The legend of International Trucks

International 10

The same year Jacobi Press was establishing his tailoring shop J. Press in New Haven, the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and the Deering Harvester Company combined to form International Harvester. That was 107 years ago and both companies persist today, although Press is owned by the Japanese and International Harvester is now known as Navistar.

International Harvester gained a devoted following recently with a group of retro-loving guys that fawn over the Scout (myself included). Taking the love of International one step further, the Wisconsin Historical Society has an amazing archive of truck images. I spent about five hours on their site looking through page after page of old school trucks. The styling of the International trucks is truly something of marvel. The way that each individual company would kit them out was really special. There is a specific image of a Coca-Cola truck in the below group that is really special. I’d like to get my hands on a couple of those old trucks, they just don’t do it like they used to.

Click an image below to enter the slide show and the button in the lower right will take you to full screen.

[flashgallery orderby=”ID” rows=”4″ height=”650px” thumbsize = “180” scale=”fit”]

All photos via the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Comments on “The legend of International Trucks

    nick on July 28, 2009 7:44 AM:

    Images via my former employers.

    Good stuff.

    BP on July 28, 2009 7:51 AM:

    It’s just a patch sewn on a cap, but I still enjoy sporting this:

    Would definitely like to upgrade though, so…

    Christina Phillis on July 28, 2009 8:32 AM:

    Haha, I love that! Comfortable! Your site is looking awesome these days.

    Jon Gaffney on July 28, 2009 8:53 AM:

    I want a Scout or Scout II someday.

    Andy on July 28, 2009 9:05 AM:

    The little metro bodied delivery trucks are sweet.

    Vadim K on July 28, 2009 10:45 AM:

    The cake truck is so cute – I want to take it home. Reminds me of the Citroën type H vans of a later era.

    STONER on July 28, 2009 12:08 PM:

    If you dig these old IH haulers, take a look and then take a trip to the International Tow Truck Museum in Chattanooga–neat place and if you’re anything like me, you’ll need one of your own after a visit…

    Eric Rohr on July 28, 2009 12:18 PM:

    I owned a Scout II in high school. Great for barreling through snow drifts, trucking around with my pals and popping off the top for a convertible ride on the way to camping. The brakes went out almost immediately after I bought it, and I remember driving it around town using the emergency brake to stop it. The enormous tires were pretty bald, too, though to replace them would have probably cost more than I paid for the thing. And since I couldn’t wrench it myself anyway, I sold it and took over my dad’s cherry red Chevy Cavalier (which, at the time, I thought was very cool).

    But the Scout wasn’t through with me. On a snowy evening a few months later, a guy in another Scout slid through a stop sign and nailed the Cavalier’s passenger side, creaming the door and quarter panel. It was, I think, poetic justice.

    Chris on July 28, 2009 12:45 PM:

    Here’s a couple shots of Kirk’s old ’73 Scout II parked in front of our old design studio on Traction Ave in DT Los Angeles. The original olive painted dash suited it quite well.

    Peteski on July 28, 2009 12:52 PM:

    Hey, another great post and pics. thanks.
    ps. has a whole section dedicated to IH.

    Michael Williams on July 28, 2009 9:00 PM:

    What do you guys think of the slide show? Better than before right?


    Julian on July 28, 2009 9:43 PM:

    10 years ago, I almost owned a 72′ IH Travelall in powder blue with a white roof. That was their version of the suburban. I’m still regretting that I did not get it.

    S. Acton on July 28, 2009 11:04 PM:

    The slide show is pretty slick though you can’t save any of the images directly..
    Personally, I enjoyed having to view pictures in the larger scales as before – its much easier to overlook details (and entire images) with this format.
    All the best!

    matt jacobson on August 2, 2009 2:54 PM:

    Wow, great post….
    I grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA and there was an International Harvester dealer close by on Rosecrans in Lawndale, CA…The dealership was Bob Hansen. I loved the IH trucks and as a kid we used to stop by all of the time…mostly because Hansen was abig game hunter and had a stuffed Polar Bear in the showroom. We were driving by one day, and on the sign board out front, Hansen announced they were adding the new Subarus to the dealership–must have been 1970…We pulled over an bought a Subaru Wagon for the MSRP of $1,595….yep, we traded in an old Valiant on it, and while I was pushing for the Scout, we drove off in the Subabru. Same thing happened when I tried to convince dad to buy mom a Pantera at the Ford dealer, and in 1968, when I tried to convince mom to get a Shelby GT 350, instead of the Mustang California Special she chose….IH, great memories…Theres a really clean, suburbanesque 4 door from the same era in my neighborhood…I’ll try and get a pix for you….

    You’ve inspired me to start writing my own blog at
    If you like, it, a link would be great….Peace,

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