As summer comes to an end the P50CARS team looked back at an exciting project we did a few years ago. In the spring of 2013, we were approached by Nestle to create the World’s Smallest Ice Cream van for their new line of Miniature ice lollies based on the classic FAB ice lolly.
A classic British summer favourite (and the P50CARS team’s too), the FAB Ice lolly has consists of strawberry fruit ice and vanilla ice cream with the top portion dipped in chocolate and coated with white, yellow and pink hundreds and thousands. Launched in 1967, it takes it’s name from Lady Penelope’s FAB1 six wheeled Rolls Royce from the children’s TV show Thunderbirds which was popular on British televsion at the time.
Nestle wanted a fully working Ice Cream Van, with chimes, freezer box and illuminated sign. They also wanted it decorated like their iconic ice lollies, with a red strawberry colour base, white vanilla middle and a chocolate roof sprinkled with hundreds & thousands (660 to be exact).
The base vehicle would be one of our P.50 Electric shells, which we fitted a hand-formed illuminated sign which was bonded to the roofline. This was then primed and painted in the three colours Strawberry Red, Vanilla White and Chocolate Brown. Now came the sprinkles, all 660 of them. Made from 5/8″ cast acrylic rod, these were all individually cut, formed, sanded and painted in 5 different colours, White, Pastel Yellow, Pastel Pink, Saffron Yellow and Magenta. Our team then painstakingly placed each one on the roof to mimic the Fab Ice lollies famous look.
Nestle was adamant that this wasn’t just about looks, this had to be a fully functioning Ice Cream Van, with a freezer and chimes. As you can imagine they don’t make freezer boxes for the World’s Smallest Car, so we had to invent one from scratch using solid-state high power Piezoelectric cooler run off the P.50’s Lithium-Ion batteries. The Freezer box was fitted on the sliding window side, in the location where the engine normally sits in our 4-stroke petrol versions.
Next task was how to produce the classic Ice Cream Van chimes. Both Nestle & the P50CARS team wanted authentic chimes. To achieve this a pair of speakers were incorporate in the illuminated sign on the roof. A few choice recordings of our favourite childhood ice cream van chimes, Greensleeves, Yankee Doodle and O Sole Mio were made and using an iPod shuffle and a miniature amp we had a pretty authentic sounding Ice Cream van, in all it’s tinniest glory.
After 3 months work the tiny Ice Cream van was nearly done, the penultimate element were the decals, which were partly provided by Nestle, featuring the FAB branding and some traditional Ice Cream Van signage, ‘MIND THAT CHILD!. To top it all off, we handcrafted a pair of wooden replica FAB ice lollies for the side of the illuminated roof sign. These were painted in the FAB’s red, white and brown colouring and finished with hand-painted plastic sprinkles.
The finished vehicle debuted in a video promoting the launch of the Mini FAB lollies. It then spent the summer of 2013 touring the UK dispensing miniature Ice creams to kids of all sizes.