1966 International 1200A: Truckiest Truck Ever?

“Hey, Mabel, we got us a real truck ‘ere!” This is what I think of when I think of a work truck. You can find this 1966 International Harvester 1200A for sale here on eBay. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt W. for this truly trucky find located in Wichita Falls, Texas.

The seller tells us that the truck is from Oregon and was there until about five years ago. Since then it has lived a life of luxury. The previous owner was the type of person you’d like to buy things from; there is a 3 foot tall (!) folder of receipts and documentation on the truck.

Naturally the bed is in good shape — do you see any rust? I didn’t, but the seller says there are some bubbles on the lower front fenders.

Kinda plain, but that’s the way Farmer Joe & Mabel like things (no offence intended to any farmers, Joes or Mabels)! That there center console is custom, and the truck has been fitted with a CD player–what will they think of next?

The original 304 V8 runs well and the 4WD is ready to go. I think this would be an enjoyable classic that you could take, well, anywhere a vehicle can go! How about you — do you share my enthusiasm for this “truckiest truck ever”!

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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    I think this a fantastic truck, however this truck will be geared rather low so your going to need a slip tank and a wad of hundred dollar bills to go any where at around 55 mph. I’d start with looking at regearing the axles then I’d look at transplanting a five speed gear box into it with 5th being a overdrive gear. With these changes you’d actually be able to keep up with traffic and soften the blow at the gas pump.

    • Dave Wright

      That is most likely an incorrect assumption. My 63 has 3.73 gears with a 304, and my 68 has 4.10 gears with a 5 speed overdrive. The 304 is a wonderful smooth engine that is quite happy at highway speeds. My 63 would get 16 mpg carrying a 9’ overhead camper. IHC’s are all custom built and very greatly. This one seems to be nicely equipped but 1200’s all came with split rims requiring tube type tires and any other wheels have to be custom built because of the unusual bolt pattern. They didn’t go to a common bolt pattern on 3/4 Tons until the next body style in 1969. The 5 speed overdrive trans in my truck is factory and worth a couple of thousand bucks by it’s self. Much cheaper to just change axle ratios if nessisary. I upgraded the axles on my 68 to 1970 axles with common 8 lug bolt pattern (and better brakes) because they were cheaper than having wheels made for the old hubs. I love these trucks. Lots of urban myths about them from unknowing people.

  2. Rodk

    Great truck and in great condition. This truck was built to work and they performed very well. Wish I could have this one.

  3. Beatepat

    Stick a Gear Vendors Overdrive unit on it and raise (or lower) your gear ratios for better highway cruising. And you can split all of your gears.
    Also, nowadays it’s kind of sad to see a modern stereo in these. Now you can convert your old stock radio to stereo output, and Bluetooth input. Vintage looks with modern tunes. Booyah!

  4. Matt

    I wouldn’t change a thing..just enjoy

    • Brian

      Same here Matt. I’d drive it on my off days and for camping trips. Would love to have this.

  5. Sanity Factor

    When i was 5yo i rode from cleveland oh to ft.worth tx in one of these w a slide in camper….its a truck other trucks wish they were….


    If it has a truck 4 speed, which i presume it does, and for some unknown reason a person wanted to drive on highway often instead of converting it to 5 speed, what is wrong with a “gear vendors” overdrive unit they can handle a lot of power. I think something in neighborhood of 1200 H.P. ofcourse they might not have one to fit tranny

    • Dave Wright

      Gear vendors is something like 3-4X the cost of just changing the ring and piñon to a higher ratio. Low is a granny and low enough to pull a house with any final drive ratio.

  7. GP Member

    I wouldn’t mind having that binder in my driveway. This one will hall a load of oak fire wood.

  8. robj

    All of a sudden my shorts are too small. At 66 and calmly awaiting my first S.S. check next month, this is a red letter day!
    Love this truck. At 16, when other friends had jobs at the beach, I was mowing at the local quarry/swim club. There were girls in bathing suits so it was almost the beach.
    The boss had one of these [same year I think] and even back then it didn’t look as good as this one but I found every excuse I could to drive that baby up the road for “something”, it didn’t matter what…at least it was a break from mowing. And regarding the axle ratio, I’m in no hurry and prone to smelling the roses.

  9. Rube Goldberg Member

    Yeah, doesn’t get much better than this,,,for a truck,and I don’t mean what passes for a truck today. IH was riding high in the mid-60’s, probably THE most popular heavy duty truck, and much of that engineering showed up in these. They were over-built. However, I think today, people that never spent any time in one of these, may be a bit surprised, it’s nothing like their new F-150. These are rough riding, uncomfortable, hot/cold, loud, wander all over the road, and poor brakes, BUT, if you need to haul a load of rocks from one field to another, or a trailer stacked with logs to the sawmill( slowly) here’s your truck. You won’t kill it, but it’s really more of a machine, like a tractor, which it was designed for, than a pleasure vehicle. Most of these up north, had plows on them, and rusted to bits and they were popular among farmers, you could get parts right at the combine dealer. Very few, if any, exist up there today, so this is a rare sight, for me anyway.

  10. geomechs Member

    These were a common sight out west. There were a lot of aggressive IH dealers out here and the quantity of trucks sold confirmed it. By the mid-60s half the farm trucks were 4×4 and it’s not surprising that the sight of this one is familiar although there were many very similar to this one. It’s interesting to note that many of them are still in use on ranches throughout the west. Recent trips to visit family in NM showed many old binders with current license tags. Dad had a ’56 S-120 4×4 which is still in use today, and doesn’t look much different than it did 60+ years ago, albeit a little more faded.

    Now for this one: I don’t think this is the original color. Looks more like it was once pained a sea-sick blue/green. Saw lots of them that color over the years. The brown definitely looks better….

  11. FiremanDan

    I absolutely love BARN FINDS….by the way your truck was originally this color green…check the engine compartment fire wall.so many cars and trucks from my childhood…i just bought a 1964 IH 1200 4×4 w 63000 original miles….for $800 ……new tires…she was the 1st 4×4 Truck for the National Forest in Aspen ,Colorado ….found her in a barn in Basalt, Colorado…V8…4 speed….fabulous shape…w dealer installed pto winch …👍👊❤…keep up the good work

    • GP Member

      Nice find, realistic price.

  12. Bubba5

    International truck, check.
    Airstream, check.
    White linen jhodhoper suit, check.

    Pulling up to palace for dinner with King, priceless.

  13. chad

    Wally Bysom? take U to Africa in that?

    • Bubba5

      Yes this is Wally Byam the man that invented Airstream Trailers. The trip was Capetown South Africa to Cairo Egypt then on to Europe.

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