International Harvester Truck Probably Worth the Trouble

The retrieval of vintage International Harvester pickup is a useful reminder of life’s unpredictability.

| November 2019

I needed to move my loader tractor to another location, so that was a good excuse to check out the hitch.

On March 23, 2019, my grandson, Clint, who recently returned from a 10-year U.S. Navy enlistment, went with me to Indianapolis, Indiana, to look at a 1973 International Harvester Model 1210 4x4 pickup with a 345-cubic-inch V8 engine and 4-speed transmission that I’d seen advertised in Hemmings Motor News.

I had talked with the owner several times and he said the truck had fewer than 30,000 miles on it. I was a little skeptical about that, but after checking out the photos he provided, I thought the truck was definitely worth a look. Clint said that as long as I got him back in time for work Monday morning, he would love to go on a little road trip. I didn’t foresee that being a problem, so around 5:30 on a Saturday morning we headed east on I-70. The trip was uneventful, and with Clint coaching me from the GPS on his phone, we actually arrived in downtown Indianapolis without missing a single turn.

Me and the old truck. It was “probably worth the trouble.”

Plenty of upgrades – and original paperwork

The truck had factory power steering but no power brakes. An excellent receiver hitch had recently been installed. The owner had also recently installed a new clutch and radiator, and mounted five new 10-ply radial tires on Ford wheels. He told me that when he bought the truck, it had the old-style split rims. He couldn’t find a local shop that would work on them, so he located Ford wheels that would fit.

Clint and I drove the pickup two or three blocks, then locked in the hubs and checked out low and high range before driving back to the trailer. When we left Columbia, Missouri, I knew what the truck would cost me if I decided to buy it, so I took a cashier’s check along just in case. I handed it to the seller and he went in to the house to get the paperwork while we loaded the truck on my gooseneck.


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