Words & Photos: Carlos Santiago
It’s hard to capture my attention, especially when it comes to lowriders. I’m by no means a car snob, but I tend to look for unique and sometimes strange builds. While everyone else is looking at the latest and greatest builds, I’m looking for cars that connect with my curiosity. I’m more interested in the backstory of the build than the amount of money spent or the laundry list of Grade-A talent they hired. Then again, that’s probably why they hired me for this job. So when the random oddity appears, I can’t help but trip the f*ck out, and that’s exactly what happened when I stumbled across this open cab, 1954 3100 Ice Cream Truck.
It’s not every day you see a vintage ice cream truck, let alone one that’s been laid flat on the floor with wire wheels, and to be honest, I didn’t even see the truck. I heard it. Off in the distance, I heard Rock and Roll Gangster by Aalon. It’s a song I hold close to my heart, so as my ears followed the scream of speakers pushing way past its comfort zone, I spotted a small crowd gathered around something I had never seen before, and there it was—a vintage ice cream truck. This alone made my trip to the No Man’s Land Cruise Nite worth it.
Bizzare? Yes. Unique? Most definitely. After snapping a few pics, I ran into the owner, whose name was Joe. He was quick to strike up a conversation and mentioned only 1,000 of these trucks were ever made. As he shared with me the details of the truck, he began scrolling through pics on his phone and said, “I was at the right place at the right time and found it tucked away up in the mountains some 20 miles away from Reno. It was a complete project that needed plenty of love.”
Since acquiring the truck in July of last year, Joe has not only restored this piece of automotive history but given it his own personal touches. It’s one of the most unique lowriders I’ve seen in a while and it made this trip worthwhile.
As a member of Viejitos Car Club – Orange County, Joe was happy to share his story but even cooler was the fact that he seemed to be getting a kick out of all the attention it got. As people swarmed him with questions I never did get a chance to ask him what he called his truck, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he called it the “Icebox” because everyone seemed to be stopping by to chill and take pics. Then again, it could have also been the fact that the icebox was filled with plenty off ice cold ones.