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No Reserve: 1947 International Harvester KB-1 Pickup

We see plenty of classic Pickup projects crossing our desks at Barn Finds, with most emerging Ford or General Motors factories. This 1947 International Harvester KB-1 has hibernated since 2012, but it is a solid vehicle that could be an ideal restoration candidate. Alternatively, its lack of penetrating rust may motivate someone to choose preservation or pursue the ratrod path. The KB-1 is listed here on eBay in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The seller set their listing to open at $6,000, but there have been no bids in this No Reserve auction.

International Harvester released its KB-Series in 1947 as the successor to the K-Series commercial range. Buyers faced a mindblowing choice within the range, with many farmers selecting the KB-1 as a viable alternative to Ford’s F-Series and Chevrolet’s Advance Design range. This Inter rolled off the line during the first production year and would have made a striking initial impression in dazzling Red. It shows its age but remains tempting for those seeking a solid project candidate. It has remained in the dry Texas and Arizona climates since new. That makes the lack of penetrating rust unsurprising. The seller admits there is the typical dry surface corrosion that is a hallmark of classics from these regions, but the new owner can leave the grinder and welder in the cupboard during this build. The panels are incredibly straight for a vehicle of this type and age, with no damage justifying steel replacement. Most trim pieces require restoration, but what is visible of the glass looks promising.

The Inter’s interior continues the theme of being complete but requiring love to present at its best. The starting point would be to clean everything thoroughly, but dismantling the interior entirely is necessary to achieve a high-end result. That would allow the new owner to refresh the painted surfaces, restore the cracked wheel, and replace any items not fit for purpose. With those tasks completed and a new rubber mat on the floor, this aspect of the Pickup would undoubtedly turn heads.

The roots of the 214ci “Green Diamond” flathead six powering this KB-1 can be traced back to 1933, although the powerplant would disappear in 1949 as the company replaced the KB range with its new L-Series. The Flathead is a surprising motor, producing 82hp and 160 ft/lbs of torque. The figures are unquestionably modest by modern standards, but they deserve to be placed into context. Maximum torque delivery occurs at a mere 1,200rpm, allowing the KB-1 to cope relatively effortlessly with its maximum load. Shifting duties are completed by a three-speed manual transmission, although a four-speed was available. The seller states this Inter has hibernated since 2012. The engine spins freely, so coaxing it back to life shouldn’t be difficult. A previous owner swapped the rear end for something with longer legs, claiming the Pickup would cruise on the open road at 70 mph. The seller includes an impressive collection of additional parts to help the winning bidder with their build. There are numerous exterior trim pieces, a rebuilt water pump, and other mechanical components. The KB rolls on freshly powdercoated wheels, wrapped in new tires.

The lack of auction action makes this 1947 International KB-1 an exciting proposition. It offers an alternative to GM and Ford models and is a solid project candidate needing no grinding or welding. Revival may be possible with little effort for those preferring preservation, but it could be ideal for restoration or the foundations for a custom build. Most intriguingly, the lack of auction action means someone could score this Pickup with a single bid. That must make it worth serious consideration.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Jayden (Mopar fan)

    I remember seeing pictures of my grandpa having one of these (it was black and white) but from what my mom told me it was just like this
    man i’d give anything to have it back we had to get rid of it because our neighbors next to our land plot said it was”Ugly” and “Destroying the natural landscape” Note we lived in the middle of nowhere next to a river 🙄

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo RKS

    Inter? Really? It’s a Cornbinder man! Lol

    Like 5
  3. Avatar photo Snotty

    My dad was awarded a new KB-5 International grain truck from his mother. When he tied da knot with my mother back in 1948. As a kid of 12 years old, I was commandering this truck from wheat field to grain elevator. I loved this old knarrly truck without a muffler. Looking back, my dad musta had divine intervention or damn lucky never to start a straw fire. Loved that Ole green truck,
    I visualized how cool it would look to scrap the grain bed, shorten up the frame, and hot rod it. This little 47′ 1/2 ton shortbox is brimming with potential. Not Intertrashinol or Inter. INTERNATIONAL if you please.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Mark Switzer

      Looks like the perfect farm truck a ’47 International ! One great advantage to those old trucks is they are all easy to work on . Even somebody in their teens can service or repair them . The only problem is , locating parts like at your local auto parts store . I’m sure there are companies today that you can order reproduction parts for these old trucks . Just search online ! Happy Motoring !

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Timothy

      Nice truck. My Grandfather has a Ford F5 that I wanted at age 14, but he said it held sentimental value and wanted to keep it park behind the garage.

      Just a little TLC and … Oh yeah, I need $6,000.

      Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Chris Eakin

    There are plenty of International Fans out there, probably more for the IH Scouts, but the pickups and Travel-Alls have their fans too. Look for an IH Collectors Club in your state/province/country, check out the websites like Binderplanet.com. Parts can be difficult to find, but, IH often used the same parts as Ford or Chev – the trick is figuring out which. Brakes Ford, electrical Chevrolet…. and sometimes in the company’s later years they even used AMC engines.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Troy

    I’m kinda surprised that nobody has bid yet, add states its still the 6v I personally have never worked on anything this old and kinda wonder how hard it would be or if its worth it to convert it to 12v I have to keep talking myself out of buying things like this until I get my planned pole barn built so I will have a place to Tinker with them.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo seth

      first task is to make brakes stop from 70mph

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo pixelpusher

        Not likely going to see 70MPH in one of these old rigs, but good brakes are essential at any speed!

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Robert

        Yes. I read that “cruising at 70” part and just imagined that suspension handling that speed. I had one of these trucks and there’s no way I’d want to be moving at 70 with that stiff kingpin suspension(probably with a loose steering box). And yes, the brakes wouldn’t do well.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Mark Kurth

      If the 6-volt works (and it has for 77 years), then what would be the advantage to converting it to 12v? Money and time spent changing bulbs, starter, generator, gauges can be put to better use just maintaining the original system. A good set of heavy battery cables (00 gauge), a solid-state regulator and maybe a generator rebuild should be all that’s needed to meet the electrical demands and ensure the reliability of this rig. If it doesn’t start easily with 6-volts, then the problem’s with the engine tune, not the electrical system.

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo HC Member

    This 1947 KB 1 IH truck reminds me of the 1937 IH truck BF featured a couple of wks ago. It was interesting learning more about the Green Diamond engine. If the wiring is decent in this 6V system, I would leave it alone and not try converting to a 12V. Otherwise it’s a cascade of replacing just about everything that was 6v. Like starter, generator etc. Good find

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Jon Calderon

    Back @2003 or 4 in Tallahassee, met a guy with a jacked up 4×4 version of one of these. Had a V8 as well. He really wanted to trade me straight up for my 76 Sedan Deville. I thought about it because it looked cool, but ended up keeping the Caddy. At the end of 09, I had lost everything from the economic crash, so I gave my neighbor the Cadillac, and my 85 Caprice 2Dr. Miss them, but the Caprice mostly.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo pixelpusher

    “The seller includes an impressive collection of additional parts to help the winning bidder with their build. ”

    Note that as the auction description is presented, the extra parts are NOT part of the sale. They will give the winning bidder first chance at the extras, and then plan to sell the leftovers to anyone else interested.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo John Jasper

    I lived with my uncle when I was young and he had one of those. Always ran like a top. I remember listening to the tranny gears whining as he ran through them.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Uncle Ed

    My wife hates it so I should probably buy it

    Like 6
  11. Avatar photo Allen Bohl

    Funny!

    Like 1

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