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Clean Project Truck: 1947 International KB5

The owner of this 1947 International KB5 states that it has a very clean body, and I certainly wouldn’t be willing to argue about that. It isn’t clear how long it has been sitting in its current location, but the time doesn’t appear to have done the old truck any real harm. The time has come for the Inter to emerge from hiding, and for someone to breathe some new life into this old classic. Located in Milaca, Minnesota, the KB5 is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $7,500 for this beauty.

There’s no doubt that this old Inter looks like a pretty clean old truck. The photos and lighting aren’t the greatest, but what we get is a pretty positive picture. There are no signs of any rust issues, and the vehicle looks to be largely complete. The most obvious piece of trim missing off the outside is the chrome trim that is usually fitted to the front edge of the hood. Judging by the appearance of that area, this trim may have been absent for many years. I suspect that the KB5 has undergone a repaint at some point in the past, and I’d be willing to bet that the trim was missing back then. Looking carefully at the photos also tends to indicate that all of the glass is still present, which is a piece of good news.

Looking around inside the cab of the Inter reinforces my belief that the vehicle has undergone a repaint at some point in the past, and it doesn’t look like it was a very professional job. There’s plenty of evidence of poor spray work inside the cab, but leaving that aside, there are plenty of positives to draw from this photo. The interior looks to be complete and the cover on the seat looks like it might be free of rips and tears. At first glance, I thought that the cover was badly torn, but I believe that this is actually paper, and it also looks like there might even be a spare piece of window glass wrapped in that paper. If so, then that’s an added bonus. I honestly think that a good clean would see the interior returned to a serviceable state. The tachometer mounted on the steering column is an interesting touch, and probably isn’t a bad thing. Otherwise, it looks like nothing is missing inside there.

Powering the KB5 is a 233ci straight-six engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. Examining the power and torque figures for this vehicle reveal its true purpose. Maximum power is rated at 93hp, which is delivered at 3,400rpm. Maximum torque is a modest 181ft/lb, but the fact that this is delivered at a mere 1,000rpm is a give-away that this is an engine designed for hauling heavy loads. The owner says that the vehicle doesn’t run or drive, but he doesn’t indicate whether the engine turns freely. Scouting around the engine bay reveals one or two components that don’t appear to be particularly old, so maybe there’s a chance that this old girl was active in reasonably recent times. We can always cross our fingers on that.

Classic trucks are continuing to grow in popularity, and those that emerged directly following the end of World War II are gathering strength. This one looks like a clean example that has the potential to be a great restoration project. One of the great things about collectible trucks is that while it wasn’t that many years ago that enthusiasts were a voice in the wilderness, their popularity has grown at an impressive rate, as people have begun to realize just how interesting a rewarding restoring a classic like this can be. That makes me believe that someone is almost certain to grab this one.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    I know some folks that would die to have the cab off this truck for a pickup build. Don’t usually go for parting out good rigs but what do you do with something this large?

    Like 2
    • Fred W

      I think it would look great with a vintage “semi” trailer on it!

      Like 2
  2. Ken Carney

    Add some sideboards, get her running, and poof! instant scrap hauler. These
    trucks were tough as nails and never ran out of uses. If the engine’s free, it won’t
    take much to get ‘er running again. Great
    teaching tool for my BIL, who is a good
    mechanic, but knows nothing about older
    vehicles. Would like to see him able to work on all kinds of cars, not just the new
    fangled ones. The only change I’d make
    would be to install saddle tanks on the
    frame rails under the bed and bypass the
    tank behind the front seat for safety reasons. That way, you could drive it
    sooner by having clean, safe tanks to hold clean fuel for the engine. Used to see these fitted with saddle tanks back in
    the ’60’s to increase the range and keep
    the truck working longer. Would make a
    nice portrait all gussied up. Would love
    to have it, but my wallet’s empty as can be. Great find though.

    Like 3
  3. sourpwr

    Had one in the early 80’s. Crank out windshield and leaf springs that looked like stack of hotcakes. It would shake your teeth loose unless loaded and you stood up on the brake pedal to get it to stop.The front fenders were about 1/4 ” thick. Good times.

    Like 6
  4. Dan Folske

    It is a K-5 not a KB-5. The grill does not have KB “wings”. It has had an engine transplant at some point in its life. The engine in the picture is not a GRD 233 which is a flathead.

    Like 4
  5. Dovi65

    Brings back great memories of growing up on the farm on Long Island, NY. These old timers, as well as their GMC, Chevy kin] were standard issue for hauling produce from the fields. Every farm had 5 or 6 of these trucks; some with ‘basket’ bodies for potatoes, others with flatbeds, or stake bodies. Back then when they were finally retired, no one wanted them; you couldn’t give them away, so they just sat rotting away on the farm. Hopefully someone rescues this old girl and gives her a new purpose

    Like 4
  6. HoA Rube Goldberg Member

    Dan is right, the KB models came out in ’47, and both were available, so this has to be one of the last K models. Now let’s not pick on Farmer Brown, he had that 2 gallons of John Deere green laying around ( that was suppose to be for the rusty tractor) and spruced up the old truck as best he could. Remember, the farm truck featured here was just a machine to a farmer, no different than the tractor or the combine, or the chopper, so appearance is secondary to function. I’m sure the 20K miles is accurate, these were used and put away for next time. I don’t think this is the original motor either, these had flatheads, and the rest is horribly outdated, good for 1947, but not today. Modern drivetrain, be a nice truck. And just for the record, old farm trucks haven’t gotten this expensive ,,,yet.

    Like 3
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    This would make a great firewood hauler. I once did that in the pacific northwest with a 59 Ford with 8×12 foot bed with 4 foot sideboards. I could put three cords of wood on it. I don’t know what firewood goes for these days, but in 84 when I was doing it I got $100 a cord which fetched me $300 a day minus fuel costs. I could cut, split and load my truck in the morning and deliver it to local bbq joints in the afternoon. Of course I was a lot younger and healthier back then. Now I do believe a young person in strong healthy condition could use this old truck in the same way and make some pretty good money.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jul 23, 2019 , 4:54PM
    Price:US $7,500.00 I think unsold.

    Like 0

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