posted by Tim Finn
Wikipedia says “The 1961 Travelette was the first 6-passenger, 4-door truck of its time, and was based on the C-Series.” But this isn’t a ’61, the trim is different.
Odd place for the fuel filler, if that’s what it is.
Only thirty years ahead of its time. Being ahead of your time is usually not the pleasant path you might think.
What a bizarre place the fuel filler is in. Where’s the tank? Nowhere safe, I’m imagining.
Most of these IHs had a left and right saddle tank. There’s a pull-and-turn knob inside to switch fuel supply. We had a Travelall with this setup.
And yes, there’s a filler on the left side.
On the Travelettes the passenger side fender fill is for the main, or only tank. On Travelalls the main or only tank is in the rear quarter as is the filler. When you get dual tanks on a Travelette or pickup the fill for the aux tank is in the driver’s side fender while in the Travelall uses the Travelette’s passenger side location. Pickups on the other hand place the main tank fill in the cab corner despite the fact that the location is the same as the Travelette’s main and Travelall’s aux. Not only that there were different sizes for some of those locations.
Pretty much the same location as the VW bug, once they got around to an external fuel fill door…
That filler goes to tank under passenger-side floor. A thing to remember when drilling holes in the floor.
A man’s truck! None of those sissified things like carpet or padding anywhere in the interior. Just metal, metal and more metal, with each piece squeaking, rattling or banging on the one next to it. Where there is no conversation between driver and passenger besides “What? Speak up, can’t hear you!” If you thought it was cigarettes that made the Marlboro man look so old, I would argue that it was driving trucks like these.
And just to be clear, I love it!
Its badge says “All Wheel Drive”. That’s not full-time all wheel drive in the modern sense – the front wheels get engaged on-demand like what we now call 4WD, right?
Correct. There was no full time AWD back then, generally speaking. At least not on pickups.
I suspect they might have used that badge on their big AWD trucks too, so it could have covered 6x6s also.
AWD vs. 4WD is one of those terms that seems to have been used with abandon in earlier decades without any thought to a “correct” definition.
FWD (Four Wheel Drive Company) pioneered AWD back in 1911. It was a full time system with a lockable center differential. It was sold not just for its off-road capabilities, but for its ability to distribute its load equally over two drive axles, which makes a lot of sense.
They also called and in some cases used the same badge on the early Scouts with a driven front axle. It too was a part time manually engaged system. That was the norm in the early 60’s. However by the 70’s New Process introduced the NP203 “full time 4wd” transfer case with a lockable center differential, that we would now call AWD. Meanwhile what we now call 4wd would be referred to as “part time 4wd”. Interestingly IH never used the NP203 while Ford, GM and Mopar did. In the later 70’s part time conversion kits became very popular so unmodified trucks are getting hard to find.
If you prefer a 5 foot integral bed with Di-Noc trim, this 1973 might be for you.
I’d love to add a Wagonmaster to my fleet.
That’s got to be about the largest vehicle ever, with the -ette suffix in its name. It could haul a trailer with a Chevette, a Magnette, and a Corvette, plus a handful of Mobylettes in the bed.
Ha ha, never thought about it that way.
Nice, probably has the 304 V-8 in it. You could get a Dodge in that configuration by 1965, but I believe IH was the first.
If only IH could have lived on a little longer…..
So many things that were sometimes decades ahead of the market.
Before this of course they had the 3dr Travelette that was available in a 1/2 ton and they even had 5.5′ beds. But if you wanted 4wd you had to move up to the 3/4 ton.
And here is a 1957 1/2 ton with the Bonus Load bed.
I feel you’re the best source to answer this: What were all of IH’s bed lengths for the ’57-’68 trucks? I’ve heard all sorts of conflicting sources that say the smallest (on the Travelette and C-900) was no less than 6′, and there was also 6.5′, 7′, 8′, 8.5′ narrow, and 9′. It seems counterintuitive to have that many, but I can’t be sure they didn’t, and it doesn’t help that documentation on IHs seems to be rarer than the Big 3.
I haven’t heard anything definitive on the exact dimensions of short short bed used on the 900 and Travelette, but the others are 6.5′, 8′ and 9′. The 9′ was only available on the 1300 series and only as a step size.
After perusing a few brochures and pamphlets, I think I’ve finally found some concrete answers:
For the ’50-57 L/R/S trucks:
6.5′ bed (115″): 100, 110, 120
8′ bed (127″): 110, 120
9′ bed (134″): 130
Travelall/panel truck (115″): 110, 120
For the late ’57-60 trucks:
7′ regular bed (114″): 100, 110, 120
7′ Custom (114″): 100, 110, ’57-58
7′ Bonus-Load (114″): 100, 110, 120, late ’58-60
8.5′ regular (126″): 110, 120, 130
8.5′ Bonus-Load (126″): 110, 120, 130, late ’58-60
Travelall/panel truck (114″): 100, 110, 120
Travelette w/ 6′ regular or Custom bed: 110, 120, ’57-58
Travelette w/ 6′ Bonus-Load: 110, 120, late ’58-60
I couldn’t find what the wheelbase of the Travelette was, but I think it’s somewhere around 135″.
For the ’61-68 trucks:
7′ Bonus-Load or regular (119″): 1000, 1100, 1200
8′ Bonus-Load (131″): 1100, 1200
8.5′ Bonus-Load (131″): 1100, 1200, 1300, ’61-66
8.5′ regular (131″): 1100, 1200, 1300
6′ Bonus-Load (107″): 900, ’64-66
6.66′ Bonus-Load or regular (115″): 908, ’67-68
Travelall/panel truck (119″): 1000, 1100, 1200
Travelette with 6′ Bonus-Load (140″): 1100, 1200
Travelette with 8′ Bonus-Load (166″): 1200, ’67-68 only
I believe the Travelall school bus was also on the 140″ WB, but can’t be sure.
There were still a few of these 60’s 6-Pax I-H models around when I came in the USAF back in 1978 – tough trucks but they were in pretty rough shape by then. Didn’t see any I-H models after that – mostly Dodges with a few Fords and Chevies. Now almost all the 6 pax trucks I see on USAF bases are Ford F-250s.
I found this truck as I was stopping by the grocery store. If you need more proof that Portland is full of interesting old cars, just look above the hood of this beast in the 1st photo, and you will see a type 1 Beetle, and a K-car (possibly a wagon), I have to admit though, this International isn’t something I normally see even in Portland.
I first saw this truck in SE Portland a few years ago and was so happy to have found another cool old vehicle. Thanks for sharing these photographs. I am glad to see the K-Car and vintage Bug as well, it brings a smile to my face.
That’s a pretty sky in the background
So, imagine if I was around back in 1961 and was told that by the year 2020 American families would be driving around in four door pick up trucks that have all the luxury and conveniences found in a Cadillac.
I would have to say that I could have imagined that happening as it has happened.
These four-door pickups looked ridiculous to me when new. No longer. Now they look prescient.
Today’s norm, but back then these were strictly work trucks not the luxury vehicles they have now become.
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