Cohort Outtake: 1954-1955 International R-110 Travelall – Original Elite Decoration

(first posted 11/20/2017)           How could I possibly resist the shots of this Travelall posted at the Cohort by William Oliver? What a gem, with original paint and natural patina, including the faded sign on the side for Elite Decorators. This truck is an elite decoration in itself. And not just because it’s an old Travelall, but because it’s in superb condition, just the way I like old cars and trucks. Or better yet, both.

The R Series of International trucks were built in 1953 and 1954, as the Cornbinder builders didn’t cotton much to model years back then. The R replaced the L Series, the first new postwar truck by International; it was really just a new grille and probably a few other minor changes.

Power came from a Silver Diamond 220 cid (3.6L), in-line 6-cylinder engine with overhead valves (of course), and a 100 hp rating. Quite adequate for the slower times back then. It was a gem, naturally. I do love International’s naming of their engines.

This truck is in the kind of condition that’s become most desirable these days: original, with its natural patina, but undoubtedly mechanically sound, better tires and quite possibly some minor improvements to the running gear, but not too much so.

I feel vindicated: this is how I have liked old cars and trucks for quite some decades now; ever since several friends in Iowa City in the 1971-1974 or so would find old farmer’s pickups and appreciate their well-aged condition but keep them running. And of course, it’s how I’ve kept my truck. The urge to “restore” old cars and trucks has been essentially absent from me since about that time. Especially since all-too many restorations were botched, and the historical authenticity of the vehicle lost forever. So yes, this is how I like them, and this old Travelalls is a nigh-near perfect example of the breed.