If you never forget this pickup truck then it did its job. That’s because it was created to make a point, and for you to never forget it. Back in 2013, the brain trust at Canadian Tire decided it needed to press the point about its car batteries and their ability to withstand Canadian winters. It developed a plan around a pickup truck made of ice and then wanted to use it for an advertising campaign.
What if a battery was frozen and then placed inside of a truck made of ice to see how well it performed under those conditions? It could build an advertising campaign around the whole thing. This would be the perfect way for Canadian Tire to celebrate the toughness of its MotoMaster Eliminator battery.
The deal was to find a pickup truck, strip off the body, and place chunks of ice onto it
The deal was to find a pickup truck then strip off the body and place chunks of ice onto it. Then the details of the truck would be carved into the blocks. All of this was put into motion before sanity came to the proceedings.
A 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck was procured and Pick Me Productions stripped off the body and bed. Then it was taken to Iceculture in Hensall, Ontario, for them to create the ice body. An underlying steel support system for the ice blocks to lay on was created. The engine bay had to be lowered and also narrowed. Extra fans were added to blow the heat from the engine away so that the ice wouldn’t immediately melt.
It was decided to make the truck truly functional and have it be driven
The whole project took on a new layer of difficulty when it was decided to make the truck truly functional and have it be driven. Then, for good measure, they would try to break a Guinness World Record. Being able to turn presented stress problems for the ice. The body needed to be clear so all of the air had to be taken out of the water to be used for the ice. Some of the ice blocks formed cracks or fissures. These had to be replaced.
In the end, there were three bodies made. One was used to attempt the Guinness record, while one was shown to the client. The third was used for testing to make sure the record attempt was even possible. Iceculture cut the fully-transparent ice with a CNC machine. The slabs were then welded together by water. The truck weighed over 15,000 lbs., of which 11,000 was from the ice.
Ice was sculpted to show seatbelts, a pine tree air freshener, and rearview mirrors
The ice was sculpted to show seatbelts, a pine tree air freshener, a license plate, rearview mirrors, windshield, and working lights. When it came time to do the battery test the battery was chilled to -40-degrees Fahrenheit. It was lowered into the truck right before its run through the town of Hensall.
For the record attempt, the truck was driven one mile at 12.5 mph through Hensall. That was not good enough to make it into the Guinness Record book. It is recognized as the world’s first drivable, self-propelled truck made of ice. It is forever credited by Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Besides the ad, Canadian Tire also did a making-of video and a post attempt video. All three were very popular with Canadians. Canadian Tire says sales jumped by 70%. Also documented was the slow defrosting of the truck over a 40 hour period by Iceculture.