DETAILS- Scale Vehicles for the Layout Scene

I was attending a 4th of July celebration in Napa, California yesterday and was surprised to see a most unusual vehicle as part of the food concession area.    It was a vintage DIVCO truck that was once built for and owned by the Helms Bakery in Los Angeles. DIVCO stands for Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company.  The company was probably more famous for producing their line of delivery trucks shown below.

 49 divco


The DIVCO Twin was built in fairly large numbers for Helms and possibly other users as well.   Many of the “coaches” have survived and been restored to their original scheme as exhibited the picture below.


The particular vehicle I discovered in Napa was once owned by Helms and now in the hands of a “hotdog” seller.   The coach was restored in 1996 and looks fantastic today.

divco side

The restoration is top notch but the hot dogs were not so good.  Poor food choice!  Besides who has a hot dog with a Napa Valley Cab?

divco frontdivco interior

It so happens that Sylvan Scale Models produces a 1/4″ scale model of the Helms DIVCO twin.   It is urethane as I understand.


4 thoughts on “DETAILS- Scale Vehicles for the Layout Scene

  1. Gene,

    One of the benefits of P48 that will (hopefully) spread to more O “scale” modelers is to somehow refrain from using those oh-so-obviously 1/43 vehicles. Any one of those near a scale RR cars, loco, building, outhouse or anything built to 1/4/ft just serve to add toy like appearance to the scene. Yeah, I understand that not using 1/43 vehicles limits what is available but, as true O scaler’s, we should be rather used to dealing with such adversity.

    Really, if one thinks about it, there is a lot of 1/50 vehicles available and, although still not correct, they provide a better appearance than the 1/43.

    That said, thank the Lord for companies like Sylvain that do make true 1/48 vehicles. And we express our thanks how? Maybe by purchasing some?

    John Hagen

    • John

      I have to agree about how oversized a 1/43 vehicle can be in a 1/48 scene. Mixing the two scales in a scene distorts one’s perspective when it comes to structures and railroad equipment.
      There are a few decent vehicles out there but they are not cheap. The Tamiya 1942 Ford sedan is a good period car that can be adapted to the immediate postwar version. Buffalo Landings has a 1937 Pontiac sedan kit done in resin. It is very nicely done. The old Renwal kits can be found. I have a few stashed away for many years.
      There have been a number of decent trucks done and some are still available today. Berkshire Valley will be releasing the old Durango Press ’34 Ford pickups and stake truck. Revell produced some nice trucks that can fit into the railroad scene. They appear on eBay all the time.


  2. I recall DIVCO vehicles as a kid in Portland. Also 3 wheel motorcycles with box between rear wheels like the cops had used by Cadillac dealer to send porter to pick up cars for service — hooked a tow bar onto the car’s rear bumper and towed the trike back to the shop.

    As for drinking Cabs with hot dogs when we moved the last 8 or 9 cases of wine from Las Vegas to the beach in May I discovered a bunch of 2002 wines in our “collection” — really made for fine dining with premium burgers or pizza at overnight highway stops!

    • Bill
      I am sure the 2002 Cab eased the pain of driving across the country.
      DIVCO trucks were very common along with many other vehicles.


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