This 1965 Continental inspired one of my more ambitious CCs, titled ‘The Last Great American Luxury Car’. Almost three years later, it’s still there, looking a bit dustier but no less elegant. And it’s now got a stablemate, and what an auspicious one at that. It’s no stretch to call the contemporary International Travelall ‘The First great American SUV’, inasmuch as it was the first low-profile four-door family-friendly “truck”, available in 4WD. And let’s face it: the current full-sized American SUV is the closest thing there is to a distinctly American luxury vehicle. The torch is being passed here.
In 1965 the Travelall would never have been considered a luxury vehicle, although the wealthy were not uncommon buyers of trucks like this and the Jeep Wagoneer, even back then when they were lacking any luxury accouterments. Wealthy folks often owned horse farms, ranches and hunting lodges, and the Travelall was a preferred vehicle to keep there and pull the horse trailer. As was the Continental for getting there.
This Travelall is still hard at work, hauling what appears to be the frame for the type of canopy used at outdoor markets and such.
It has an automatic, those classic round instruments, and is sporting an IH-branded necker’s knob (or ‘Brodie knob’).
Given the lack of front wheel drive hubs, this 1100 appears to be a 2WD version, with the torsion bar suspension that appeared with the new C/D-series Travelall in 1961. My CC on a 1965 4WD Travelall is here. This might be a 1965 too, but lacking a grille, it’s a bit hard to pin down. Our resident expert will, though.
There’s a lot of history sitting at the curb here. And in the driveway, there’s a Camry. Which of course only adds to the overall historical significance of this assemblage.
CC 1965 Lincoln Continental – The Last Great American Luxury Car
CC 1965 International Travelall – The Chevy Suburban Of Its Time
Dad owned a black ’63 Lincoln for a few years – sadly, I was too young to ever get the chance to drive it. There is something sinister about a black 1960s Lincoln. They lack the Hollywood flourish of the concurrent Cadillacs. A Lincoln was a luxury car for those who don’t want to be noticed very much – evil corporations, the Mafia, or well-funded unfriendly government agencies. If one of these was following you around back in the day, it probably presages a scenario that doesn’t end well.
amazingly, i don’t hate the white wheels on the travellall. somehow, it just gives it more character. i was really lusting after this one that sold on ebay last night for $19.6k
Although I will reluctantly agree with Paul that today’s SUV’s are taking over the “luxury car” market; I still have problems with buying a “Luxury Car” based on a pick up truck.
Looking like I will be hanging on to my last generation Lincoln Town Car for a long time.
White wagon wheels are perfect on any mid-’60s to late-’70s 4WD pickup, or any SUV of the same vintage, 4WD or no.
Around here we call that thing on the steering wheel a “suicide knob.” Not exactly sure why.
I also know it as a “suicide knob”. It encourages you to drive with one hand, and if your hand slips off while turning the wheel, there’s a good chance you will crash. That’s why they’re outlawed.
Ah the Brodie knob. It was used on cars/trucks/commercial equipment that did not have power steering to allow the user to turn the wheel with one hand while reaching down to grab the shifter with the other hand. It is also still sold(the good ones with thick bearings) for for folks with disabilities (such as missing an arm or trouble with movement in that arm) to allow that person to have an easier time driving and stores still sell them for tractors and forklifts.
It was called suicide knob because misusing it could cause a crash. It was also known to crack you one good in the hand if you let up on the steering wheel when the wheel was coming quickly back to center or snag your shirt or bump your hand/arm off the wheel causing a crash. They have also caused bad chest injuries in a crash.
Didn’t the Willy’s 4wd 4-door wagon predate the Travelall? Just going off the top of my head on this one 🙂
The Willys Jeep Station Wagon was strictly 2 door. The Kaiser Jeep Wagoneer arrived in 1963.
And the Traveall officially moved beyond 2drs in 1957. Yes it was only 3drs but it was still more than the 2drs available from Jeep or GM. I have seen a couple of earlier trucks with an extra door or two but those did not roll off the production line that way.
He’s thinking of the very rare 4-door Willys Jeep Wagon. They do exist.
Picture, please? I’ve never heard of one, at least not a factory job. Obviously, custom jobs don’t apply.
Lifted from Barrett-Jackson.
No wonder I’m not familiar with the 4 door. There’s about a half-dozen known to be in existence. Obviously very limited production. Hence not relevant to my point. But thanks for enlightening me that they do exist, as unicorns.
It it is wearing an 1100 series badge it means it is equipped with the leaf spring straight axle front suspension, assuming of course that badge is original. The models equipped with the torsion bar IFS wear a badge that says 1000. Both have the same nominal weight ratings in base form. The ride height also says 1100, the 1000 truck frame was unique in that the rails were not as deep being basically a square box vs the deep C channel on the rest of the line.
As far as truck based station wagons go the Travelall was or at least could be the “luxury” selection of the time. The ads touted its available “luxury” features like power steering, automatic transmission, power rear window and air conditioning as well as the “car like ride and handling” of the IFS equipped model. Yeah it didn’t take long before those items were common in other trucks and almost universal in cars but in 1961 those were not options available across the board in trucks. When equipped with the custom interior and exterior trim packages, all the power accessories, and maybe 4wd, they got relatively expensive too.
Pinning down the exact year from the available details is impossible. The C1x0 (61-2) had quad headlights and the 1x00C 68-9 had aluminum bezels surrounding the headlights. The grille like so many IH’s is the main way to tell the C1x00 (63-4) D1x00 (65-6), 1x00A (66) 1x00B (67) and the 1x00C(68-9) apart.
This one sporting the barn doors, yellow paint and an AT in an otherwise base model makes me think its first employer was a government agency.
Impressive or weird that the Continental is so nice and yet spending years sitting outside on the street? Impressive that it seems to go unmolested. It would be hard to pull that off in a nice part of town where I live. Jerky kids seem to come in both rich and poor varieties.
I’m not sure who did it first, but the Travelall and the ’63 Studebaker Lark appear to be products of the same company!
Maybe the base trim shows the resemblance better………
The similarity carries over to the inside. 🙂
A ’62 Studebaker would look even more like the Travelall than the ’63s shown here, with their fishbowl windshields, curved-corner door glass, and separated doors that were all removed for ’63.
I never noticed this resemblance, but did notice the Jeep Wagoneer looked exactly like an SUV version of the similarly-named ’64-’66 Wagonaire, not surprising since both were styled by Brooks Stevens.
Your’e not the only one that’s noticed: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cohort-sighting-1962-studebaker-lark-wagon-what-does-it-remind-you-of/
I thought the same thing, especially with those prominent flying ridges on the rear quarter panels of both vehicles.
I think they both also rusted at the same (accelerated) pace. 🙂
Wasn’t Brooks Stevens involved in the hasty face lifts of the 1962 and 1963 Studebakers, along with the design of this International? He was a free-lance industrial designer/stylist in those days, and designed the 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, in addition to the first Jeep Wagoneer.
Yes, he was, and I’m reasonably sure (without going and looking it up) that he did the Lark facelift as well as the GT Hawk.
yep, he did the ’62, ’63, and ’64 Lark facelifts. I recall the small changes on the ’66 were from someone else.
The populace is guilty of historic revision to deify the Continental. Especially the four door. As recently as 10 years ago, my Father had one for a daily. My Sister had an equally low mile ’66 Cadillac. They were both whales, but the Cadillac was miles more stable in the roads around Keno, Oregon, along the Klamath where she lives. Both had been treated to Schwabs best shocks and tires at the same store. The flex was noticeable, and the back doors would occasionally need to be lifted and shut very gently. Of course, the same is true for me just 15 years their senior, but I’m only hauling other people figuratively.
You don’t have to convince me. The all-new Cadillac chassis that came in 1965 was substantially better in terms of all-round handling. This is confirmed by this test: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/six-luxury-cars-a-car-and-driver-test-from-1965-with-some-cc-pictures/
Quite a pair. Perhaps you could also compose the British analogue of this – a Phantom VI parked next to an early 4-door Range Rover? Probably far less likely to see a street parked Phantom though.
I used to see these occasionally around Fort Wayne as a lad, but don’t recall the Travelall really getting people out of regular station wagons until the next generation came out in 1969. I remember a pretty fair number of them on the road in the 70s, including the 71 owned by a friend’s family.
A lot of people forget how IH had this market to itself for a long time. The Suburban didn’t get a 4th door until 1973. Had the family market not segued into vans in the 70s before landing on 4WD SUVs in the late 80s, IH would have been in the money.
I disagree that the 1965 Lincoln Continental was the last great luxury car (that honor goes to the 1979 Lincoln Continental or 1979 Cadillac Deville), while I like the 1965 Lincoln I’ve thought the 1966 Lincoln has greatly improved over the 1965 in styling and powertrain.
I swore out loud at my studio seeing that opening picture. Sweet Jesus that Lincoln looks amazing!
Friend o mine had a International Travelall a AB series with the stacked lights Aussie model it was one tough station wagon big six up front 4 speed manual trans lugged tyres all round but from memory only a two door.
The lincoln still looks the mutts after all these years
If I may make the official Curbside Classic Obscure Styling Observation of the Day:
Both the Lincoln and the Travelall are 4-door vehicles with no rear-wheel well intrusion into the rear doors. This is a very rare design feature in post-war passenger cars. I’m not counting modern full-size SUVs like Suburbans, Expedition XLs, and Excursions. Other than the ’61-’69 Continental, I can only think of the 1957-1958 and 1960-1964 Imperial and the Citroën DS. Even the long-wheelbase Cadillac 4-doors had at least a tiny bump to accommodate the rear wheel wells. I am not counting the Seventy-Five ‘factory limo’ here, although it was a regular production vehicle of sorts and not an aftermarket stretch.
Can anyone think of any other 4-door sedans with this arrangement? I’m sure there are a few more.
I always love how low the 2WD Travelall sits. It looks so much more friendly and accessible than today’s crop of 2 story tall SUVs. If you need a power step stool to climb into your car, you might want to consider buying something better suited to your needs.
I keep looking at this picture, and really truly can’t decide which one I’d rather have. Not wild about the color on the IH, but either one would look great in my driveway (although my wife would shoot me)
So weird how they went back to flat side glass for a couple of years on the Lincoln