Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 104

1947 Divco "Mouldy J. Mildew" Delivery Truck

  • Chassis no. UM39575

Sold for $16,500


  • Ideal rolling billboard to advertise a local company or business
  • Iconic Twin Coach design, dating to the early 1930s
  • An older restoration that retains its original bakery delivery truck interior


The Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company (DIVCO) was a builder of delivery trucks from 1926 to 1986. The company owes its existence to George Bacon, the chief engineer of the Detroit Electric Vehicle Company. In 1922, Bacon designed what was thought to be a revolutionary milk delivery truck at the time; it was able to be driven from four positions—front, rear, or from either running board. Unfortunately, its battery power was no match for wintery weather, heavy loads, or long working days due to the limited range of electric power.

Bacon’s employer was not keen on making a gasoline-powered vehicle, so he and a group of investors formed Divco to produce the vehicle he designed. Following the testing of a prototype in 1924 and a further 25 more prototypes a year later with the Detroit Creamery, production began in 1926. Divco quickly became known for its patented “Stand and Drive” mechanism, which enabled the operator to drive the vehicle while standing by using steering column-mounted brake and throttle controls.

In 1937, Divco bought the Twin Coach Truck Company, a Kent, Ohio, manufacturer of trucks and buses. Under the direction of the Fageol family, vehicles were known as the Divco-Twin until the Twin Coach name was dropped in 1944. Henceforth, the company was known simply as the Divco Corporation. The Divco truck that most are familiar with is the Model U, introduced in 1937. This was an all-new design with Art Deco details. It featured an all-steel van body with snub-nosed hood that remained virtually unchanged through the end of production in 1986.

This vehicle, a Twin Coach design, comes from a large Wisconsin collection. According to a 2004 appraisal, it originally served as a commercial bakery truck in California. The interior remains intact and in largely original condition. Though an older restoration, great attention was paid to detail at the time it was completed while leaving the interior as per original. The consignor notes that mechanically, this delightful truck runs well and has been recently examined, at which time the coil was replaced. It is finished in a subtle maroon and red exterior and would serve a local business nicely as a unique moving billboard advertisement. Other than local parades, it has not been shown and with its whimsical “Mouldy J. Mildew” livery, it will no doubt attract attention and be a popular site wherever it appears.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more