Checks All Boxes! 1971 International Harvester 1210

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This one checks all of the boxes for me: it’s unusual, it’s a 4×4, it has the biggest V8, and it’s a 5-speed! This 1971 International Harvester 1210 pickup is in Freeman, South Dakota and is listed on eBay with a current price of $2,600 and there are still four days left to get your bids in. This cool cornbinder is going to the highest bidder as there is no reserve!

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* Dog not included.. but the tailgate is included. This is a great looking truck, but it looks like it has been restored at some point during its lifetime. Or at least it has been fixed up with some body putty and then painted, unless I’m mistaken on that chipped piece on the LF fender and the rust and lurking rust seen under the left side of the windshield. The seller says that this was an actual barn find and that it runs and drives nicely but the brakes are soft and could use some work. Then, there’s that rust hole in the cab corner on the left side with oddly not much rust showing around the hole. Did someone paint over the rust hole at some point? The box looks good but there will be a bit of welding to do back there, too. But, you can do it, I know that you can! Or, don’t fix it, just get things working perfectly and drive it as is, or fix it as you use it for errands. Either way you go, this will be a favorite vehicle.

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The seller mentions some wear in the driver’s seat bottom, but dang, for a tough truck this one sure looks good on the inside to me. Here’s a YouTube video, or actually a slide show, of a similar 1210 pickup restoration; beautiful. The 1210 model is a 3/4-ton pickup. The interior of this pickup doesn’t look like it needs a lot of work but there aren’t a lot of photos to really tell, just this one. This IH sound like a heck of a deal to me. You can see the optional 5-speed manual. A 3-speed manual was standard with the 4-speed, 5-speed, and automatic as options. This truck has thee best transmission choice for me. Is that a padded dash?! People and their posh pickups..

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This is the top engine for the 1210 in 1971, a 392 V8 with almost 200 hp. It looks like it could use a good cleaning, but couldn’t we all. A couple of year later AMC offered its 401 V8 due to the high demand for the 392 in International’s medium-duty truck line. This 1210 checks pretty much every box for me as far as pickups go. If IH would have offered a diesel in this era, that’s about the only thing that I can think of that would have one-upped the big-V8 for me, but beggars can’t be choosers. Have any of you owned an IH pickup? What do you think about the configuration of this one? Does it check a few of your boxes, too?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    The ad says it’s a 345. It could be a 392, as I don’t think there was any difference by looking at them. Never cared for the D series ( not this D series anyway) This would make a great plow truck. Sure is tough enough. Again, engine preferences aside, these were still good trucks, only a mere shred of what they used to be. I don’t think many were sold. Not sure why. Travellall’s were popular ( the old man had one, it was awful), but not a lot of pickups. Pickups were still popular in rural areas, as shown, but never sold like the big 3,and wasn’t long before IH threw in the towel, in small trucks anyway. I guess it’s a little fancy for a plow truck ( which are usually just shells of trucks like this) but I don’t think it would make a very practical daily driver. Nice find.

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    • Scotty Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      For the love of.. Good eye on the engine size, Howard. How’d I miss that?

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    • geomechs

      Hi guys. One of the reasons Binder’s light truck sales lagged behind was that so many truck agencies were linked to the farm equipment dealers. As farms got larger there was less demand for light trucks. Being tied up with farm equipment, there just weren’t enough urbanites crossing the street to look at a new Binder. During a time of massive turbulence in the farm machinery and large truck markets, IH decided to let the light trucks fade away and separate the farm machinery dealers from the truck shops. I don’t know if it was a good decision to drop the light trucks or not but it was done. That’s what I derived from the book: International Trucks, by Patrick Foster.

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      • Dave Wright

        Good point……….

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      • Scotty Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Geo, nice call. Pat Foster is such a great resource, I have a few of his books and they’re fantastic. He’s my go-to guy for my type of vehicles (AMCs, Mets, anything unusual). I’ll have to get his IH book, thanks for the tip.

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  2. Dave Wright

    Nicely equipped truck, the 345 is more than adaquate for most uses. They came with either a 2 bbl or 4 bbl carb. If driven properly, the 4 bbl can actually get better mileage than the 2 bbl…..but you have to stay out of it unless it is needed. The 345 developed less heat than the 392 and was less prone to valve seat and head cracking. The 5 speed is great, could be an over drive or not….they made both….the PS is wonderful as is the PB. A/C would be nice. I have owned many of these trucks, they were very expensive new compared with the big 3. Many were government trucks. My dad ran them in one of his trucking companies, one ton dually’s with van bodies. Would get over 400,000 highway miles on the 345 4bbl engines. The only problem was they were expensive to rebuild…….he used to say, they would give you the truck so they could make money selling parts……..he went to GMC’ s in 72 or so. They were good trucks, didn’t last as long as the IHC (engines) but could put a new premium crate 350 in them for 1/2 the price as the IHC so in the long run were cheeper to operate. He kept a 350 bought and paid for at the GMC dealer, they would change it out in 2 days and he was back on the road. Some of those trucks would get 800 miles a day 7 days a week. As to this IHC, I have a 68 equipped very similar, always preferred the earlier body to this one. Howard seems to think most 4X4’s are used as plow trucks……..not here in the west. Off course, some are but the vast majority are not. I have 6 4X4’s here at the ranch so I don’t have to worry a lot about plowing. If I need to plow, I get a machine out designed for it. One of the tractors. Or my neighbors grader.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dave, well, the old man settled in Wisconsin, and there’s nothing I can do about that now. As for plow trucks, we hang plows on anything that has more than 1 drive axle. Heck, some enterprising farmer probably glued 2, 2 wheel drives together to get a plow rig. We had to. We just don’t have the money, like on either coast. You have to make do with what you have.( or get cheaply) These kinds of trucks ( with half a body) are prime candidates for plow trucks, as they aren’t road legal anymore, still run great and probably will serve no other purpose.

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      • Dave Wright

        One of my high school buddies dad was an equipment operator. He (the son) bought a pickup with a plow on it for a part time job. The second year he sold the plow off the truck and bought a bobcat. He had picked up lots of big accounts and the bobcat would stack the snow as well as clear it faster. He paid for the machine in the first month, used the profits for years after to put his way through collage. Those were heavy snow years. He did buy some old state trucks with blowers and dump beds. Some years later the city hired a new manager from California, he sold the fleet of road graders they had used for decades to clear the city streets explaining that “modern Chemicals” could do the job. The first bad winter we had he learned otherwise and was replaced. In the city, disposing of the snow is as big a problem as plowing it so typical push plows are not as effective.

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  3. Bob

    The ad says this has a 345. I had a 1970 IH 1100 “1/2 ton” 345 auto with 3.73 posi Dana 60 rear end. The truck would go anywhere and never burned a drop of oil. Top speed at the 3800 rpm redline was only 85-90 mph, but 1st & 2nd gear burnouts were easy. I used to keep a 200 lbs. of concrete in the back for traction, especially in winter. The truck had a rake to the front and progressive overload springs. The only time it ever sat level on the overloads I had close to 2000 lb. in the bed. Mine was the dee luxe with cloth seats, carpeted interior, padded steering wheel, FM radio and woodgrain insert panels on the sides. I paid $1400 for it in 1971 with 10,000 miles on it, and got $2000 when I traded it for a new IH Scout II 4×4 in 1974. The sticker price on the Scout was $4200. They were great trucks. An IH 3/4 ton is easily equal to everyone else’s one ton. Too bad they aren’t made anymore.

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  4. geomechs

    My dad bought a new 1200 series crew cab in ’69. It had a 392/auto and A-C. The motor was great albeit thirsty. The transmission gave a lot of trouble as did the A-C. I remember several Binder specialists trying to iron the bugs out of it. I remember the Binder was purple (Plum Metallic) and Dad referred to it as the ‘PRUNE.’ To him it was the $h!t$. He eventually traded it for a Ford F-250 which we ran the wheels off of over the next several years. Remembering back, the Binder had some charm in that it was the only crew cab in the region unless you looked at the Hutterite colonies (akin to the Amish only highly modernized/mechanized) which always had them, only long wheelbase units and ugly as $h!t on a stick….

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  5. John H. in CT

    Caveat Emptor! That rust under the driver door could be serious. Obviously a repaint. Need pics of the underbody on this one! As they say, if it looks to good to be true….

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  6. Rickyrover

    I love the old binders…….gas hogs that they may be…….I bought a brand new 1971 IHC Travelall 1210 4×4 with the 392, 4bbl carb, and the 5 speed OD. I special ordered it from the IHC dealer in Manhattan, Kansas. The 5 speed could be ordered as direct 5th or OD overdrive 5th. A Warn winch and auto locking hubs were added. I also ordered the optional front bucket seats rather than the bench. I got the tailgate with electric window rather than the stock barn doors. I was a young man then and blew my inheritance and spent a whopping $8,500 on this rig, brand new loaded (you couldn’t buy anything close these days for under $60k!). 7 to 8 mpg was normal and the best attained was 12 mpg with a tailwind on I-70 driving to Colorado……well, had it a couple years until I got married and had our first baby, then it had to go……damn, what a truck…….

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  7. rustylink

    my old man had a 72′ with a 345 – 2wd – 3/4 ton. It was a freaking beast – no power steering, no power brakes – it would go anywhere. Rode like a buckboard wagon – driving it was a workout..

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  8. G 1

    I believe the 392’s had sodium filled exhaust valves.

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    • Dave Wright

      As did the 345-304-266,

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  9. Christopher Horn

    Is it me? or does that look like and old Ford bed on that IH?

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  10. Glenn Craven

    The beds bear a resemblance, but that one is authentic IH.

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