Horsin’ Around: 1970 International Loadstar

This 1970 International Loadstar horse hauler is one heavy-duty rig just for carrying two horses around. It can be found here on eBay in Boyce, Virginia. There is a $6,500 buy-it-now price and the current bid price is just over a hundred bucks. There’s a long way to go before this one leaves the seller’s property.

We saw a very similar equestrian (as well-heeled folks say) hauler (as well-heeled folks never say) about 2.5 years ago here on Barn Finds. That one was a little cheaper than this white I-H Loadstar is selling for and they seem to be in similar condition, but it’s hard to tell from just a handful of photos. I can’t get it out of my head what a nice motorcycle hauler this would be, if not maybe too heavy-duty, slow, and hard on gas compared to a modern vehicle.

The seller has provided only five photos of this big rig but it looks like it’s in nice shape for being almost five decades old. One of you truckers (looking at you, Rube and Geo) will know what’s powering this one, and what transmission it may have. The seller doesn’t give either spec but they say that it’s been sitting for three years and it’ll need carb work and a new battery.

I always think motorcycle hauler when I see a truck like this, that side ramp would be perfect and I’d use the cabover section for sleeping and make it half-hauling-half-camping-friendly. But, that 6-8 mpg would be hard to live with given that a newer pickup and trailer would probably give much better mileage and may be easier to drive. It sure wouldn’t be as eye-catching, and for me that’s a big part of the old vehicle hobby, driving something unusual.


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  1. mallthus

    I’d have to say that this could be a fun rig to swap a more modern, powerful, and efficient drivetrain into.

    It’s likely that this rig has a BD-308 inline 6, since the V8s had an Alison automatic. Although that’s a stout tractor motor, it has essentially zero aftermarket support.

    Putting a modern diesel into this could really add to the party. A Cummins M series would fit and scoot.

    Like 5
    • RCB

      345 v8 also commonly came in the loadstars with 5 speeds, usually with a 2 speed rear. The ad says v8, but who knows. I’d expect a v8 personally.

      Like 4
  2. Bob C.

    These were the good Internationals. A neighbor of mine had a 1962 flatbed very similar to this. I remember a lot of school buses from the early 70s with that front end as well. The gas engines had a distinctive sound when revving.

    Like 7
    • Ken

      I had a wheat farmer uncle who swore by them. He had five 1600s over the years, and they were always super-reliable and able to withstand lots of abuse. There was one I liked in particular, because it had an AM radio. My cousin and I used to fight over it. It can get awfully boring sitting in a truck in a 1000-acre field in 100-degree heat while waiting for the combines to come around again. One summer the crop was so bad it literally took hours for the IH 403s to fill their hoppers. My dad jokingly said the yield was measured in acres per bushel.

      Like 11
      • djjerme

        I was going to say – when I was working for the local International dealer 20+ years ago, there was still a lot of these in use around the city, and we kept a lot of the parts on the shelf. In fact, our engine shagger that i’d use to go grab stuff from Cummins or who ever was one of these, but with the 345 and two speed rear as well.. Even the 308 if it is what this has, we did have parts still available.

        But again, that was two decades ago, so who knows now..

        Like 4
  3. Wayne

    Well, I am no trucking expert, but I would be betting on a 345 V8. You can see that it has a 2 speed rear diff. BUT, the first thing to do to this overpriced piece of merchandise would be to change out the French & Hecht 2 piece wheels. Which would require enough money to make the whole project cost prohibitive. There are many tire places in this country that will not even touch a split/2 piece wheel. So if traveling and have a tire problem, it could get really expensive in a hurry just to get a tire replaced, or even changed out if you could not change to the spare yourself. I like IH vehicles for the most part. But in this case, buy this for a song, pop the body off and have it transferred to a more modern cab/chassis.
    The body is what makes this vehicle interesting. The chassis (in my opinion) has just past its usefulness unless you actually have a once in awhile use for it.

    Like 8
  4. CapNemo CapNemo

    I was petting my neighbor’s horse just a little while ago. Nice, friendly horse. I asked him, “Why the long face?” He just looked at me.

    Like 17
    • Sunshine

      Same joke 32 months later? Really? Need new material? This joke is long in the tooth!

      Like 3
      • CapNemo CapNemo

        Heck, I didn’t remember telling that one! Old age I guess. I shouldn’t horse around so much.

        Like 5
      • Little_Cars

        This horse hauler is going to cost a “pal o muno” to revive. I could use it sparingly around my country environs to bring two horses out to ride the short trails nearby. Split rims would be a dealbreaker for me although I have an oldtimer friend who would work on them in his shop should I have a blowout.

        Like 1
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I drove a few of these way back when I worked for Allied Van Lines. Ours had V8s though I don’t recall specifics about them. Two speed split-shift and you’d be lucky to get 6-8 mpg with a load. On a hard bounce the clips holding the butterfly hood down would pop loose and you watched the two hood sections flopping up and down over a rough road until you stopped and latched them shut again. Didn’t ride too well with a load, rode like a buckboard empty. A steep grade gave you a workout with the shifter, too. That’s the way it was back then. Today, straight-jobs ride so much better; young truckers should count their blessings.

    Like 6
    • Ken

      These trucks were ideal for hauling wheat out of the fields and to the elevator. I drove a ‘69 1600 for several summers in fairly rough terrain, and not once did either side of the butterfly hood pop loose. These things were tough SOBs, and as Bob C noted above, the gas engines had their own unique sound.

      Like 5
  6. Mark

    Drove same truck year and chassis as a garbage truck, 345 cubic engine, stick, 2 speed rear, could not kill it, highway went to 45 mph to be safe. But reliable engine. Had split rims too, only one place in town would change tires, as with weight all the time in it, changed tires couple times a year .

    Like 5
  7. Gary S.

    When i first saw the pics of this truck..i thought i have seen this before.. Then I looked at the location and aha i have seen it. It is about 15 miles away from me. I guess i find it a little cool to see a vehicle on here i have seen personally.

    Like 9
  8. Chebby Staff

    Cool hipster Tonka toy. But as others have pointed out, it would be pretty challenging to actually live with. Might make for a funky Air BnB unit in your back yard. $1500 at most.

    Like 1
  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    A lot of these on farms out west. To contradict Mallthus, I don’t think any of these were powered by a six. The short-nosed AC and BC models that preceeded the Loadstars were, but the Loadstars were V8s with manual transmissions. Some of the trucks in my region were powered by 345s but actually the majority had 304s. Pretty hard to wear either one out. Definitely going to require some carburetor work as a Holley uses cork gaskets that dry out and shrink. I’m not as averse to Holley carbs as Rube but I will admit that they can percolate, especially with the modern gas that we deal with today. Some say that a quick dash of 2-stroke engine oil in the gas tank does wonders.

    Diesel power? Good idea but be prepared to see most of the engine inside the cab. A 6CT 8.3 Cummins (or even a BT 5.9) could be persuaded to go in but they take up room. I would save the money and just run the gaspot. For all the miles you would put on it you’re not likely to see any financial gain for the trouble you go to.

    Neat idea for a bike tender. Just make sure that the body being used to accomodate horses isn’t rusted through. Would actually make a neat camper but it would be slow and you wouldn’t pass many gas stations without stopping. And as has been already said, you might want to consider changing out the rims because the number of tire shops that will work with split rims is decreasing. Overall you could build a nice camper/toy hauler and operate it for a long time for a lot cheaper than a modern camper…

    Like 4
    • BeeMoe

      I’m with you Geo. Likely a 345 with 4bbl Holly or Thermoquad. Could be 2bbl Holley, these engines didn’t need a lot of carburetion (and folks frequently make the mistake of putting on a larger carb thinking they’ll get better performance – they won’t).

      Red line was less than 4K, but they would run all day long there. Drinking fuel healthily all the while.

      Like 2
  10. luke arnott Member

    I have an IHC with split rims in the UK.Most tyre places will not touch them – known as “Widow -Makers”.

    Like 4
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Luke. I grew up around trucks with split rims and never gave them a second thought. I knew they could be dangerous when trying to bead them so we always set the front end loader bucket over top. Never an accident, however, a bunch of us were outside the shop at work when we heard this loud BOOM from the shop next door. A huge cloud of dust billowed out the open garage door and about five Hutterites were running full bore for safety. We first thought it was a gas explosion but it turned out they were inflating a truck tire when the rim let go. One of the boys was just about to reach in to remove the air chuck and the lock ring took off the tip of his finger—luckily. The ring destroyed a roof truss; like it turned it into match sticks. You can easily see where it could’ve taken someone’s head off.

      Like 3
      • luke arnott Member

        Thanks – sounds a near miss!It was my understanding that a cage was to be used whilst inflating them?

        Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Most tire shops had a cage to keep everything contained.

        Like 2
      • Chebby Staff

        There are scary videos on YouTube of split rims exploding. Even caged, you don’t want to be around that.

        Like 2
  11. hammondc3

    I ran a 1600 Loadstar in beverage delivery — with a box body and rear ramp, not the more common ground-level side-loader. Had the 345 V8 and a 5-speed with no 2-speed rear axle.I later “graduated” to OTR in a Diamond Reo cabover with a big CAT diesel and 13-spd RoadRanger, but I still remember the beverage days fondly. The 1600 was indestructible – engine, tranny, frame, suspension, et.al. In the beverage business, we were shelf stockers and display builders first. Whether you could actually drive came second, hence no 2-speed rear. Most guys thought the engine should be revved to redline+ in every gear. Yet, the 1600’s ran for faithfully for years and years.

    Like 4
  12. Jasper

    Man. This thing is so Kentucky. My sister used to travel with the racetracks back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. She had a new ‘74 Capri V6. One of her testimonials to its fine road abilities was pulling up alongside a hauler like this at highway speed, her passenger climbing out the window and transferring over to the rig to pass a joint.

    Like 1
  13. Tort Member

    Great truck for hauling grain out the field or to the local elevator but nowadays because a lack of modern highway speeds and poor mileage they are not practical. Raced standardbreds for years and my three quarter ton Cummins powered Dodge truck with standard transmission would get more than 20 miles a gallon just so you didn’t push it over seventy pulling a loaded two horse or four horse trailer.

    Like 2
  14. Del

    Nice but wife pretty skittish when asked if we should buy it.

    For one thing the price is ridiculous.

    Like 2
  15. KevinLee

    Excuse me sir, what are hauling with this truck?😆

    Like 1
  16. Little_Cars

    I like this rig! But…No horse of mine would walk up that steep a ramp. This should have been designed with a stepdown ramp in the rear, or something less dramatic. Then again, my horses think everything other than grazing and pooping is too much work. Prima donnas.

    Like 3

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