Vintage Trucks: A Gallery of International COE Semis – Some More Unconventional Than Others

International was once the best selling truck brand; now its successor brand, Navistar, is barely hanging on to the #4 slot for semi trucks. Let’s go back to the time when Internationals COEs (cab over engine) were everywhere, hauling all sorts of loads. International built quite a variety of COE trucks; here’s two of them. The very common “Emeryville” is on the right and the quite unconventional Sightliner is on the left. Note the foot-level “windshields” that even have their own wipers. I guess there were some situations where the view through them was useful, but obviously not often, as the Sightliner had a short life.

International’s first new postwar COE was the CO, using the Comfovision cab that IH designed but was built by Chicago Cab. A number of other truck companies used this cab too; I’ll do a post on all of them sometime soon.

Here’s one in moving van service; the badge on the front and lack of an exhaust stack indicates it’s got a gas V8 engine.

This one is a diesel. These were built and used mostly in the East and Midwest where the overall length restrictions favored them.

Out west, International opened its own plant in Emeryville, CA and these big W-Series trucks had their own unique cab. We did a post on the Emeryville trucks here.

For use where length restrictions weren’t so severe, International sold this RDC, one of the more unusual trucks of times. It was the cab of their conventional truck series sitting high and almost over the engine.

Here’s a closer look at a restored one.

Here’s an RDC cresting a long steep grade out West somewhere. The driver has the door open to keep cool. Or maybe he’s looking at the pavement to make sure the truck is still moving?

That Comfovision cab was jacked up and to make the DCO, commonly referred to as the Emoryville, as that’s where these trucks were built. They were now suitable for long-haul runs, and were a very common sight.

Here’s one shot at a truck stop in California, with the common long wheelbase, since length restrictions were much more generous there.

This Emeryville is hauling an extra long load of VWs under a special use permit in Washington.

Here’s another look at a Sightliner. The cab is obviously from the Loadstar and also used on the International pickups and such.

The DCO was eventually superseded by the Transtar, which became an extremely common sight in its day. I don’t have the stats available, but the Transtar and the Freightliner were undoubtedly the best selling COEs in the ’60s and ’70s. This one is hauling an AM general transit bus.

This Transtar sports a factory double sleeper cab. Maybe a husband and wife team? The trailer shows the effects of the diesel exhaust stack.

One more.

Here’s a Transtar CO4070 with a newer CO9670 on the right.

This oddball is another oddball, a 9600, built only for a couple of years in the mid-seventies.

Here’s a rather rare double-front axle Transtar.

Towards the end of the COE era, there was this 9700 with a set-back front axle and large aero device on the roof. International COE trucks continued to be built in Brazil, which were exported to a number of other countries.