Automotive mimesis

On my posting earlier today, “The Bulldog Café, a lost monument of mimetic architecture”, this comment by Robert Southwick Richmond:

Mimetic vehicle design. Chicken Dinner candy bars were on the market 1923-62 – I don’t remember ever seeing one – but the delivery trucks were a laugh and a half. I remember seeing one in St. Louis in 1960.

Bob’s graphic didn’t post, but here’s a whole piece on the delivery trucks on the Issuu site, under the section “The Gentleman Racer: A Guide to Cars, Adventure, Style, and Culture” by Michael Satterfield:

“Chicken Dinner” was the name of a candy bar that was produced in the early ’20s by Sperry Candy, a company based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The name came from the concept of  “a chicken in every pot” a slogan repopularized for the 1928 Republican  Presidential campaign. At some point, the company started building Chicken-Trucks that would be used to promote the candy and it seems also sold the candy like a modern-day ice-cream truck. Each was one unique and had its own version of a stylized chicken integrated into the bodywork.

(#1) A array of Chicken Dinner Candy Bar trucks

(#2) A very early truck

The flavor of the candy thankfully didn’t taste like a Chicken Dinner, instead, it was filled with nuts and covered in chocolate. It was described in ads as “An expensive, high-grade candy.”

(#3) An ad for the candy, showing the nuts and chocolae

It stayed in production for nearly 40 years before being discontinued in the 1960’s. It is also rumored to be a source of the phrase “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner”  from when a Chicken Dinner Candy Bar would be a prize at fair or carnival.

The candy made it until 1962 when the company was purchased by a competitor and the brand was discontinued.


2 Responses to “Automotive mimesis”

  1. J B Levin Says:

    I was going to answer Robert’s comment earlier, but this is an even better place. It is impossible for me to consider mimetic vehicular design without thinking of the Wienermobile (created 1928, and renamed a couple months ago the Frankmobile).

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