Roadside Sighting: 1952 International Metro Van


You just never know what you might spot driving down the road! Maybe it will be a hoard of classics left to a field or a pristine survivor peeking out of a garage. Well today, we spotted this interesting little International Metro Van simply driving down the street near our office. It wasn’t just parked alongside the road, but was actually out battling modern day traffic. We pulled up next to it and were blown away by just how cool this thing is, so we followed it back to the owner’s place of business. We asked him if we could take a look at it and snap some photos, soon he was showing us around it sharing its story!


As he was showing us some of the various details he told us how he found this Van parked out in a field back in the early ’80s. The owner told him it was just a hunk of junk and that it wouldn’t run, but if he wanted it he could have it for $75! A friend that actually new the previous owner and the van told him all it needed was a carburetor, new tires and some new gas. So he paid the owner $75, towed it home and installed a new carb. It fired right up and he’s been driving it ever since!


And boy does this little thing move. It’s no speed demon, but it kept up with traffic just fine and has been all over the country. He’s taken it to Woodstock, up and down the Pacific Coast and it proudly wears stickers from a trip to Sturgis, South Dakota not too many years ago. It was quite amazing to see it coming down the road, you just don’t ever see these on the road anymore. The looks and the fact that it’s still going down the road makes it all that more amazing!


As we talked to the owner, we got a sense that he really is fond of these vans and the history behind them. He has a lot of his own history with this one and you could tell he was proud that he’s kept it going. It was a pleasure to talk to him, he even thanked us for taking enough interest in it to stop and talk, but what was truly amazing to me was the fact that he’s been able to keep this field find on the road. I guess it just goes to show, with a little work you can get just about any find back on the road!


  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve always liked the old Metros. When I was a kid I used to see them doing almost everything but, for some unknown reason, delivering milk; the dairy companies seemed to prefer Chevys. I was exploring a wrecking yard a little more than a stone’s throw from the edge of my daughter’s yard in Aztec, NM, and saw a real gem. The guys weren’t all that keen on selling it but I’m sure they could be persuaded….

  2. MikeG

    It appears to a have a piercing in it’s er….front grill….

    • Jim Mc

      That and the fact that it has a “Clutch” [the rock band] sticker on the back door and a custom license plate that says “KRAHNIC” [aka chronic] leads me to believe that this is a man who can tell time…..he knows when it’s 4:20 every day!

  3. Larry K

    Right on!

  4. Alex B

    Cool van indeed. But I would remove the “piercing” and really change those chrome headlight rings. Now it has such a sad and depressed face. :(

  5. Arfwoof

    This is what I learned to drive on. It only had one seat and a 4 speed floor shift.

  6. Howard A Member

    The Metro was one of IH’s longest running trucks, 1938-1975. geomechs is right, these came in a variety of uses, but generally, package delivery, and hardly something to be going cross country in. The drivetrain was based on the L series truck, and this probably has the Silver Diamond 220. Restored, these, apparently, are worth some serious ( to me) cash. Most of these nowadays are full of old car parts behind the barn ( next to the rusty Dodge snowplow)

  7. 70kingswood

    the guy owns a piercing and tattoo shop by the same name. van looks to be in decent shape.

  8. Ricky Rover

    In the early days of the rock band KANSAS, they actually toured out of Topeka, Kansas in one of these! True story, I road to Colorado with them in it in early 1970s…..

  9. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    And lived to tell about it, Ricky. ***wink***

  10. chad

    same age as me,
    I remember out ‘milkman’ used one.

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