Military History? 1962 International Harvester Metro Van

Vans can make for interesting projects. They are not quite a truck but can haul cargo. They are not quite a car but can be set up to carry passengers. They are not quite a camper but can be customized that way. This 1962 International Harvester Metro is pretty much a blank slate for whatever the new owner wants to do with it. Located for sale here on eBay with a current bid of just north of $2,000, the van is located in Deer Park, Washington. If you have a business to advertise or any of the other options listed above sound like what you need, check out this classic cruiser!

The interior is very basic and can be finished however the new owner sees fit. The expanded metal mesh and steel frame give it a little bit of a corrections-type feeling. I’m guessing the single-post seat isn’t too comfortable, but it was probably functional for a delivery driver hopping in and out all day. If this was your van, what would you do with the interior?

Although it doesn’t look too fancy, the seller says the engine is complete and runs. They also say the 4-speed transmission “shifts nice.” The interior has a military data tag, but the seller isn’t sure what branch it may have served.

Unfortunately, there aren’t great photos of the overall condition. There are a few detailed photos of some of the rust issues, but the van looks decent as a whole. The only real body damage seems to be the driver’s rear corner. Other than that, this thing has a great look and would be a fun project to make cool. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. IkeyHeyman Member

    These were pretty common in the town where I grew up – the dairies used Divco vans and the bakeries and Mom & Pop groceries that did home deliveries used Metros. Too bad about the damaged grill, that’s a design highlight of these.

    2
  2. Weasel

    I took my drivers test in one just like this, except it was blue.

    5
    • David Ulrey Member

      Dang, how many times did you fail your test????? This is the 3rd vehicle that I’ve seen you ‘take your drivers test in’ and there’s probably more! Lmao!

      5
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        LMAO as well!!!!!!!

        3
  3. Chris H

    I’m thinking it would make an interesting food truck.
    Maybe I’m just hungry

    7
  4. Bob S

    I like the part of the description where you state,
    “They are not quite a truck but can haul cargo. They are not quite a car but can be set up to carry passengers. They are not quite a camper but can be customized that way.”
    I have one more sentence that would also fit with the description, you can cruise down the interstate, but slowly.
    I never drove the International vans back then, but I worked for an express company in the early 60s, that had a fleet of the International one ton box trucks. They were an excellent work truck, but not fast, about 50 or 55 mph was as fast as you wanted to go.
    Bob

    2
    • Pete Phillips

      I restored one of these a few years ago. Bob S is correct. They are geared quite low and the engine is really working hard at 50 mph. It was an easy truck to sell once we were done–lots of demand for these because they are so versatile.

  5. hatofpork

    USAF used these in the 50’s and 60’s but of course they were painted blue.

    1
    • bob

      Yeah,they were used as flightline taxis. We called ’em “bread trucks”.

      1
  6. Ken Cwrney

    Hi Hatofpork! Long time no see. The
    military tie in had me thinking too, what
    about the Navy? They used to have all
    kinds of cool looking rigs too. Reminds me of the one me and some of my friends
    built as a wheelchair van we built for another friend of mine whose specially
    fitted ’64 Chevy sedan was stolen and
    later stripped. It too was a blank canvas
    so we put in a 240 Ford six and Cruise O
    Matic tranny to make use of the hand
    control system that he would need to
    drive it every day. Driver’s seat? Didn’t
    need one! We built it so that he could use
    his wheelchair instead–although we did
    put a mount for a regular seat should his
    Dad wanted to drive it sometimes. We
    then painted it butter yellow and added
    a set of Anson slotted mags and fat tires
    to finish it off. Boy, were he and his parents surprised when we took it to
    his house when we finished it. I always
    remember that old truck whenever I see
    one here on BF. Makes me wanna do
    another one for my MIL who has walking
    issues. Too bad I don’t have space for it.

    3
  7. felixx

    There were scads of these at Castle AFB here in CA way back when. If one was lucky to be at a surplus auction these could had with low miles on them for a few hundred bucks. Our tax dollars at work even then.

  8. Charlie Gaffen

    My uncle’s laundry used these exclusively and my Dad was one of the route men. I rode in whichever one he had very frequently and spent a few days a summer all day with him making deliveries. That engine cover got hot as the day went on and sometimes I would go in the back and sit on the bundles of laundry for a break. He used to drive with the doors open all summer and much of the milder months. Having no heater, it was cold during the winter.
    These trucks were incredibly reliable, strong and were a great contributor to IHC’s reputation, at least in our area. Their honest construction was also a benefit. I never got to drive one, Dad left to start his own cabinetmaking business but I’m sure he would not have minded keeping one of these as his work truck.
    He did drive a few of them since the older ones would be replenished. However the one thing I remember was that his oldest one was particularly good in snow, maybe because the tires were more narrow than the newer ones. This is one vehicle that resides in my ‘virtual 10 car garage’.

    4
  9. Del

    These were Milk delivery trucks at home.

    They are tough as nails.

    Be nice to make over into a Boogie Van.

    Was not the recent Aerosmith van find one of these ?

    2
  10. John C.

    A large laundry/dry cleaning company in my town had about 6 of these,they were green and white, I thought the company was doing well, they were always busy. They parked these vans inside a garage area at night, in the morning they would load them right from that spot.There was a loading dock at the rear of where the vans were parked. I lived near the place as a kid. One day their was a notice on the front door and a new padlock, they were closed and filed for bankruptcy. The whole place just stood still, all the machinery, the trucks, customers clothing could be seen thru the door glass still on the automated racks. it stayed like that for years, vandals broke in and stole things, the trucks all got vandalized, the roof leaked on the building and caved in in spots, finally the whole place was condemned and torn down, and the trucks were all hauled away and scrapped. So sad.

    2
  11. Bob C.

    Growing up, my neighbor across the street from me delivered Arnold Bread like forever. He had one of these early on.

    1

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