Reliable Relic: 1946 International Harvester Pickup

This 1946 International Harvester K2 pickup is a real diamond in the rough.  The ad states the truck was a true barn find and was stored since 1968.  The current owner purchased it about two years ago and spent that time getting it roadworthy while trying to preserve as much originality as possible.  The truck can be found here on eBay with a starting bid of $12,000 and resides in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina.  While $12,000 may seem like a high starting point, the originality of this truck combined with the work that has been done, make it reasonable in my mind.

Check out the underside of this truck!  While some purists would prefer to leave things original or restore components to factory specifications, the current owner has chosen to strip the frame and paint everything that had surface rust on it.  The front end and rear end were both rebuilt with new brakes and flushed transmission.

The seat was reupholstered while everything else remains original.  Check out the gauge cluster!  That has to be one of the best looking and simple designs for a gauge layout ever.  The ad also states the windshield opens smoothly along with the front vent and side crank windows.

There have been quite a few things done to the engine and drive train to make it reliable again.  The ad states the following items were addressed:  “Flushed coolant system, flushed engine, pulled oil pan and cleaned, new ignition system, new belt, new hoses, all necessary clearance adjustments made, flushed and sealed gas tank, new fuel line ran, flushed transmission, rebuilt emergency brake, rebuilt carberator (sic).”

The truck also has refurbished wheels with new tires.  From everything in the ad, it seems like you could hop in and drive it anywhere.  The cool part is it still retains the look of an original truck from the outside.  How would you finish it?  Would you drive it like this or continue with a restoration?

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Comments

  1. Rube Goldberg Member

    Drive anywhere at 45 mph, maybe. Same old thing, unless something is done to the gearing or O/D, it’s a slow ride. I liked the K model better than most that came after. Years ago, a buddy bought 2 of these for $500, and both ran. Never in my dreams, did I think they would ever be worth this much, and quite frankly, I still don’t thing they are. I suppose it could be made driveable for not too much, cool old truck, love the old Binders, but just too expensive from the start.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      What Rube said…

  2. JW

    Cool old truck for shows only, I can get a little newer more useful 60’s truck for 12K and still take it to cruise night.

  3. Martin Sparkes

    That is a very nice truck. I would not change a thing, and there are lots of ways to get where I am going without jumping on the highway. After all, it’s not realistic to buy a 72 year old truck and expect to keep up with modern traffic, so why even go there? Appreciate for what it is.

    Like 1
  4. Bob

    My son has a KB1 and a KB2. He solved the highway problem by building a Chev 400 sb, B&M 700r4, and Ford 9 inch rear. I like the trucks, because they have a nice look to them, and they are far less common today than the Fords and Chevys. These old beasts were worked to death.
    Excellent project for someone.
    Bob

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Old Binders all have my attention. While the D-series would be my favorite, the C and the K-series are good too. Driver restoration to bone-stock is OK with me. I don’t mind driving slower than everyone else; I do admit that other vehicles on the road do NOT like me driving slow. But then, they honk impatiently and give me those single digit waves when I’m doing 70 in my modern vehicles. So, what the heck….

    Like 1
  6. Jeff

    Keep as is and drive it with pride.

    Like 1
  7. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Nice to see a pick up that’s not a Ford or Chevy. Keep it stock, paint it, detail the engine and upgrade the brakes. You’ll probably be the only guy in town to have one.

  8. Rex Rice

    Because my uncle Vern’s wood and coal business was considered important during WWII, he was able to buy a new 1945 International pick up. As a young kid, I rode with him right after he got it. On a an empty road, he opened it up. “Watch the speedometer’, he yelled as we screamed down the road, him gripping the wheel with white knuckles. With engine wide open, I reported: “62 mph!”

  9. William Sanders

    Am I the only crazy one thinking of a small turbo, different rear end gearing, brake upgrade and a set of cool wheels?
    Delicious.

  10. johnfromct

    I’d be much more attracted to this truck if the repairs had been made without poof canning the bottom. I never trust what’s underneath when the surface is so rough. I once lookked to purchase a restored 428 SCJ drag pack 69 Mustang that was stunning. Everything on the outside was gorgeous. Engine compartment and suspension were perfect. I hired a 69 Mustang expert and we put it up on a lift. The underside looked good to me, until he pointed out how it had simply been painted over, surface rust and all. He then reached into the frame at the torque tubes an pulled out a rusted piece of frame 2 inches long from the inside. The estimate was $10K to fix that underside. Thank goodness the lesson only cost me $200 for the inspection.

    Moral of the story is you need to know what is covered by that paint. Why did seller paint it when everything else was left “au natural”?

  11. Allen Member

    What rear end ratios did these things have? Is it more engine power that is needed to get these things cruising at 60-70 mph? Or is it simply higher gearing? Why the SBC? I would want the original engine, and I would want a tolerable, if not tire-smoking interstate cruiser. Is that impossible? Columbia 2-speed rear end? Aftermarket O/D? Are other CW&P combinations available for these?

    Just wondering…

    Like 1
  12. KKW

    Probably the stoutest trucks made at the time. The price might seem high, but you don’t find one of these sitting on every street corner, especially in solid running condition. The only problem with these trucks is finding parts, what can be had are extremely expensive, and needless to say, there are no reproductions.

  13. Bob

    Forget 60-70 mph with the stock rear end. The most common rear end ratio was 5.11:1, and good for 40-45 mph. Some rear ends are 4.xx:1, but I have two in the yard, a KB1 and a KB2, and they both have the 5.11 rear end.
    They were made by International, and I have seen some information that there was a 3.73, but finding one would be an issue.
    Most people that are wanting to keep the stock 214 or 233 engine, switch to the Ford Bronco rear end.
    Bob

  14. Pookie J Pawlicki

    A lot of IHs showing up lately. It’s a pleasure to see something different for a change.

  15. Pete

    This is a NC truck, Rust is not a big deal down here for original to the state vehicles as this one seems to be. I commend the seller on cleaning it up underneath. That took a lot of labor to remove the road dirt and light rust film/ scaling that may have been present. He did a great job of cleaning up the drive train as well. If he did a body off then he was meticulous as could be. Yet he didn’t go over the top and just repaint everything. What you see is what you get. I think it maybe worth 12K perhaps more. But I would want to buy it for 10K cause I am frugal like that. LOL. I like how it retains it’s natural and not artificial Patina. I know I know I hate that word applied to a vehicle but it applies to this one. That is honest wear and tear. He didn’t even bother to clear coat it. Personally I just love vehicles in this close to original condition with a thorough cleaning. I would change a thing unless it was required mechanically. With this one though I do not think you would need to. He has been driving this truck as evidenced by the NC Antique tag. What you want a rust bucket 911 or GTO instead? This is not the same thing by a long shot. All ya need to go with this is some fishing poles and a John Deere or Cat Hat and your GTG.

    • SteveN

      it’s re-listed for the 3rd time, starting bid is now $10,000. still no bids.

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