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Tucked Away on a Kansas Farm: 1937 International Harvester D2 Pickup

It does my heart good (as we say here in the South) to see a rescued, pre-war, non-Big Three pickup like this one. Ain’t she a beaut? Just look at that cool front end with the Art Deco grille and streamlined styling for the day. The seller, Cort’s Old Trucks, says that this one came from an estate of a gentleman in Kansas that passed away. This old farm workhorse had been sitting covered up in a shed for a long time and appears to be solid, straight, and well-preserved pickup. This No Reserve 1937 International Harvest D2 half-ton pickup is in Great Bend, Kansas, and is for sale here on eBay. As I’m writing this, 25 bids have been placed with the highest being $3,550. I’m sure the final bid will be much higher when the auction ends on February 18th. A walk around video with an engine start up is also available (although the video ended up in portrait mode instead of the intended landscape mode).

The truck’s faded paint (an IHC paint chart I found online calls it Light Green) and surface rust are a perfect combination to me. Overall, it looks solid, and except for a dent on the driver’s side front fender, the rest of the fenders are straight. In the back, the original bumper has been replaced, the bed’s in decent shape, and it’s missing the original tailgate. The seller is throwing in an International tailgate that he has that’s close to the pickup’s color, but he admits it would take some work to make it fit. The truck will also need a set of new tires.
Inside the D2’s cabin, you’ll get a better sense of what the non-faded Light Green paint looks like. The interior is pure late 30’s pickup truck: spartan, metal, and charming. The seller shares that the floor had carpeting (which has been removed) that left some pitting but isn’t rusted through. The floor under the seat is remarkably solid and the truck’s tan seat is faded but not ripped to shreds. The glass is in decent shape and it even has an old-school radio mounted under the seat, but the seller doesn’t share if it’s working or not.
Under that faded hood, you find the D2’s six-cylinder L-head engine with the mileage listed as 32,378. The video shows it cranking right up and running smoothly. The seller says he did the usual once he got it back to his shop: cleaned it up a little, put in new plugs, fresh gas, and a battery. He also shares that there is no oil or antifreeze smoke from the exhaust but there is stinky old gas smoke as there was still some old gas in the tank. The four-speed manual transmission works fine but the brakes do not work, which will need attention (although the hand brake does work so you can at least stop it in your yard). The seller is obviously an old truck guy and admits it’s getting harder and harder these days to find a pre-war, 84-year-old pickup truck like this one squirreled away in a barn. This one is a gem and I’m hoping the next owner will get it road worthy, recover the seat, and let the faded paint and surface rust stay just like it is. How about you?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I just want to say, whether the staff knows it or not, this site helps ease the pain of our mishigosh society today. An oasis amongst the garbage. I just found out, our local TV channel lineup will no longer air MLB games this year. While furious, just another swipe at what we hold dear.
    Remember I said traveling across the country, I mentioned the abandoned farms, I all but guarantee, these still are out there. The D series was my favorite model of IH. If you look at it, for 1937, it’s surprisingly modern. I’m not sure what that is under the seat, I’ve actually been able to stump the internet. Doesn’t happen often, but radios of the 30s and 40s were almost non-existent. They were big clumsy units and all had a dial of some sort. It has a trailer brake control and mombo hitch, so it pulled something. Anyone know what that is? Again, a super find, but not much chance of staying like this, now that it is found. I know the purists, you know who we are, scream bloody murder about keeping it original, but to tie in, if the above baseball fiasco is any indication, it’s clown wheel city for this truck.

    Like 30
    • Howard A Member

      And that’s the way it is,,,

      Like 12
    • misterlou Member

      At first I thought it was some kinda of heater but then I saw the coolant hose heading to the firewall, so figure it had something under the dash.

      What the heck is the window crank on the dash for?

      It’s a beautiful vehicle.

      Like 3
      • Big Time Charlie

        Crank is to open the windshield out

        Like 7
      • Doone

        That crank on the dash is to open the lower windshield a bit for 1930’s style ventilation.

        Like 3
      • Terrry

        The hoses go to the heater core, which is under the dash and could be replaced in less that half an hour. There’s nothing on this truck that can’t be fixed by anyone who knows what a screw driver is.

        Like 17
      • CeeOne

        I think the crank may open the windshield.

        Like 0
      • Keith H.

        My grandfather had an early post-war International stake body with a crank-out windshield on his farm, which I got to drive quite a bit as a teen. While it had a four-speed transmission the gearing was such that it was hard to go fast enough for the air flow under the windshield to do much. But along with the windows rolled down it helped.

        Wish I had that truck now!

        Like 1
    • Ronald Amon

      I once owned a 1989 Ford short bed pickup that was strictly OEM before, as someone remarked, a teenager gets hold of it.

      Like 3
    • Keith

      You will be distressed to know that Shohei Ohtani just put in a bid for a half million on this truck, chump change for him, which MLB will recoup with Pay TV. International pick-ups were the best looking trucks made throughout the 1940s until they wanted to compete with Dodge on who could make the ugliest pick-up.

      Like 2
  2. Troy

    Old school weather radio under the seat what a cool find and a fun truck to just drive

    Like 4
  3. Terrry

    That truly is a handsome old truck..So much so that Navistar (today’s International) styled their OTR Lone Star rigs as a homage to these. Plus the crank-out windshield..ventilation doesn’t get any more basic except if you rode in the bed. If I owned this it would be perfect for Koffee and Karz runs.

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      Good one, I never made that connection with the Lone Star.

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. Yes, the D-Series inspired the Lone Star and Binder even commissioned some outfit to build a custom pickup to commemorate the occassion. Of course the special edition was powered by (I believe) a Cummins V-6. Nice looking custom…

        Like 2
    • Keith H.

      Every once in a while a truck (or car) manufacturer will step outside of the box and come out with a totally innovative design, light years ahead of the competition. That to me is the LoneStar. Just a stunning design. Love seeing them on the road.

      Like 1
  4. Douglas Brooks

    I own a 1947 KB2 International 1/2 ton and by the 40s that window crank had moved up to the top of the dash, centered on the window. My gas filler is right behind the drivers door with the tank directly under the seat. My truck didn’t have a rear bumper either. I was told they were an extra and perhaps most people never bothered to buy them. I’ve never found one but I mounted a Chevy bumper of the same vintage. My truck has the same Green Diamond engine (214 cubic inches).

    Like 7
  5. Jerry Bramlett

    Neat truck, but I don’t see a body data/ID plate. Why would it ever be removed?

    Like 2
  6. JohnfromSC

    I own a ’40 D2. This ’37 is very complete. It has the deluxe dash trim. The trim and artillery wheels together are worth more than $3,500. Only things I do see missing are lower grill stainless trim pieces to either side of manual crank hole and artillery spare wheel ( repros in correct 16′ not made by anybody). With 7 days to go, I see this one ending up in high teens. Restored correctly, these D2s now command close to $40K, as people discover their uniqueness compared to overly plentiful Fords and Chevys. Easy to work on, and power train parts – while not overly plentiful, are obtainable with a bit of effort.

    Like 8
  7. Yblocker

    Hard to guess when this truck was last used, trailer brake controllers and receiver hitches came along long after this truck was born, I would think anyway. Very nice International, I’ve always loved these, and the ones that followed. I would have to fix and paint this one though, the truck is too nice to leave as is

    Like 3
  8. bob

    A beautiful truck. My favorite of the IHC trucks with that great deco front. A bullet-proof engine. I had a KB-1 but this was the one I really wanted.

    Like 2
  9. HC Member

    This pre war IH truck is as rare as hens teeth. It’s hard enough finding an early 60s IH truck in this condition. If it were mine, I’d get brakes rebuilt, new tires and a refresh paint job in that original light green and call it a day. Great find.

    Like 6
  10. Terry J

    I had one just like this one circa 1975 and it was such a fun truck. When this seller says this truck had carpet he isn’t referring to “from the factory”. MAYBE this truck came with rubber floor mats. Radios in these days were old tube types which were not only big, but weren’t very suited for rough road or off road use. Heck clear into the 1950s pickups didn’t even have heaters unless ordered as an option. Terry J

    Like 2
  11. ron wroblewsky

    6volt trailer brake,rare

    Like 1
  12. BrianT BrianT Member

    I love old trucks and this one is absolutely beautiful. I had the above 47 Chevy and it is the one that got away. Yep, the chopped black one. It had IFS, rack and pinion steering, power brakes, a small block Chevy and t350 transmission. If I were to buy this one I’d make the same modifications except that I’d do my best to find a IH V8. Probably 16 or 17 inch wheels and tires that fill out the fenderwells. I know, the purists would say “what have you done to that truck?”. My reply would be that I built something that I can drive anywhere, all over the country, just like I did with my 47 Chevy.

    Like 8
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      ☑️☑️☑️

      Like 1
    • HC Member

      As long as you do it right there’s nothing wrong with modernizing a classic vehicles drivetrain, and enjoying it. And I’ve seen a few 60s-70s IH vehicles with V8s that would probably work well on this 1937 truck. It would be a shame to lose those artillery wheels for disc brakes though.

      Like 3
  13. geomechs geomechs Member

    I sure don’t know how it happens but here’s another one that whistled past me and I never caught it. The D-2 is my favorite out of the whole lot of Binders although I wouldn’t turn any of them down. I have a D-2 and sure wish it was in as good of shape as this one. In spite of that it would be interesting to note that this truck does NOT have the original engine.

    Nope, that engine is a Green Diamond, tried and true. The GRD has got very sharp corners on the head plus it’s torqued down with cap screws. The HD that this one should have would have rounded corners on the head and it would be held down with studs and nuts. Other than that there’s very little difference.

    Both would displace 213-214CID for this and the D-15, while the D-30 and KB5 would displace 233. Timing chain is the same, pistons, rings and bearings are the same; the only difference in the latter is that the HD would still use shims to set the clearance on the mains and rods. Of course if you wanted to get ultra technical, the GRD would be painted almost identical to BMC Green while the HD would be basic black. The one in the picture I attached is the right engine for the application although Oliver Green isn’t even close to the right shade, even if it were a GRD.

    Like 2
    • HC Member

      Geomechs the Green Diamond engine was used in most1934-49 IH trucks. And the other HD engines were so similar, it doesn’t seem like if that
      there would be that much difference between the two engines. Pretty damn close match IMO. There were only a couple of sixes available for this size truck, a series 175 or 213. The 233s were for larger K series trucks I believe.

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Actually, the HD engine begat the Green Diamond. The HD was available in 175, 213 or 233 CID. It was built until halfway through 1940, when the GRD took over, using the same displacement sans the 175. The HD hailed back to the mid 30s with the C-series trucks. The original design can actually be traced back to Willys. In the early 30s, IH wanted to join the lucrative pickup market but didn’t have the time to develop one. They bought trucks from Willys and rebadged them the “D-1.” The engine was beefed up but otherwise didn’t change much from the original Willys design.

        Like 0
  14. Ernie Terrill

    Just an alwrtative note about the dash crank that’s your air conditioner crank handle!!!!

    Like 2
  15. Steve RM

    Preserve,preserve,preserve, and then drive, drive, drive.
    Gorgeous truck.

    Like 1

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