Top 6 Reasons To Collect Antique International Trucks
International Trucks is an old brand that has undergone many changes. Over 100 years ago, in 1902, International Harvester was born, and six years later, in 1908, the International Harvester Auto Wagon was the first vehicle built.
They were also heavily involved in the agricultural business, with a successful subsidiary, the International Harvester Agricultural Division. However, these products were only a side project compared to many of the antique trucks they produced.
Many of these early models are considered antique, and an antique truck is defined as older than 50 years. There are many antique International Trucks worth collecting, and we will explain precisely why.
Collecting antique International Trucks is a hobby that many classic vehicle enthusiasts love. The following are the eight top reasons.
1. They Are Beautifully Designed And Well Built
International Trucks have been around since 1907, and many of their models have remained unchanged in design over all these years. Any model from any era looks instantly recognizable and timelessly stylish.
The timeless design and style are perfect for Classic Car Shows or simply enjoying as part of a personal collection. The initial release is one of the most significant innovations in the automotive industry.
In 1909, the Auto Buggy was the first ever truck they released. It had a light wooden design with a gasoline engine mounted underneath the body. They were nicknamed “Highwheelers,” From there, the designs only improved.
2. They Are Still Widely Available For Purchase
While prices vary based on condition, age, make, and model, the vintage internationals are more affordable than other classic truck types. They are also widely available for purchase at places like Auto Trader.
Expect to pay more or struggle to get your hands on some vintage models between 19010-1930, but anything after that is relatively easy to find. This makes it a good project car to buy, restore, and collect for the future.
The most popular models to buy are the medium pickups released in the early and mid-1960s. They are cheap and extremely easy to fix up and restore.
3. They Hold Value And Serve As A Solid Investment
Another reason to collect these antique trucks is how well they hold their value. If you were to buy an antique model released between 1900-1960 and keep it in top-tier shape, it would be worth a pretty penny today.
For example, this 1949 International Harvester KB-2 sells for $43,900. And this is only one of the light-duty pickup models, not one of their bigger and more advanced heavy-duty trucks.
Redesigning and upgrading the interior and exterior can increase the value and price. Any car collector cannot go wrong when investing in restoring an old International Truck vehicle.
The company tried to design light-duty pickups in 1969 to generate more sales. It only caused sales to drop more because customers preferred the older designs. Because of this, trucks before this redesign are valued higher in the market.
4. Fun Trucks To Restore And Collect
I was always a truck enthusiast. When I tried to restore antique International Trucks, I started to see this brand's value. They can be turned into amazing collector’s items with a little hard work.
Collecting and restoring antique International Trucks has been an immensely rewarding experience for me. The parts are surprisingly easy to find because of this retailer.
They also help with How To guides and other informational details you can use to restore your old truck. They are head turners after completing a detailed restoration too.
5. Durable & Easy To Maintain
These vehicles were built with longevity in mind. They are easier to maintain than modern cars thanks to their simple construction and straightforward operation system, which means less time spent fiddling with complicated wiring schemes.
Also, the truck’s parts can often be sourced easily through specialty shops or online resources meaning repairs are relatively straightforward if needed. They were designed with longevity in mind, meaning they will last for decades and continue to perform as intended over time.
This is a huge benefit compared to many other newer models, which just don't have the same durability or longevity.
6. Heavy-Duty Trucks With Multi-Purpose Designs
As some International Trucks carry specific configurations for different uses, such as delivery vans or military transport trucks, their versatility makes them great additions to any collector’s garage.
Whether you’re looking for basic cargo haulers, medium duty trucks, or even something completely out there, International Trucks has likely built one. The rugged nature of these trucks is rare to find too.
This brand is the king of the heavy-duty vehicle. They produce farm equipment, commercial trucks, military trucks, and much more. If you want to explore their history and line of trucks, keep reading.
History Of International Trucks
The first International Truck models were designed to carry freight on unpaved roads and were powered by gasoline engines with chain-driven axles and wheels.
Subsequent technological advances allowed for more powerful engines and improved suspension systems, leading to greater capacity for carrying goods safely and quickly across long distances.
These early models set a precedent for future generations in the trucking industry, as they could travel further distances than wagon trains or horse-drawn carts could manage at the time. The notable models through the years include the following.
Auto Wagon (1909-1916)
The Auto Wagon was one of the first trucks to gain significant popularity in the industry. The light wooden design was primarily built for farmers to use on rural roads.
This allowed for optimal storage capacity inside the truck and enough traction on these rugged roads and loose terrains.
F Series (1913)
Next, the F Series line of trucks was released. This was a completely redesigned version of the Auto Wagon, including an upgraded front and rear end, steel ladder frame, and much more power.
The front-mounted engine used a transmission, driveshaft, and heavy-duty tires for maximum performance. The driveshaft was also geared differently than the Auto Wagon.
C Series (1934-1936)
After some changes, a new series of trucks were released. The C Series vehicles were built with an all-steel cab, providing better comfort and more storage space. The trucks were much more durable too.
It was also the first release of trucks with numerous design styles. There were even cab-over-engine models.
D Series (1937-1939)
The D Series eventually replaced the previous C Series trucks and included a few changes. First, the rounded styling was improved with a two-piece V-shaped windshield.
They also released new semi-tractors and multiple heavy-duty trucks with this line of vehicles. The modern pickup truck design did not exist for a few years, despite being named part of the D Series.
R Series (1953-1967)
The R Series release was a group of trucks with similar cab designs but more advanced cosmetic upgrades on the vehicle's front end from the L Series. They also released more engine sizes for customers to choose from when purchasing.
The S Series was released in 1955 as a temporary replacement for many of the light and medium-sized models. This truck was one of the first years to use the specialty bodies too.
V Series (1953-1967)
The V Series line was all heavy-duty trucks. These trucks were built with a shorter hood and a V8 engine. They also release some cab-over-engine models.
This was the final release before International changed the design. They also followed this up with the release of the four wheel drive Travelall station wagon in 1969.
Antique International Harvester Truck Types
If you’re looking for a reliable, powerful, and durable vehicle to use for work or play, an Antique International Harvester Truck might be just the thing. We have listed each truck type below.
Light Duty Trucks
These smaller trucks provide reliability and versatility for personal and small business needs. The A and B series is the best antique light-duty truck type, but there are plenty of other options too.
Personally, I prefer the D Series because it has a renovated body with a flat panel design. This is smaller than the Scout but provides excellent support and stability.
Medium Duty Trucks
The trucking industry refers to some commercial vehicles as medium-duty trucks. International Trucks did the same, and they were also widely known for these vehicle models.
Today, these are box trucks, school buses, and fire trucks. But many of the products they released were also classified under this vehicle size.
A commercial truck is a large motor vehicle used for transporting goods or materials. These vehicles are characterized by their box-like shape, typically around 25 feet long and 9 feet high, with a capacity of up to 80,000 pounds.
They are used by businesses to deliver products to customers or move products between warehouses and factories. They can also transport people in certain circumstances, such as bus services.
Many modern-day International Trucks vehicles are commercial trucks.
This massive company did not stop there. Since 2007, they have also been building military trucks and service trucks. They service six different markets and have factories in various countries too.
What Engines Do International Trucks Use?
International trucks typically come with various engine choices, from diesel and gasoline to alternative fuel options like propane or natural gas. This was especially true with many of the antique models.
Today, International Trucks use an International A26 engine. It’s considered one of the lightest engines in its class, providing power and performance without a loss in vehicle control or additional weight.
In the 1970s and before, the primary engine type was diesel. The DVT 573 V-8 diesel was present in most pickups and medium-sized trucks during this era.
If we go back even further, the 1930s trucks ran on an HD Green Diamond. This was an L6 with an L-head carburetor fuel system. Other engines used during the past 90 years include:
- FAC Blue Diamond
- FBC Red Diamond
- SV “Comanche”
This is to name a few of the popular ones in the antique truck models. Today, we see much more advanced engines used.
How Long Do International Trucks Last?
I am an avid collector of old international trucks, but it is a hobby. I love the fantastic designs and craftsmanship that have gone into these old-school vehicles and enjoy celebrating the history and heritage behind them.
Putting an exact mileage on these trucks, especially the antique ones, is tricky. We estimate 100,000 to 300,000 miles, but a proper restoration could extend the lifespan well beyond those numbers.
The International Harvester Company built trucks and other industrial equipment used in the agricultural business. International offered plenty of vehicles, and this is a brand with a long history of success in many forms, including the trucking industry.
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane