NORWALK, OH – Rubber wasn’t the only thing melting last week at the 2021 Summit Racing Midwest Drags street/strip event, as Derek Bieri, star of the YouTube channel Vice Grip Garage, rolled into each of event’s three tracks in a beautifully patinaed 1970 Chevrolet P10 Step Van ice cream truck—which is a ton of words to describe one vehicle. Luckily, Bieri has us covered with a name that’s less of a mouthful.
“It’s literally a brick on wheels,” he told OnAllCylinders.
A brick filled with delicious ice cream, that is.
Over the course of four days, Bieri piloted the wheel-mounted brick from Norwalk to Cincinnati, Ohio, then to Indianapolis, Indiana, and back to Norwalk, documenting the 700-plus-mile journey along the way.
The P10 is powered by a 4.2 liter GM inline six plucked from a 2008 Trailblazer, capable of churning out more than 270 horsepower and pushing the vehicle to a blisteringly fast top highway speed of…75 mph. (Or, at least that’s how fast it went before the speedometer quit working.)
Bieri ran into a few problems along the way that needed to be addressed—including a shot ball joint and brakes that “kind of” worked—but all-in-all, the vehicle held up well, he said.
The Chevy Step Van is owned by Tom Bailey, owner of Bailey Racing in Lake Orion, Michigan, and multi-time winner of Hot Rod Drag Week. Bailey asked Bieri to tag along with his team, drive the ice cream truck to-and-from each event and keep it running in between. He was more than happy to oblige.
“It’s like a Hot Wheels ice cream truck,” he said. “It’s so unique, and funky looking and full of character.”
As it turns out, it was also full of food.
The vehicle came equipped with a fully functional, built-in hot dog roller, which Bieri used to grill hot dogs for members of Tom Bailey’s team and other participating racers. He also spent the week serving ice cream sandwiches to attendees out of a cooler in the back of the van.
Just don’t ask him if the van plays that iconic ice cream truck music.
“It’s probably the most common question, but no,” he said.
While Bieri wasn’t participating in the drag racing action, driving the ice cream truck and getting the chance to interact with other motorsports enthusiasts offered its own brand of excitement, he said.
“Everyone here is passionate about motorsports,” he said. “This just adds to the light-heartedness. We’re just here to have fun.”
Bieri documented his entire experience at this year’s Midwest Drags on YouTube. Click the links to see for yourself:
- I get to Drive Tom Baileys Slammed Ice Cream Truck 1,000 MILES For Midwest Drag Week (NO BRAKES!)
- Midwest Drag Week Day 1 – 6 Second Passes in Twin Turbo 69 Camaro & Broken Parts!
- Midwest Drag Week Day 2 – Met John Force, Jonnie Lindberg and Drove a Promod in the Rain!
- Midwest Drag Week Day 3 – 300 Miles with NO GAUGES (69 Camaro & Van!)
- Midwest Drag Week FINAL DAY – Sick Seconds is HURT! Can it pull off an upset?