Civil Defense: 1960 International Travelall B120 Panel Truck

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That’s a pretty serious underbite! Of course, this Travelall is an ex-Civil Defense vehicle and was originally fitted with a large front winch. You can still see the fairlead out in the front. You can find it here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $4,500 but lower bids are welcomed. Thanks to reader Paul M. for this cool find!

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The seller tells us that the four wheel drive truck is basically the body from a regular Travelall without the rear windows and doors. On the inside, there are some cabinets, shelves and a bulkhead that divides the front and rear sections. The ad states that the worst of the rust is in the lower rear quarters behind the wheel openings, but that the floors, rocker panels, and wheel wells are solid. Some pictures of the wheel wells are included in the auction and seem to back that part up.

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Here’s what the inside looks like. You can see the stretcher container on the top of the truck; I wonder if there’s still one in there? Is the pink color normal for CD trucks?

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As you might expect, the interior is pretty darn plain. I’m guessing if this truck had ever been used for it’s intended purpose, comfort would have been the last thing on the driver’s mind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a longer shift lever; I’m guessing the throw must require NBA-length arms!

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Based on this video clip of a similar vehicle, I think this is a 345 V8, but I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not an expert, so International enthusiasts, please chime in! I do know I like the whole rugged look of this vehicle, and it leaves me wondering about the gearing. If it’s a four-speed, is it possible to hit highway speeds? If so, this could be a really cool work vehicle. Normally I’m loathe to drop in a late model drivetrain, but I have to admit, something like this with, say, a modern diesel 4WD pickup drivetrain and brakes would give you an incredibly versatile vehicle with unique looks! Readers, what do you think? Or would you take the seller up on their offer to trade for old metal signs?

 

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Comments

  1. Mike

    It more than likely is a 345, they were spec. out in most Civil Defense Vehicles.
    For cruising down the highway at highway speeds, I don’t think it would do it, because most vehicles that was built for government or Civil Defense was controlled with a governor to keep them at a safe speed. Just check out most military vehicles they can only run at about 50 mph. or at least the ones that I ever drove during my years with the Missouri National Guard.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like this truck! The 266 V8 was available for the first time in the B-models so this could possibly be the original motor although the alternator would’ve been installed later. The B-models with the V8 had a long fan shroud and this one appears to be that same style unit. This would be good to do a full driver quality resto and use it. I’d get rid of the huge front bumper and just run an original though; I wouldn’t plan on taking this truck out stump-jumping but I wouldn’t hesitate using it to traverse some more challenging terrain…

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, I had a feeling we’d hear from you on this. While generally, not a fan of “stacked head lights”, I’ve got to say, motor withstanding :), the rest of the truck more than makes up for it. Now, did IH use 6 digit odometers? or does it have 1,981 miles? Sure doesn’t look like it. Although, I’m certain, when this truck was used, it was in the harshest of conditions. If I’m going to go 45 mph with this ( fighting the steering wheel all the way) I’d much rather have one of the “Diamond” 6 cylinders. 4 wheel drive panels of this vintage are so rare, especially IH. Apparently, this truck has been around a while. A quick search shows this truck trading hands in 2011 for $800, and the person already had “buyers remorse”.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. Back then Binder used the full six digits. I still remember our A160 and a friend mine asking if it only had 5700 miles on it. This truck looks to have 19K miles, and some change. I have to agree with you on the motor; the V8 looks kind of out of place and the six would be a lot more useful when combined with the truck’s limits. And yes the A and B series trucks were somewhat difficult to steer, especially at close quarters. This would still be a nice truck to have; a functional, maybe a little rare, truck that you have to kill with a stick because you can’t work it to death.

        Buyers remorse? Only my first marriage…

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Oops, I did have (1) case of buyer’s remorse other than the aforementioned: I bought an Import pickup back in ’71. Sold my ’69 Chevelle in the process. That truck was the most loathed and despised vehicle I ever had. I almost needed therapy…

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