Retro Food Trucks Finds – What to Consider When Sourcing a Vintage Vehicle

Posted by Firouzeh Tahbaz
Origin Smoothies, Teresa Saunders Photography

If you are thinking about starting a food truck business, marketing and branding is likely something that is on the top of your mind. Your menu is important, but often the look of your truck will be what people notice first! Over the past few years, more and more people have been seeking mobile options that will really set them apart. One way to do this is with a funky, retro vehicle. There are so many cool options – Airstreams, horse trailers, Boler camper vans, and so much more! Whether you are sourcing the vehicle, or we are, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Origin Smoothies, Teresa Saunders Photography

When you start budgeting for your truck it is essential to allocate some finances for the restoration of the vehicle body and engine. The vehicle may require new exterior wall panels, reinforcement, or roof sealant.  We’ve even worked on trucks that needed the roof to be completely raised. Another factor is whether you need this truck or trailer to be roadworthy, what will it cost to get it there? Older vehicles tend to require more engine work and have less availability of parts. These upgrades can add up so if possible, get an accurate bodywork AND mechanical quote before committing to a specific vehicle to alleviate any surprise expenses.

Origin Smoothies, Teresa Saunders Photography

What is the purpose of your truck? If you are planning on frying or grilling, you will need to ensure the truck is appropriately wide enough for appliance clearances and tall enough for the hood and ventilation system to be correctly installed.  Interior dimensions of 7.5’Wx6’10” H will give you enough space all around. All-electric food truck builds – ice cream trucks, smoothies, salads, etc. are more forgiving and can be as small as about 5’Wx6’H… Just make sure you have a comfortable standing height!

Origin Smoothies, Teresa Saunders Photography

Please keep realistic expectations for your vehicle. If you search “retro trucks” on Pinterest, it is easy to get carried away looking at all the vintage trucks out there that have been transformed into something fabulous! While we truly feel anything is possible, it takes time and patience to find the perfect vintage truck for your business. It may come from Europe or a farm in the middle of nowhere! We won’t know until we find it  Just know, if VFT is responsible for sourcing your vehicle, we will search tirelessly to find the right one for you.

Check out our gallery to see some fun vintage builds we have done for ice cream, smoothies, chip trucks, and more. If you’re interested to find out more information about sourcing a vehicle like one of those, email us at


  • Hello we are looking for a food truck or trailer to help us continue our business. Beginning of June we had AHS come and destroy our business because we were having Cowboy church here which she did not like. Then the beginning of July Parkland county was told from AHS to step in and keep us closed. Working with Parkland County has been a tremendous nightmare as they do not want to help us out so here we are thinking about a food truck or trailer to help continue our booming business. We are right on highway 43. Great location and great homemade food. We are looking for something to continue making our famous burgers and our famous fries. Sorry for telling you our venture but people need to know where we come from. Check out our story on MO JO Garden Centre facebook page.

  • Hi Monica!

    Sorry to hear about your problems. We do sell food trucks and trailers, if you want more information please give us a call at 1-855-405-2324.

    Thank you and best of luck.

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