restoration techniques were going to be very destructive to the historic value of the truck so this became very concerning to me. I guess I changed my mind about selling the truck when a couple of representatives of the Steamwhistle Brewing Company came to my house and expressed interest in buying the truck and turning it into one of their promotional vehicles, which they would add to their impressive collection of rare vintage trucks. I have no problem with the way Steamwhistle Brewing Company restores their vehicles. In fact, I love their fleet of old trucks but I did not want to be responsible for sentencing MY milk truck to be irreversibly altered and stripped of it’s historical importance by selling it to them.
After that experience I realized that the sale of my truck was turning more into something more of an adoption process than a sale. I was starting to loose hope for finding a responsible buyer who would respect the trucks past and local historic importance, so I decided not to sell it.
The last call I got about the truck before I pulled my ad was from a man who lives in Meaford, Ontario. He called me, and with a very apologetic voice, told me that he was not interested in buying the truck but rather just to tell me that he remembers this very milk truck delivering milk to his door step as a child, and him watching the milk man driving this truck doing so every day. He said that he totally forgot about the milk truck over the years but when he saw it for sale on Kijiji he experienced an overwhelming flood of memories from his childhood so he felt compelled to call me and tell me about it. I had no idea who this man was but his story was very touching and further confirmed my decision to restore the truck myself. Restore it the way it should be restored and perhaps preserved for future generations to enjoy.
I don’t want to get too romantic about this story but I did this restoration for my own satisfaction but also partially for that guy. Whoever he is.

CIMG0101 CIMG0137 CIMG0139 CIMG0274 CIMG0277 CIMG0389 CIMG0422 CIMG0430 CIMG0433

After deciding not to sell the truck I put a couple of my motorcycle project on hold, I rented space in a shop big enough to house the truck and I spent the next ten months locating period correct parts and building the frame and drive-train for this truck, sparing no expense or effort.
The truck is still not totally finished but I do drive it already. Mostly to car shows and cruise nights. When it’s all finished it will probably haul my motorcycles to the Bike Week in Daytona Beach next spring and double as a camper so I have somewhere to sleep while travelling around.
I hope you got the pictures I sent you of the restoration process. I have many more pictures if you’re interested. Feel free to post them on your website as well as my story if you wish.
I find your website very interesting. I spent hours browsing through the historic pictures and I’m looking forward to seeing more. By now I’m sure you can tell that I’m pretty fascinated by history, and especially local history.
Thanks for your interest in my truck and my story.
CIMG0392 CIMG0411 CIMG0439 CIMG0447 CIMG0448 CIMG0449 CIMG0452 CIMG0454 CIMG0505 CIMG0507 CIMG0581
A similar van has been spotted in the east end by Max M.
van2 unnamed van
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17 responses

  1. Wow, that is one beautiful delivery truck. I hope it’s still working 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    November 3, 2014 at 8:04 pm

  2. Frick Frack

    Hello What is the make and model of the truck? I’m a collector of old automotive images.

    cheers.

    Speedbird

    November 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

  3. I believe it’s a GMC shortbox Grauman. Not sure of the year.

    November 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

  4. gary ward

    hello there my friend is married to one of the children of the late owner they are very interested in purchasing this van

    September 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    • Mark

      This milk truck has gone through an extensive, year long, frame off restoration/preservation process since this ad was posted. The truck received a new frame, new engine, new transmission, suspension, brakes, wheels, etc… But not to worry, all parts used in the restoration of this little milk truck are period correct and a great deal of effort was spent to preserve the look and the history of this truck. The body and interior remain unchanged and still look very much as you see it in the pictures.
      Retaining the original look and history of this truck was the main focus of this restoration/preservation process.
      If you would like any more information about this truck please feel free to contact me.

      October 10, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      • I will. You should start your own blog and document the process.

        October 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  5. my friend is married to one of the later owners daughters and the family is looking at purchasing it

    September 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    • This is from an ad posted on Kijiji Nov. 2014. I don’t think it’s available any longer.

      September 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm

  6. Mark

    This milk truck has gone through an extensive, year long, frame off restoration/preservation process since this ad was posted. The truck received a new frame, new engine, new transmission, suspension, brakes, wheels, etc… But not to worry, all parts used in the restoration of this little milk truck are period correct and a great deal of effort was spent to preserve the look and the history of this truck. The body and interior remain unchanged and still look very much as you see it in the pictures.
    Retaining the original look and history of this truck was the main focus of this restoration/preservation process.
    If you would like any more information about this truck please feel free to contact me.

    October 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm

  7. yes i would like more info also my friend would like to know more

    October 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

    • Mark

      Here is the story of the milk truck, while in my possession.

      I bought this truck last summer from a man in Wasaga Beach. He bought it from somebody else who removed the original drive-train, interior and a lot of other parts, so by the time I got the truck a good portion of it was missing.

      I am an architect by trade (hence the appreciation for this website and its historic and architectural content) but foremost I’m a custom motorcycle and hot-rod builder. I was looking for a truck for hauling motorcycles and parts but I wanted something totally different than what everyone else was using, so when I came across this milk truck I fell in love with it right away. The guy whom I bought it from was planning on painting his company logo on it so I was glad I was able to buy this truck before the original patina was painted over and lost forever.

      I brought the milk truck home and restored the original paint by hand in the exact way it was painted by the original sign maker. His hand signature is still visible and legible reading “Signs by Maquis”.

      After restoring the signs, finding wheels, a bumper, grille, head lights and other missing parts I ran into space and storage issues with this truck so, with a heavy heart, I decided to put the truck up for sale. The truck was too tall to fit into my shop and I knew I was going to be too busy for the next year or so to take on such a massive project on top of several existing projects already waiting to be finished.

      The pictures of my truck originally posted on this website were from my Kijiji ad from that time.

      Several interested individuals responded to my ad. To my dismay most of them were interested in using the truck as a form of advertisement for their companies and their choices of restoration techniques were going to be very destructive to the historic value of the truck. This became very concerning to me. I guess I changed my mind about selling the truck when a couple of representatives of the Steamwhistle Brewing Company came to my house and expressed interest in buying the truck and turning it into one of their promotional vehicles. They wanted to restore it, paint it and add this truck to their impressive collection of rare vintage trucks representing their brewery. I have no issue with the way Steamwhistle Brewing Company restores their vehicles. In fact, I love their fleet of old trucks but I did not want to be responsible for sentencing MY milk truck to be irreversibly altered and stripped of its historical importance by selling it to them.

      After that experience I realized that the sale of my truck was turning into something more of an adoption process than a sale. I was starting to lose hope of finding a responsible buyer who would respect the truck’s past and local historic importance, so I decided not to sell it and restore it myself.

      The last call I got about the truck before I pulled my ad was from a man who lives in Meaford, Ontario. He called me, and with a very apologetic voice, told me that he was not interested in buying the truck but rather wanted to tell me that he remembers this very milk truck delivering milk to his door step as a child. He watched the milk man driving this truck, delivering milk around Meaford throughout his childhood. He said that he totally forgot about the milk truck over the years but when he saw it for sale on Kijiji he experienced an overwhelming flood of memories from his childhood, so much so that he felt compelled to call and tell me about it. I had no idea who this man was but his story was very touching and further confirmed my decision to restore the truck myself – restore it the way it should be restored and perhaps preserved for future generations to enjoy. Without getting too romantic about this story, I did the restoration for my own satisfaction and also partially for that guy, whoever he is.

      After deciding not to sell the truck I put a couple of my motorcycle project on hold, rented space in a shop big enough to house the truck and spent the next ten months locating period correct parts and building the frame and drive-train for the truck, sparing no expense or effort.

      The truck is still not completely finished but I do drive it already, mostly to car shows and cruise nights. When it’s all finished it will probably haul my motorcycles to the Bike Week in Daytona Beach next spring and double as a camper so I have somewhere to sleep while travelling around.

      I have many more photographs documenting the restoration/preservation process.

      Thanks for your interest in my truck and my story.

      Mark

      October 11, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      • Joe

        Loved reading your story. I was born in Meaford and my father drove a Hill’s Dairy truck for a year or two in the early 60’s. My brother and i would be ake turns going with him on Saturday mornings. I don’t know if they had more than one truck or not. Brought back some memoties.
        Thanks
        Joe

        December 3, 2015 at 8:26 pm

  8. Gary

    Great Story. If you ever change your mind on selling the truck/van, please consider contacting me. I do not wish to molest the van but restore it to a reliable daily driver and use as a service/delivery vehicle for my business (not dairy.)

    October 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  9. Jane Martindale

    I was walking along Lakeshore Rd in Port Credit recently and your milk truck passed by. I admired it as I love old things with character, whatever they might be. It pulled over and was parked on the street. You had opened the back doors to show its magnificent red interior. I had already taken several pictures of the outside of the truck as I always have my camera. You were kind enough to let me take a picture of the interior, and then to let me sit inside & take my picture in it. I’ll send it to you if you’d like. regards, Jane

    November 18, 2015 at 8:47 am

  10. Patti

    I was born in rural Meaford and and lived on a farm until I was 8 yrs old. When my dad died we moved into Meaford and I remember the Hill’s Dairy Milk truck delivering milk to my house in the bottles with the cardboard pull tab top. We had always got our milk off the farmer we rented from in the country so having it delivered in milk bottles was so cool as a kid! Also as kid I played minor softball in Meaford (early 70’s) and I was on the girl’s Hill’s Dairy team and we won that season 🙂 Reading your story here and seeing that Hill’s Dairy Truck brought back memories 🙂 Thanks for the memory 🙂

    July 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    • Mark

      You are welcome, and thanks for sharing your story.
      It’s stories and memories like yours that make it worth while preserving vehicles like this truck.

      Mark

      December 10, 2016 at 10:37 pm

  11. Simon

    Hi Mark/Greg,

    My wife’s family are part of the original Hill’s dairy in Meaford. I’d love to get in touch with you about the truck and Dairy.

    Thanks!

    July 6, 2017 at 9:18 am

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