Extra Stretch: 1972 International Travelall Airporter

By Nathan Avots-Smith

In case a regular International Travelall is just too mainstream for you (who doesn’t have one, am I right?), here’s a unique twist: an impressively massive Travelall limousine! Stretched in Fort Smith, Arkansas by Armbruster/Stageway, this fifteen-passenger wagon currently rests in Waxahachie, Texas where it’s being offered on craigslist with a $4,900 asking price (archived ad). I actually have a tandem garage that this thing might fit into, but it’s already occupied, so I’ll pass this one along in case any of you are interested. Thanks to reader Paul Connor for this find!

Believe it or not, although the ad emphasizes that this is a VERY RARE vehicle, it’s not the first stretched Stageway Travelall we’ve featured, or even the longest—the last time we saw one of these, it had five doors per side! Given its unusual location in Arkansas, a little history on the coachbuilder is in order. Armbruster started, as many coachbuilders did, in the horse-drawn vehicle trade in 1887. Interestingly, the company doesn’t appear to have branched out into automobile bodies until the 1920s, the late date perhaps in part due to its distance from the traditional centers of the automotive industry. While the company later also built traditional limousines, its first products were very much along similar lines to this International: long-wheelbase, multi-door heavy-duty vehicles that could be used as minibuses for the tourist trade. The Stageway trade name was added via a distributor that was absorbed into the company in the 1960s, by which time this type of supersized wagon had become commonly referred to as an “airporter” because of its suitability for use as ground transport.

This is very much a project vehicle, and one that will likely require a Travelall parts car or two. Given that this is supposed to be a fifteen-passenger model, for example, it looks like it’s short a couple of bench seats, and what’s there has seen better days. I can see headliner hanging down, too, and that’s going to require a lot of material to fix!

There’s also plenty of attention needed on the sheetmetal—and the condition of the underside and its many important but vulnerable structural modifications is a complete, frightening mystery. There’s additional rust documented at the top of the windshield, around the rear cargo doors, and in the door jambs.

This is one of those infamous “ran when parked” vehicles; how long ago that was isn’t clear, and nor is it clear which of I-H’s V8s is under the hood. This truck is a big project—in every sense of the word big!—but I gotta admit, I think the potential payoff could be a pretty cool, definitely unique vehicle. Any of you have the room, and the appetite for a challenge, to take this special limo on?

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. Madmatt

    I-H stands for “Iam hurting”in this case -LOL.
    This could be customized in so many ways,or left
    stock but would be a show stopper either way!
    I’ve never seen one of these Internationals in this configuration,
    would make a hellava sedan/panel delivery too,man that
    vehicle could be so cooool—with some T/M =time/money.

    2+
  2. jay daniel

    Went to an IH show in Ohio 15 years ago. Saw a white one of these on a trailer. I had a 74 4×4 Travelall for hunting. Great vehicles, made like a tank

    Wish I had time, this could be fun, but ……

    1+
  3. Jeffro

    Turning radius = a country mile

    7+
  4. AMXSTEVE

    These were airport buses for hotels at that time. Many around O’Hare field in my youth.

    4+
  5. Jubjub

    Love these Travelalls but I’d lose my cool after having to walk around it a few times.

    5+
  6. Chebby

    I just wanna run around it and slam all those doors….

    6+
  7. boxdin

    The longroofians are in heaven.

    1+
  8. Bruce Fischer

    Give me 40 acres and I will turn this rig around.LOL.Bruce.

    1+
  9. Howard A Member

    Always thought these could use a tag axle in the middle somewhere. This is junk.

    1+
  10. Rod444

    Doesn’t look like it’s going to be roadworthy anytime soon. I’d build a partition between each set of doors and rent out 5 ‘super retro micro apartments’ in San Francisco for $1000 each/month.

    Get my money back in the first month and ride the gravy train to retirement!

    2+
  11. Jack Quantrill

    I had a ’72 travelall, in green like this. What a beast. An alternator wire rubbed against some metal and the wiring system caught fire,. You could buy a whole wiring system for $75 back then. Put it in, and ran another 50,000 miles.

    0
  12. Van

    Needs an intercom, boat dead ahead.

    0
  13. newfieldscarnut

    There was one of these on here in August of 2013 with 4 wheel drive .

    0
  14. T Mel

    “Who doesn’t have one?” …here’s mine:

    2+
  15. Walter

    I would but I got this one already

    2+
  16. craig m bryda

    Back in my ” Mispent ” youth a close friend had the brainstorm to buy one and outfit it for trips to N Y C from Tappan N.Y. ( Rockland County ) for Yankee games for our beer guzzling friends. Well he found a deal on 2 of ’em. Needless to say the best laid plans of mice & men ……. loaded them up with passengers ( ? ) & cold kegs only to break down on their maiden voyage on opening day at the Stadium. Not even close. Thank God the beer stayed cold.

    1+
  17. David Miraglia

    for a bus guy like me. This is a no brainier restore it and use it as special travel
    nostalgia hauler.

    0

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.