Stored 20 Years! 1952 International Harvester L-130 Truck

If you’ve wanted a classic truck that is a little bit out-of-the-box, how about an International flat bed? This 1952 IH L-130 looks like a decent project and is likely to be the only one at a car show. It can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $5,900. Located north of Blacksburg, Virginia, according to the ad, this truck has been stored since 2001. Take a look at this heavy harvester and see what you think.

The engine is most likely a Silver Diamond 220 over-head valve inline-six measuring 220.5 cubic inches. The seller says the engine turns over by hand, so with fresh gas and ignition, it should start up. Hopefully, it hasn’t been sitting long enough the block is cracked or any other major issues have crept in.

I like the dash trim. I’m not sure if that’s a custom piece of stainless or aluminum or if this truck would have come from the factory that way? If you know, leave a comment. For the rest of the interior, it looks like some mold or mildew has invaded the seat cover, but other than that, there isn’t too much to remark about. The door panels are simple enough and could be replaced or upgraded if the new owner decides to.

The wood bed looks decent. I’m guessing from the modern design of the flatbed with newer lighting that it was fabricated at some point well after 1952. This truck has a factory cargo capacity of 3,700 lbs. If this was my project, I’d be tempted to take off the bed sides and either re-do the wood or convert it to a roll-back car hauler. What about you?

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  1. Howard A Member

    The short lived L series ( 2 years) featured the all new “Comfo-Vision” cab. IH, and a host of other truck makers, used that cab on everything well into the 60’s. Not sure what to do with these old farm trucks, unless you operate a farm 1950’s style, it’s kind of useless, as is, anyway. It’s rare to see one with the parking lights intact. Neat old truck, but I highly doubt anyone today will want it.

    • packrat

      Yard art for a crunchy Farmer’s Market or Turnip Truck style business. Many cities have b****y sign ordinances, so having your name on the doors of a truck like this out front of the place are a lawful workaround (sometimes the truck has to be licensed and running). About as useful as a Model T pickup on today’s highways.

    • Ken Member

      The L-series spanned three model years – ’50, ’51 and ’52. My uncle had three L-160s on his wheat farm. They were virtually indestructible. One of them, bought new in 1951, was used in many capacities over the years, mostly to haul grain until it was converted to a trap wagon. It serviced the Cat tractors until 1985, when it caught fire and was destroyed. What’s left of it still sits in a draw, not far from where it burned. I found it on Google Maps a few years ago.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Lots of these out west back in the day. My dad had both an L-120 and a 130 but the 130 was a longbed pickup. The 1-ton flatbeds, or grainboxes, were numerous. I was at a swapmeet a couple of winters back and saw one similar to this on the parking lot at a local beanery. It was for sale and looked mighty fine…

    • Bob

      I don’t understand the appeal of old utility vehicles.
      What do you do with it after restoration?

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        That would be entirely up to you. I think the best thing you could do would be to put it back to work. On more than one occasion I’ve seen trucks this age and older down at the lumber yard, loading up building supplies. You want something classy to take those engine parts to the machine shop? Use the old truck…

      • Kevin Mummery

        Utilize it.

  3. BillSpiegel

    My dad owned a couple of these, I think the stainless on the dash is an add-on by a previous owner.
    These trucks were certainly unique looking; that vertical/horizontal grill combo always looked kind of cool to me.
    When I was a kid I loved riding in the old binders. They were workhorses in many farms and ranches and when restored, look darn cool.

    • AZD

      A few days late to the conversation… The dash is neither stainless nor aluminum. It is the factory original silver-painted steel. Sometime around the R Series in 1953 the same dash stamping was painted tan. This truck still retains the shift pattern decal (the faded white patch) to the lower left of the gauges.

  4. jeff

    I just love old utility vehicles! I also drive one on a daily basis.
    Just use them for what they are made for.
    Take your time to do your business and enjoy the ride!

  5. John Member

    There’s a lot of new 3500, 4500 used by contractors, put tool boxes on the sidde of the bed and then how many under the bed. Have a low tail gate also. They can haul more easier then a PU truck and if used a cheaper then a PU truck

  6. IkeyHeyman Member

    I think this is an L160, but this is what you use these kinds of trucks for: as an eye-catcher outside a business, like this one in Denver outside a bar.

    • Howard A Member

      Seems a waste, but I see a lot of that too. A junkyard in S.Wis., Jacks Auto Ranch, has/had a 40’s Sterling I tried to buy for years, but he wouldn’t sell. “What’s going to hold up my sign”, he said.

    • Ken Member

      It is a L-160. One of my uncle’s L-160s was the same color. The black trim and headlight bezels make it a ’52 model, as the Korean War made chromium scarce again.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      They can always be made to look nice again.

  7. Robbie Lewis

    Looking for a 1952 international L150.
    Anyone know where I could find one?

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