Flash Back: Coca Cola's Vancouver Olympic Torch Relay Vehicles

Coca Cola's Lead Vehicle for the Vancouver Olympics Torch Relay

 As the Olympic Torch Relay winds its way to Sochi, we thought to revisit the work Great Lakes Scenic Studios did for Coca Cola on the Vancouver Olympic Torch Relay.

Fabrication Highlights:  

• Design build • Full custom fabrication from the chassis up
• Integrated cross-vehicle sound system • Temperature controlled product sampling


Having been a presenting sponsor for the Olympic games for decades, Coca Cola was looking for a design-build partner to build their fleet of Olympic Torch Relay vehicles for the longest and perhaps harshest Olympic Torch Relay in History. Great Lakes Scenic Studios made the cut to provide team Coca Cola with a caravan of vehicles including the lead trucks, product sampling customized Olympia Ice Machines and accompanying support vehicles.

The road ahead was long, over 45,000 kms long to be exact. In fact, this journey was the longest one in Olympic Torch Relay history. The weather ranged from balmy summer-like highs to blistering arctic lows as the Relay team made its way across Canada. The two lead vehicles, Happy 1 and Happy 2, were a custom build from the chassis up. These two trucks had to be built to withstand the rigors of the road including snow, sleet salt and extreme temperature changes. One of the challenges was to build in a temperature control system to keep cans of Coke that would be used for sampling at the correct temperature. Too cold and they would freeze. Too warm, and the taste experience would suffer. The solution was to utilize a temperature controlled ice bath that kept the bottles at the Perfect Serve Temperature of 4 degrees Celsius.

As the main activation platforms for the crowds in each of the 1,000+ communities visited along the route, the trucks also needed to have presence. To that effect, Great Lakes designed and built the trucks to make the pimp-my-ride set green with envy. As much of the time, the trucks would be traveling in the dark Canadian winter, there were LED's incorporated everywhere, highlighting both the Olympic message and promoting Coke's brand awareness.  There was also a custom made Coca Cola styled drum set for use by the touring staff. As per the client's request, the sound system was epic. An interesting note about the PA feature of the system was that each truck had an interconnected system that would synchronize the sound across vehicles so that there was no echoing, reverb or distortion among the fleet. 

Another interesting vehicle makeover was to a pair of Olympia surfacing machines. They were fitted with product storage, sound and light and served as satellite mobile activation units during the parades. When not in parade mode, they were transported in custom trailers with full vehicle and trailer graphics wraps.

As part of Coca Colas commitment to the environment, the trucks used were the newest members of Coke's hybrid fleet. Additionally, at the end of the tour, the cab and chassis were reunited with the original box and put back into service, while the customized upper deck was broken down into component parts and completely recycled.

If you would like to learn more about this really cool build, or would like to talk about your next project, connect with us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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