A mysterious British customizer proves even the lowliest of vehicles — a Bedford ice cream van — can transform into objects of desire.

The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and now this: a Bedford ice cream van. All vehicles which have sprung forth from the garnantuan corpus of General Motors over the decades. They all are awesome. The Caddy and the Vette by default—the Bedford by the copious application of vehicular art.

Bedford Vehicles used to make trucks as the commercial subsidiary of Vauxhall, GM’s British offshoot, before dying a slow, ugly death. Scratch that: it’s lorries, not trucks. Military lorries, ambulances, mobile cinema lorries and the ice cream vans which still dot the British landscape.


Except they generally don’t look like this one, bagged on Prince of Wales Road in Camden Town, around the edges of a council estate (that’s British for project housing). Bedford vans don’t usually come in rich slatherings of bianco fuji paint with a hint of pistachio. Nor did the British commercial vehicle industry ever harbor an especially wholesome relationship with huge-ass chrome dubs. Or screw-on dual exhaust tips.


This lovely van was parked behind thick metal bars, so unfortunately, this is as close as I could get. And no, I had nothing to do with that discarded cone of ice cream. Sometimes, circumstances simply conspire to create car art. I’m sorry, scratch that: it’s lorry art.