Retro Ice cream van

Retro ice cream van | The Can | Pinterest | Trucks, Cities and Retro

Pink’s Vintage Ice Cream is a family business and family is at the heart of the story of our company.

Grab your favourite iced treat and let us take you back to the very start…


It all began on a cold Christmas morning in 2001, when Mrs Whippy’s husband Kevin surprised her with a present like no other – a clapped out ice cream van that was more scrap-heap challenge than vintage darling.

At first we all thought he’d gone a bit mad… and Mrs Whippy was furious! What was she going to do with it? It was a real heap….

But when Dad explained that he thought it’d be the perfect project and business for Mum, and that it meant she didn’t have to go back to her nursing job (which she loved and had enjoyed however she was ready for a new challenge), Mrs Whippy’s frosty demeanour melted and it was the start of something amazing.


The renovation project began! We named the retro ice cream van Patsy (in honour of our Nan) and got to work translating the old Italian manuals and teaching ourselves how to fix her up. After months of hard graft, she was ready for her first outing, vintage chimes and all.

Mum started her local round in West Sussex and quickly became known as Mrs Whippy amongst the children and parents. If you hear the traditional chimes ringing through the streets, shouts of “Mrs Whippy! Mrs Whippy!” are never far behind.

But it wasn’t all easy those first few months out on the streets.

Mrs Whippy wanted to shake the stigma of the stereotypical ice cream van and server. As a nurse, she likes everything to be clinically clean and she prides herself on keeping the vans absolutely spotless.

And, as a parent herself she knew she had a real responsibility to the children she served – who often opened up and told her things about their day that they wouldn’t tell their parents. She wasn’t just serving them ice cream, she was a friendly face when they were being bullied or struggling at school.

It was the rivalry from other local ice cream vans that really began to take its toll, and almost saw Mrs Whippy throw in the towel.

Two other vans in particular made life hard on the streets of Chichester and Bognor Regis. One day, they even tried to barricade Patsy into a road so Mrs Whippy couldn’t serve her ice cream.

Fortunately, Mrs Whippy had won the hearts of the local people and they rallied round to protect her and the van. But it was hard on her spirit and she nearly gave up the retro van and ice cream for good…

2003 – 2007

Fortunately, Mrs Whippy was made of stronger stuff and she continued serving screwballs and 99 flakes to the ice cream fans of the south coast.

You’d find her and Patsy at school fairs, fetes, local events and touring the streets… life was good.

And it was about to get even better when one of her regulars asked if she’d serve ice cream at her upcoming wedding. Mrs Whippy said yes, of course! And we started one of our most sought after services – wedding ice cream van hire!

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