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Dairy Queen Panel Truck and a Mister Softee Van

Updated – It is that time of the year when the temperature heats up and people flock to ice cream shops for a cold and refreshing taste treat. Many of them choose soft serve ice cream, a product which entered the marketplace in the mid-to-late 1930s.

At that time both Carvel and Dairy Queen introduced their own recipes of soft serve ice cream which is filled with thirty to forty percent of air. The mixes also contain about thirty percent less milk fat, and are served at about twenty-five degrees, warmer than the five degrees regular ice cream is usually served at.

The lead photo and the expandable version of it below contains Al and Connie’s pre or postwar Chevrolet panel truck parked in front of their Dairy Queen store. Note the rooftop mounted loudspeaker and the likeness of “The Cone with the Curl on Top.”

The second image below, taken circa-1970 contains a modern Mister Softee Van with a line of customers waiting to be served.

Share with us what you find of interest in both photographs that are via and taken in unknowns locations. Date and describe both of the trucks if possible and the maker of the Mister Softee van body.

Update – Facebook reader Larry Nuesch has identified the Mister Softee Van as a Boyertown Body built by the Boyertown Auto Body Works in Pennsylvania. View five photos of one of these Van bodies at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles.

20 responses to “Dairy Queen Panel Truck and a Mister Softee Van

  1. The first photo is interesting to me, in that I thought Dairy Queen was a product developed in the early 50s, but not earlier? ‘Tasty Freeze’ is another chain we had in NE., and I think we still have one left in S. Omaha on 13th St.
    Sure brings back memories of a sizzling hot summer day as a kid, ordering a butterscotch-dipped ‘Dilly Bar’!

  2. In 1949, Albert Brunelle would ride around in this truck in Minnesota announcing sales over the loudspeaker. Sundaes were 15 cents, cones were 5 cents, and banana splits were 29 cents. Brunelle moved to Riverside in 1958, and three generations of his family have run local Dairy Queen restaurants.

  3. We stopped at a Dairy Queen west of Wichita Falls Tx and the owner said all Texans refer to Dairy Queen as The Texas Stop Sign.

  4. Soft Ice Cream was a revolution when it came to our small town in 1950. Nothing could beat a Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae. Dairy Queen has fallen on hard times now, but I sure would like one of those 5 Cent special Sundes today.

  5. Not to be partial, but I believe Milwaukee was known as the unofficial, self appointed “soft-serve” custard king. We had DQ’s, but their ice cream always tasted cheap, compared to the places you knew used real cream. Just a few, were Kitt’s ( still there) , A&W, Leon’s, ( long rumored to be the model for Happy Days, but was really The Milky Way drive-in), Kopp’s, Gilles and others. You could literally spend an evening cruising to all of them, and we did. Total cost including a cone and gas,, maybe a buck.

    • And the Nite Owl, still across from the airport.

      Thanks to the expansion of the Culver’s chain, millions more get to experience the great taste of frozen custard. It seems a lot like ice cream but egg yolks and I believe more milk fat make it creamier and a little sweeter than ice cream.

      • I do like the Dairy Queens though too. Especially if they still have the old signs. There are still some around here and going there is always a treat. Boy Blue was another similar chain here.

  6. Have you guys ever noticed that all the failed civilizations in history, the Aztecs, Mayans Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, that NONE of them had Dairy Queens? Coincidence? I think not.

  7. Mr. Softees were known around the New York area,maybe that photo is out in Queens because there appears to be a house in the background.
    And you had your choice of either vanilla or chocolate-WOW!
    Meanwhile,out on Long Island,you had Good Humor with about 25 different flavors…
    The ‘burbs offered more choices than the supposedly sophisticated city

  8. No comments about the truck? It appears as a ’46 Chevy, though it could be earlier or slightly later. I believe they made this style into very early ’47. This is a 1/2 ton with a 115″ wheelbase. Mine, a ’46, was a one-ton with a 134 1/2″ wheelbase and it came with various leftover military parts they used from stock when production started again. Can’t see if it had the indented rear bumper, but I’d be it did. Hard to come by today. Also note, there is no lock on the passenger door. Generally, they only had a lock on one side, the drivers side. I didn’t much like sitting on that gas tank under the seat, so I moved a new one between the frame rails and behind the axle.

    • Yes, this a 1941 -1946 AK style, made up until May of 47 when the AD design started, there are a few distinctive clues if it’s a 41, the main one being a trim ring around the rear cab window that had bolts going thru it holding the window to the cab, that was a 1941 only feature, also two part marking light housings on top of headlights , 41 had a cast base with a stamped steel top, 42-46 up to may of 47 had one piece stamped housing covers and a rubber seal around the rear window.

      • Being a panel truck the trim around the cab feature would not be relevant, but the marker light covers could still provide a clue

  9. A friend of my folks opened a Dairy King franchise in Denver in the 1950’s. Don’t know anything about Dairy King, does anyone?

  10. Occasionally on hot summer evenings my buddy Chuck’s dad would announce “Who wants to go to the Whippy-Dip?” And off we’d go in his enormous two-tone ‘55 Olds 98 convertible, arms sprawled out across the back seat revelling in the cool breeze all the way.

  11. Travelling across the Continent on Highways: 30, 40 , 50, – & 66 , in 1956 the “Standard” for (Safe) Fast Food — was: The A& W Root – beer Stands, as many families that had to travel — depended upon them for family food. (I’m sure that everyone had their favorites, too, but it worked for many folks !. Edwin W.

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