It’s Cool To Be Square: 1972 International Travelall

This 1972 International Travelall has been stored since 2006 when the engine quit running, according to the seller. That’s not the best news, but the rest of it should be a straightforward restoration project. It can be found here on eBay in Hurst, Texas with an unmet opening bid of $2,500.

I got excited seeing that first photo, and then I read about the engine and that took more than a little bit of the excitement out of seeing this mostly-solid-and-mostly-dent-free Travelall. All is not perfect, though. There is some typical rust to take care of but it looks like something that a semi-experienced home welder could take care of.

I miss the days when vehicles actually had room in the back to haul things without having a sloped rear hatch. I know that some still do like the Suburban or Expedition, but it seems like most SUVs have that crazy sloped rear deck now which helps on MPG but it doesn’t do much for those of us who like to haul things. The seller says that the cargo area in this Travelall is in great shape because the previous owner kept it covered with a sheet of plywood. But, there are no photos back there, unfortunately.

The interior looks really good other than being a bit dirty and maybe a little faded in spots. The unique bucket seats in front are interesting, with an extra jump seat in the middle. They say that the dash pad is in the back and there will be some rust work to do on the floors, at least in front. The back seat looks good, but which seats have been redone? I’m voting for the front seats, or maybe both? Would International-Harvestor have gone with a velour-type seating material? I assumed that it would have been a woven fabric rather than velour. The pattern looks right or at least close to what it would have been.

The seller doesn’t know which V8 this is and I’m guessing that it’s I-H’s 345 cubic-inch V8 which would have had just under 200 hp. Does anyone know for sure which engine it is by looking at it, or better yet, does anyone have a VIN/serial number decoder for International Harvester vehicles? I have yet to be able to track down a decisive and accurate one. I think the first character in the seller’s VIN may actually be the letter “B”, not the number 8? I’ve already mentioned that the engine doesn’t run but I would have to believe that it could be rebuilt. This is also a rear-wheel-drive Travelall so it may not be your next winter vehicle if you live where it snows. Can this beautiful beast be saved given the engine work that’s needed?


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  1. Miguel

    Wasn’t the saying “It’s hip to be square”?

    Like 6
    • Steven Ligac

      That’s what Hughey Lewis told us!

      Like 5
      • CapNemo CapNemo

        Huey’s awesome!! Cheers!!

        Like 4
      • Gary

        I’m betting this has the 392 ci engine if there’s a Holly 4bbl under that air cleaner, these were awesome engines !

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Perhaps Scotty did that to avoid possible copyright infringement.

      Like 3
  2. Jett

    If the engine couldn’t be rebuilt (cracked block? seized pistons? general lack of IH parts?), any modern pickup or suv could serve as a donor. Ford Ecoboost or Cummins? Normally, I’d cringe at the thought of an off-brand engine in something that isn’t oem, but if it kept a cool old beast like this on the road, it might be worth the blasphemy.

    Like 5
  3. Rube Goldberg Member

    What a memory this is. In the early 70’s, my old man had a Travelall just like this, brown, if I remember to pull our campers. I learned some new swear words from my old man thanks to this truck. I remember stopping for gas,,,a lot, and it was always tense on restart, it wreaked of gas. Had a hard time with a camper, it was just a poor vehicle. I think it broke down on us in Alabama somewhere. The old man switched to Suburbans with much better results. Fun to see one, be better with the AMC motors which were offered by IH.

    Like 2
  4. txchief

    Rust is OE on Travelalls!

    Like 1
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    It seems to me that the 345 of this vintage was a 2bbl. carb. The 392 was a 4bbl. My dad had a ‘69 crew cab with a 392 and it was a good performer and was never hard to start. Just don’t let it run out of gas. Some automatic transmission and A-C problems but the rest of the truck was solid.

    Like 2
  6. luke arnott Member

    The engine CID is stamped on a flat on the r/h side of the block,under the manifold.

    Like 1
  7. Allen Member

    I had one of these for several years in the mid- and late 70s. Mine had the 392 and two gas tanks with a combined capacity of around 35 gallons IIRC. ‘ Think it always got around 13 mph. Cruising on the interstates around 70 (when nobody was looking; we had national 55 mph speed limits in those days), or at 55, or stop ‘n’ go in the city, it did 13 mpg. I didn’t buy it as an economy car; the gas mileage was as expected.

    First impression with that vehicle: I couldn’t believe how smooth, quiet and comfortable it was. I was really expecting a truck – in the early ’70s sense. It was a luxury vehicle. For the first two years I had it, I was in St Cloud Minnesota. And Minnesota is the one place in the nation where conversations never begin with “hello” or “hi” or “good morning”; they begin with “your car start this morning?”. In my IH years, the answer was always “Sure!” And I don’t recall any unusual, major, or frequent repairs. It was one of the better vehicles I’ve owned.

    Like 3
  8. dogwater

    International made a good tractor, but there autos were junk from the factory.

    Like 1
    • Desert rat

      Excuse me, I’ve owned several IH scouts and the were anything but junk , in fact the later scouts were arguably the best suv built in the 70s . The motors were good for 200,000 mile , strong frames, Dana 44s front and rear, Dana 300 transfer case and Chrysler auto trans, the whole truck was over built and pretty much bullit proof.

      Like 1
  9. Jack Quantrill

    Had a ‘72 like this in famous gas-chamber green. In the seventies, this was the go to rig for trailering.

    Like 2
  10. Allen Member

    ‘ Guess I really like junk!

    Like 1
  11. BeeMoe

    That ‘jump seat’ in front isn’t a seat at all, though no doubt some used it as such. The base lifts up to open a storage bin.

  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Sep 08, 2019 , 7:14PM
    Winning bid:US $2,500.00
    [ 1 bid ]

    Like 2
  13. davew833

    My family had one of these from ’79 to ’82.The engine caught fire on Christmas Eve that year, and that was the end of the Travelall.

  14. Daniel Rawinsky

    I had a 1966 1100A Tavelall, V304, T34 5sp over drive. It did have some rust, but the big problem was trying to pull a 1967 Holiday Rambler behind it. The rear suspension was not made for a heavy trailer, even with a weight equalizing hitch. I was moving from New Jersey to New Mexico with wife and three young kids. The big boxy looking body did not have the cubes that a full size Ford van does. I bought a 1971 IH 1310 to replace the 1100A, sold the 1100A to someone south of the boarder, Mexico, that is. I drove OTR trucks for the next 30 years and we converted my 1981 E150 into a stealth camper. Finally the body rotted out on the E150 and I replaced it with a 1987 E350 former ambulance with a high top and a 6.9 diesel. The E350 was a private fire department unit and kept inside most of its life. The E350 is the longer version so now I had room to put the porta pottie in a divided space so when the door is open it makes a private room. The E350 can pull my 12 ton back hoe trailer, with my loader on it and without an equalizing hitch. My wife thinks it smells like diesel fumes and does not want me to convert it so it sits, lonely red and white. My 1310 also sits after Katrina dropped my pole barn on it and bent the cab and roof. Michelin painted it yellow with my name on the doors so it now sits lonely and yellow. BTW, all of the other comments about OE rust bucket, starting and then again not starting, comfortable and then not comfortable, all are true! And to top it all off, I have a 1975 C/IH model 364, 35 hp farm tractor that needs a power steering slave cylinder, anyone got one for sale?

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