Our truck is a 1970 Volkswagen Single Cab Transporter, and since every ship deserves a name, we call her Gretel. Due to import tariffs in the ’60s and 70s, not many of these VW trucks were sold in America – it was usually cheaper to purchase a domestic truck such as a Ford or Chevy. For that reason, they are very difficult to find in the United States. But the VW Single Cab is an excellent flower truck because the side gates fold down and the truck becomes a flatbed, allowing for easy access to our flower rack. Not only is it cute, but it’s also very functional!
The truck type was a no-brainer. It is the same model used by my inspiration, Amelia’s Flower Truck in Nashville, TN. But how long would I have to search for an elusive VW Single Cab in decent condition, and how far must I travel to get it? Two minutes and three miles. That’s all it took. My first search online showed Gretel for sale just a few miles down the road. I was very lucky and can’t help but think angels were somehow involved.
Gretels first stop after leaving Hannover, Germany was Shreveport, LA. Her original owner was a pilot stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. Sometime prior to 1983, that pilot moved to a farm in Lone Wolf, OK. According to old registration stickers, Gretel was retired around 1983 and put in a barn. She sat there for almost three decades until her next owner, Jonathan, purchased her in a farm auction. Jonathan, a VW enthusiast, towed her to Tulsa and got her running again. We took over custody from Jonathan as the third owners in June of 2020, and are pretty sure she’s found her home for the next 50 years!
Since joining Gas Petal, Gretel has received some much-attention to her suspension, brakes, and interior, but the rest remains as she was made. Oh, except for her motor. Technically she’s on her third motor (since we’ve adopted her), but that motor caught fire a couple weeks ago and barely runs, so motor #4 is being assembled as I write this post. But she’s still serving customers, even with a bum ticker! She’s a tough old girl.
That reminds me … to the lady asking advice for her own flower truck: buy a fire extinguisher. Right now, go! And keep it in a place that’s easy to access. That $20 red cylinder we keep in the glove box saved Gretel.