Curbside Classic: 1972 International Travelall 1210 4×4 – Travel All Roads Or None At All

There’s a shrinking but still substantial pool of vehicle we haven’t covered yet, like this one. Back in 2012 I found a fine Travelall 4×4 of the previous generation and wrote it up. And now this has shown up a few blocks away; how convenient. And a tough customer it is, a 3/4 ton 1210, with four wheel drive. This is as rugged and gnarly as these got, which is saying something.

The Travelall was of course one of the three seminal SUV/truck wagons, along with the Jeep Wagoneer and the Chevrolet Suburban. Size-wise, the Travelall slots in between the other two, somewhat closer to the Suburban. The new—and final—generation of International pickups and Travelalls arrived for the 1969 model year, and lasted through 1975, felled by the energy crisis. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what kind of fuel mileage this beast gets.

I’m guessing at this one’s model year, as it could also be a 1973, and I’m not enough of a cornbinder anorak to know if there’s a visible difference between the two.

What we do know is that it’s a 1210, which is the highest weight rating on these, and that it’s got a V8, not surprisingly. The question is which one. There were International V8s in 304, 345 and 392 cubic inch versions on tap, and in ’73 and ’74, there was also the AMC 401 cubic inch V8 available—dubbed the V-400—as International was not able to meet the demand for V8 engines across its broad line of trucks.  That V8 engine shortage quickly turned into a glut as the energy crisis unfolded late in 1973.

We also know that it’s got an automatic, by Borg Warner. And there’s the transfer case shifter on the floor. The middle seat folded down to make a mighty big armrest.  The dashboard is an unfortunate let down from the S-W gauge versions of its predecessor.

Rear seat accommodations back then in these utility wagons weren’t exactly luxurious, regardless of the fabric used.

The view from the rear window enhances the feeling of spartan utility. The new generation of Suburban that arrived in 1973 changed that equation forever. This was old school by 1975.

It’s sporting a bit of rust over its very rugged full-floating rear axle. Must not be a native Oregonian.

And it’s got that International-exclusive fuel filler down low on the front fender, to feed the optional second tank that sat in the frame in the passenger side. Given their prodigious thirst, an auxiliary tank was a good thing to have.

There’s a nice flush of hood patina. I need to go back and knock on their door and ask what’s under the hood. I hate not knowing. If it’s the AMC 401, I would like to document that.

Has there ever been a boxier SUV? Or a gnarlier one?