Ice Cream Trucks

Perhaps my childhood delusion has finally worn off after 26 years, but is it me or are ice cream trucks creepy as hell nowadays?

Hear me out, when I was a kid, most ice cream trucks looked a little somethin’ like this. All the fancy kids shows (usually showing the 50s or 60s) would show super fancy ice cream trucks like this or even ones that were EXTRA fancy and sold soft serve (unheard of here). Now, I watch the ice cream trucks go up and down the road outside and they seriously all are completely run down and filthy vans like this (or worse). Any day now, I’m expecting this to roll down the road.

Anyway, what are the ice cream trucks like where you live? And where do you live? A pedophile-esque ice cream vans purely a central California phenomena?

An ice cream truck would drive around the neighborhood where we lived from 1983-1988; the neighborhood I moved to in 2010 is the first time I’ve seen one again. I think it’s pretty much the same; I don’t remember the truck from the 80s being very spectacular, either.

The one that visits my current neighborhood plays “Turkey In The Straw” off-key and I have never, ever seen it stop to sell ice cream to anybody.

I assume it sells pot, too.

There was only one ice cream truck that made the rounds in my small town growing up. (I believe the man who ran it died when I was in high school or thereabouts, so my younger brother and his friends have no real idea of what it’s like to hear the ice cream truck a few blocks away and running into the house to beg for money to get a fudgsicle.) It was a real ice cream truck, though, painted white with colorful designs all over it. It was definitely not a retro-fitted van.

That’s mostly what they look like around here, too. Though the ice cream truck that goes through our neighborhood is my nemesis. Or at least said truck’s driver is.

You see, every day during summer for the last six years (we’ve lived here 7 years), the ice cream truck has rolled through our neighborhood playing that godawful creepy music. Right around naptime. Just as my son would start to drop off, that damn music would start up and he’d want to get ice cream.

Fine, says I. We’ll get some. But every time the ice cream truck drives by, he goes at breakneck speeds, stopping for nothing and no one. We’ve tried about 6 or 7 times to get ice cream and succeeded once. Bastard. (Not the OP, the ice cream truck driver.)

The ones we have definitely look like ‘Ice Cream Trucks’.

My biggest complaint is that they seem to race down our street at about 20 miles an hour. I’m not so much afraid that they’re going to hit someone, as I am dismayed that by the time you hear one coming, grab some change, and head for the curb, it’s already half a block past the house…

The ones I’m seeing are pretty normal. Not as nice as the second link, but usually more like the first one, but in white. That third link is seriously skeevy…

The one back in my day was a three-wheel Cushman truckster driven by a short guy known as “The Frigid Midget”.

My theory is that there hasn’t been a new ice cream truck built since the 1950’s. Much like American cars in Cuba, they’re all decaying and the owners have to resort to ever more imaginative ways just to keep them on the road.

In the same vein, much like an old car, the trucks keep getting sold to new owners who are a little further down on the socioeconomic scale. The current crop of ice cream truck owner operators is pretty much the same group as carnival workers.

Heh. I’ve got a ice cream truck that comes through my neighborhood that drives way to quickly to ever buy anything. I am absolutely convinced that he’s a drug dealer. And how can you pay for gas selling $1 popsicles?

Here’s one of my favorite threads: dalovindj snaps: Ice Cream Man Dead - The BBQ Pit - Straight Dope Message Board

Doesn’t really answer your question though. The trucks here in Dallas do look like they’re harboring pedophiles. But, I love the little hand-push carts with various Mexican frozen confections. Do they have those where you’re from in CA?

Oh yes, and they are splendid-- the paletero man :). Those guys are harmless, mostly because it’d be pretty difficult to molest a kid in that tiny freezer and or shopping cart.

The OP nails it. I’ve noticed the slow degeneration of the Ice Cream Professional Standards as well.

We don’t get any where I live now, but they sure got my attention in Vegas. Sleazy, dirty Chevy vans with poor signage and other questionable elements.

Wouldn’t have bothered me as much if they used Fords.

The ice cream trucks where I live now look all nice and shiny and professional. I’d never seen an actual proper ice cream truck back in the US, but every single park I’ve ever been to in the UK seems to breed them like rabbits come April. I find a bit baffling, mostly because I would’ve loved to have had an ice cream truck visit the park I grew up visiting, but they never did. I half-thought of them as an old timey thing that didn’t exist any more. No, turns out they just didn’t bother with suburbia too much back in my day.

About five years ago, though, my dad’s neighborhood back in Tennessee did pick up The Creepy Ice Cream Truck. It definitely looked like the trashiest ice cream truck ever, like a prop pulled straight out of an episode of L&O:SVU, so I tastefully called it the child molester van. It showed up for a couple of summers, but I think they might’ve given up by now since NO ONE ever bought ice cream from them. Because no one wants to let their kid find themselves in the middle of a real-life L&O episode.

The OP is cracking me up. That ‘’'free candy" van is really killing me.

To rid your neighborhood of ice cream trucks, raise your kids to believe that when the truck arrives, if it’s playing music, that means they’re sold out of ice cream.

Maybe it’s just me … I don’t see the big problem with truck number 3. Um…it’s got less head room? Looks annoying to work in. But why skeevy?

Mr. Softee was founded in 1956 and I don’t think the trucks have changed much since my childhood in the sixties. They’re certainly not “skeevy”. I still buy an occasional cone in the summer.

Ours are still truck style, like links 1 and 2, we do have one that seems to be a retrofitted short school bus. Since I live across the street from a park, I get to see them come by just about every day in the summer.

The ones when and where I grew up were those little postal jeeps with the steering wheel on the wrong side.

What’s interesting is that it turns out the ice cream trucks were actually illegal under the health and food service licensing rules, but the city just turned a blind eye to them because they were such an institution. The company with the jeeps went out of buisness several years ago, and other ice cream truck operators have tried to start up, but are only allowed to park places they have a permit-- no more roving the neighborhoods.

A few years ago we were renovating a house in an area that was sort of ghetto, but improving. I actually can’t remember seeing any children in this neighborhood, but I guess there must have been some. Anyway.

There was an ice cream truck that made the rounds. It was an old UPS-type truck, dark brown, no driver’s side door, with maybe six labels from various ice cream pop things glued haphazardly to the side of it. It was driven by a sullen, enormous black guy wearing a wife beater, and played a song a friend identified as an old confederate march. It drove by every day, and I never saw it stop for anyone. Ha, that was such a funny neighborhood. I don’t quite miss it. :slight_smile: