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1953 International-Harvester: Deal With It

1953 International

Parental Discretion Advised – Due to mature language, including frequent use of the dreaded “P” word, this post may not be suitable for all viewers. This 1953 International-Harvester pick up is offered for sale here on the Columbia, Missouri Craigslist page. The truck is apparently located east of there, in Montgomery City, and the asking price is $1,600.

When I first saw the photo, I thought “Wow, what great patina!” Save your cards and letters, I already know the word patina originally described tarnish and oxidation on silver and copper. But it’s now commonly used to indicate all kinds of other “aged” finishes, such as faded paint, rust on steel, and many other forms of mild cosmetic deterioration. If that suggests the king’s English has finally been bastardized beyond all possible recognition, then so be it. It’s just something you’re going to have to deal with.

I’d like to be using this space to talk about the truck, but the seller gives us very little to work with. There’s the single photo which appears above, and a lengthy ten-word description. One of the things he wants you to know about it is that it “don’t run.”  Also that it’s complete, is a long bed, has a title, and is a “solid old truck”.  Anything beyond that would be strictly conjecture on my part. He doesn’t mention the word “patina” specifically, but you know he must be thinking it.

If it were mine, I’d probably do what’s necessary to get it running, and drive it to town every other month or so to buy more ammunition and canned goods. For those with more imagination and resources than I, it could make an ultra-cool rat rod, because it’s got such a great patina to start with. Oh, yes. I did it again. Victory is sweet. What would you do with this awesome vintage IH?


  1. Avatar photo MountainMan

    The patina term is almost as over used as the term barn find. People are so funny, like the recent staging for photos of the Mopar that sat in a car port for years before going to auction. As over used as the word is this truck sure has it. Indeed a look that some folks will spend hours and hours to try and create. I have to admit that a 50 chevy with original paint worn in all the right places really gets my automotive juices flowing in a way not many vehicles can. This truck has the right look. Lowered 4″ in the front and 6″ in the rear over some chrome reverse wheel and baby moons would be my personal touch to it. At the $1600 price tag its even ok that it “dont run” …after all it is a “solid old truck”!

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  2. Avatar photo Fifthcentury

    The Internationals are very cool. I would get it running and drive it as is. I should do the same with my 1954 International panel van.

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  3. Avatar photo Jim

    I think that’s actually original mold on the fenders.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      Usually you can’t bleach out patina.

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  4. Avatar photo Chris in WNC

    the phrase “don’t run” suggests the seller’s vocabulary might not extend far enough to include “patina”.

    based on the photo, my description would probably stop at the word “rough”.

    therefore I deem his asking price very ambitious, but that opinion of mine has been proved wrong many times.

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  5. Avatar photo MountainMan

    WNC? hey Chris…Western North Carolina?

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  6. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    Love it AND patina.

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  7. Avatar photo JW

    Well after moving to Missouri 15 years ago I’ve figured out Missourian’s are of few words and they have a different vocabulary than most city folk. Now as far as this seller I’m surprised at his ad because Columbia is Mizzou college country but like you stated the truck is in another town so he could still be a true Missourian, heck he could even be a out of stater going to Missou college but his vocabulary says otherwise. Cool looking old truck and for $1600 it might not be too bad a deal in the long run.

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    • Avatar photo Mike

      We can’t help if you Yankee’s don’t know how to talk in the Country, or if you are unable to understand us Country Folk, next time we are talking to you we will talk slower so you can catch a word or two. LOL

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      • Avatar photo JW

        Mike I meant no disrespect to Missourians in my post, yes I’m a Yankee who was born in Aurora, IL and moved to Missouri in 2000. Spent a few summers at my sisters farm in Salem, Mo. and loved every minute of it. I get teased by some family how I am starting to sound like a southerner and my reply is so is that a crime today. I support the southerners right to the Confederate flag as a part of their history. I’m right in the middle of Jesse James territory and I’ve studied him all my life and even here people don’t like him because of his criminal life but he was fighting the railroad barons not residents. Slavery is the only issue we hear on the south but there were other things that made it great like their hospitality which the north does not have IMO. Believe me I know that for a fact and I have no regrets of moving to Missouri.

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  8. Avatar photo SRT8

    I brought up the overuse of the term patina in an earlier post only because it used to be a reason to price a vehicle lower due to its condition. Now thanks to some clever marketing by auction based tv shows it is used to try and price a lot of junk way above its real value and to a point that it makes buying and possibly restoring said vehicles an impossibility. When I was younger, vehicles in those conditions were priced accordingly and made restoration an attractive and economically (within reason) feasible task. I was just pointing that out, call a spade a spade, don’t try and polish a turd and convince someone it’s prime rib.

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    • Avatar photo Wayne S.K.

      @ SRT8 Hear, hear!!!

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  9. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Another creepy BF’s moment. I had a ’53 IH just like this, only blue. This is an R-110. It was made between 1953 thru 1955. It more than likely has the 220 Silver Diamond OHV 6 cylinder, like mine, about 100 hp. 3 speed on the column and probably half a million others just like it. Mine was rusted by the parking lights too, a bad spot for these. They made these cabs into the 70’s with all kinds of applications, so parts should be no problem, and the local “Zone” probably has all the mechanical stuff. While I always preach original, this would be perfect for SBC or Ford. It’s HEAVY-DUTY!

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    • Avatar photo geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. I’m not wild about repowering something like this either but I can understand why some would want to do it. To keep from getting run over by a Prius (sorry Scotty) on the freeway, it would be justified to install something a little bit faster. I met a guy years ago who put a 304 in one. He said it went in quite well but he had to modify the steering. Sure made a nice sleeper. There’s a local guy has a K-series that’s fixed up pretty well. I’m trying to corner him to get a story about it.

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  10. Avatar photo Anthony

    This is just what I need to drive down the mountain here in Nikolaevsk, Alaska to collect beach coal, Yes that is what I said beach coal for heating and cooking. It is free. Lets talk. 9077561121
    P.O. BOX 5133
    Nikolaevsk, Alaska 99556

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    • Avatar photo Marty Member

      Anthony, may I request a photo of your current hauler of beach coal in action, and a few words of write-up about it?

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  11. Avatar photo Badnikl

    He should get it running. Throw a Mexican Blanket on the seat. Then he should take 24 pictures .He could get a Journalism student to write a 3 paragraph story on it and conjecture how it should be fixed up more. Put a price of $10,500 on it too.

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    • Avatar photo Stu

      Good idea HB!

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  12. Avatar photo Brad

    What would I do? Find a similarly aged and character-oozing camper (preferably in riveted aluminum) and go have an adventure.

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  13. Avatar photo MikeW

    I learned to drive in one of those, it had speckled paint, remember that?

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  14. Avatar photo Scrapdaddy

    Funny, I’m from Missouri too and he summed it up perfect. It’s an old truck!

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  15. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    Resto all the way for this beast. There weren’t that many made compared to the other makes. The last thing this one needs is to become another torch sculpture. Fix it up and use it.

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  16. Avatar photo Keith IH

    A sitting Binder gathers no moss? No, wait, that’s not quite right . . .

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  17. Avatar photo DENIS

    gas n a match…yeccchhhh!

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  18. Avatar photo Mike

    Montgomery City is 50 mile east of Columbia on Hwy 70. Yes it could be considered a Rural Farming Community. I have been thru there many times in my life, my Mom was from a town North of there near Mark Twain Lake. I would almost guarantee that this was at one time a farm truck, because they are all around that area. At one time there was a LARGE International Harvester Dealer in the middle of the town, and they also sold the trucks. Yes people have the rural Accent in the way they speak, we can not help it, I was originally born in Cairo, Ill., spent many of summers on the family farm outside the little town of Wyatt, Mo, in the very top of the Boothill. We can’t help that we have a Southern Accent to our Speech, we can’t always talk like you bunch of Yankees. LOL During the Great Civil War, most of the State of Missouri was considered Confederate State, so some still have a Southern brawl to their voice. I do and my wife makes fun of it sometimes, but heck she was a Yankee too!!!!

    Nice Truck by the way, I would clean it up get it running and drive it.

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  19. Avatar photo PatrickM

    I like this one. Would break out the check book…a little.

    And, FifthCentury, yes you should. Finish what you started. Just do it. I’m sure most of us agree. We’re on your side.

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