Today’s truck is a 1953 Chevrolet 3100 and built as a tribute to a Good Humor Ice Cream Truck. It was built by owner Steve Daniels You might remember about a year ago I did an article on Steve’s Helms Bakery truck. This truck is finished in bright white with the appropriate Good Humor markings and a black interior. The 3100 is a 1/2 ton pickup truck that has been modified to an open cab. It is powered by a 112 hp, 235 cu in, in-line “stovebolt” 6 cylinder engine with a single-barrel Rochester carburetor, mated to a Borg-Warner T5 5-speed manual transmission with a 3.90:1 rear axle. Steve switch to the 5-speed to be able to drive the truck at an idle without depressing the clutch or braking to maintain a crawl speed. Slowing this sweet truck down comes from Wilwood disc brakes. The front suspension consisted of an I-beam system, and in the rear a semi-floating system using semi elliptical springs. The truck was upgraded to a 12 volt system. The freezer is a 3 plate cold plate freezer that runs off of 110 V.A.C. The truck has an inverter that converts the 12 volt system to 110 V.A.C to maintain the freezers cold if and when needed..
The original MSRP is $1407.00. The 3100 was launched in June, 1947 and ran until March, 1955. Total production for 1953 was 1,346,475 units. This is a great nostalgia piece and Steve has a lot of fun showing it and selling Ice Cream whereever he travels. Today an original Good Humor truck may be bought from $40,000 to $120,000 depending on the make, year, and condition.
The Good Humor truck is one of the best known symbols of food vending on wheels. In the early 1920s, Harry Burt, Sr., the proprietor of an ice cream parlor in Youngstown, Ohio, created a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream bar on a stick. The stick was a suggestion of his son, Harry Burt, Jr. Good Humor bars were peddled in gleaming white refrigerated trucks by driver / salesmen in white uniforms, a set of bells announced the truck’s presence. Harry Burt died in 1926 and his widow sold the business to an investor group from Cleveland which renamed the company as the Good Humor Corporation of America and started selling franchises. High gas prices and a poor economy drove Good Humor to sell its fleet of vehicles in 1976 to focus on selling in grocery stores. Some of the trucks were purchased by ice cream distributors and others were sold to individuals. They sold for $1,000 to $3,000 each. Thanks for traveling along. Frank