When Nick Cryer of Manhattan, Illinois and his Dad Mark and Uncle Bill decided to embark on a new project with the most unlikely of vehicles, they had no idea how big the project would become.
Together, they turned an old Divco milk truck into a daily driver that can top 114mph. The family act had previous experience with customizing rides and had a vision of speed for this old dairy delivery truck. Although built for speed, this truck is still tasteful and although the outside looks original, the engine is anything but standard.
“Everybody loves it. The older generation loves it cos they’ve seen the milk truck driving around and delivering milk. To see it in hot rod form, it makes a lot of people happy.”
~ Nick Cryer
The project started with a 5×7-inch post on a cork board at a swap meet. They retrieved and built what has become a wheelie-popping 10-second delivery van running in the Street Machine Eliminator class and is simply known as the Milk Truck.
Nick and Mark pulled the body off the frame and discarded most of the stock equipment. Starting at the front of the van, they grafted a complete 1995 Chevy 1500 pickup truck front clip to a custom built 2×3 steel box tube frame with ladder bar rear suspension.
Being his first turbo project, Nick bought an turbo kit on eBay for a big-block Chevy and plumbed it to a marine-based Chevy 496 big-block stroker. With a pair of Edelbrock RPM heads and a Holley Super Sniper intake, the mill made 815 hp at the flywheel on 1 bar of boost. That’s quite a departure from the original 107 hp this truck started life with.
Behind the big-block is a TH400 3-speed automatic transmission that has been outfitted with a Gear Vendors Under/Overdrive that spins a Ford 9-inch rear-end with a 3.73:1 gears.
The wheels are Billet Specialties 15×8 in front with Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires and 15×12 in the rear with the rears wrapped in 26×7.50-15 Mickey Thompson ET drag radials.
The delivery van hooks up and wheelies well, but without a roll bar or other required safety equipment, it is limited to 11.50s or slower. Fully outfitted with race gear, the guys estimate the van to be a low-10-second combo.
The truck weighs in at 4,500 pounds and took 2,000 hours to build over the course of four years.
What’s Inside The ’63 Divco Milk Truck?
The interior is adorned with floors crafted with home remodel remnants that Nick had on-hand — beautiful tongue-and-groove acacia hardwood of the finest quality while the walls are lined with Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, or FRP board.
The seats were scavenged from a Dodge Caravan and the steering column is a Speedway Motors street rod kit. The dash tells the ongoing story via AutoMeter white face gauges and a Holley Sniper screen. Gears are shifted with a B&M shifter, and the truck is steered with Grant steering wheel.