By on May 18, 2012

You know what’s wrong with this country nowadays? You can’t buy a light pickup truck made by a company so agricultural that a piece of farm equipment is in its very name! That all ended in 1980, when the last pickup rolled off the strike-ridden IHC assembly line. The outdoorsy Scout is still a common sight here in Colorado (on the street as well as in the junkyards), but quite a few of the Scout’s big brothers are still punching the clock as work trucks. Here’s one that made it to the second decade of the 21st century before getting used up.
You can’t see this emblem without thinking of silos and amber waves of grain.
I don’t have the IHC smarts to tell you whether this is a 304, a 345, or a 392. I can tell you that I’m pushing 24 Hours of LeMons teams to drop an IHC engine into a Camaro or Mustang.
Truck interiors have become so busy in the last couple of decades. Here’s what you need on the farm.

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24 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1972 International Harvester Pickup...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The local fella that also walks his dog in the park has one of these here in Ohio. It spends most of the wintertime with a snow plow on it. Ohio’ wintertime road salt has it with a little rust cancer. But that was when cars had thicker steel.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    A better-looking shoebox than this will never be built again!

  • avatar
    jeffro

    It’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between a 304,345 or 392 from a shot like that. The 392IC (improved cooling) can be differentiated by the waterpipes coming out of the water pump, but I’m pretty sure the IC blocks never made it into pickups factory stock. The 304 has a lower deck height than the 345 and 392, so you can measure between the heads for difference, or if you are familiar enough with the IH SV8 engines, you can often tell from the size and shape of the water neck. That engine doesn’t have the typical waterneck though, so I’m still stumped. You can always flip down the glovebox past it’s normal range of travel and read the line set ticket, it’ll specify the engine the truck came with, but the most reliable way to know what IH engine you’ve got is the stamp on the block under the passenger-side exhaust manifold. You’ll need a mirror, a flashlight and some carb cleaner. It’ll say v266, v304, v345, or v392. Sometimes they’ll be blank, and in that case it’ll be a 266.

    Anyway, I don’t think that truck is really used up. Someone would really like to have those inner fenders. They usually rot up right under the hood hinges. The cab looks straight enough, slap some tires on it, strap a tank of fuel on the roof plumbed to a Holley 2300 on the manifold and hook a battery to it and watch it live with all the anger and determination of a glacier. They’re not fast but dammit they go where they want to go.

    Oh yeah, the IH logo itself, take a good look at it. It’s a stylized man riding on a tractor. Now that’s agricultural.

    • 0 avatar
      Hobie-wan

      “Oh yeah, the IH logo itself, take a good look at it. It’s a stylized man riding on a tractor. Now that’s agricultural.”

      Awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      Invocation of the Line Set Ticket in 3. I love it!

    • 0 avatar
      birdshlt

      Hey jeffro i hope u get this message u sound like u know your shit about internationals,anyway heres the deal brother im buying s 72 ih next week 400 bucks it runs like a champ just needs a new battery,the deal with that is he says something is draining the battery i assume alternator but thats the least of problems i dont know nothing.about IH trucks he is telling me the motor is made by amc which from a lil bit of research i think is correct but he says it hasa 308 IH motors or amc motors (not sure if they are the same) never made a 308 i been lookin its 304 i assume is like chevys 305 then theres 345 i assume equivelant 2 the 350 then the 392 i see u say look under the manifold which i will ya see brother ive bern a chevy man all my 27 years my old man likes chevys & knows them very well but i cant find any1 who knows anything about IH trucks but i seen it sitting there & fell in love itsa lil bit rusty nothing i cant handle though & like u said the front wheel well is rotted out where the hood bracket mount goes hood is real hard 2 open but nothing i cant take 2 work chop sum metal & weld up other then that nota whole lot of rust i dont know anything about their transmissions nor can i really find any info,i know chevys have 400 turbos & 700 turbos just 2 name a couple basics so idk what is equivelant 2 those as far as IH trannys i assume parts are gunna be a lil pricey & hard 2 find oh & the 4 wheel drive dont work but the weird thing is the front wheels works not the rears (so he says) which is odd i thought all pickups were rear wheel i sssume its sumthing in the transfer case idk but wasnt 2 sure if they came front wheel drive anyway any info u have 4 me i whould gr8tly appretiate it brother u seem like u know ur shit about these pick em ups & was it a good deal 400 itsa runner needs basic body work hood work (underneath) a battery attention 2 the 4×4 system but itsa IH & always wanted 1 anyway hope u get this message that wasa lotta typeing & thanx & your time

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “That all ended in 1980, when the last pickup rolled off the strike-ridden IHC assembly line.”

    How typical. Employer’s hanging by a thread, so the union decides “Hey, it’s a great time to strike!” Parent company then responds by saying “OK, screw you all then!” and shuts the place down forever.

    Morons…

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Actually, the last pick-up rolled off the assembly line in 1975, four years before the six month strike that began on 11/2/79.

    • 0 avatar

      Or you could say that the company’s CEO gave himself a massive bonus, then tried to cut wages and benefits during a recession. The UAW called his bluff, everybody lost.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        Touché.

      • 0 avatar

        Or you could say that IH didn’t have a prayer of competing with the Big 3, as all the other independents found out. IH had a relatively tiny dealer network, many of those dealers were in rural areas and, long before SUVs and pickups became popular as substitutes for passenger cars, they sold no cars. Frankly, I’m surprised that they stayed in the light truck business as long as they did. I’m sure that mismanagement and labor unrest didn’t help matters, but even with the best management and a cooperative labor force, IH had a tough row to hoe trying to sell passenger vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Checker Motors shut down car production at around the same time, also because of frequent strikes and excessive union demands. Their aging, 1950s era cab was still selling as well as it ever had through the late 1970s (Checker averaged 4,000-5,000 cars a year throughout the postwar period, and those numbers never really changed much). They even had several prototype designs for a next generation car being mocked up, the only reason the plug was pulled on the car division when it was was because management decided that dealing with the union was just no longer worth it.

  • avatar
    Skink

    I really love the IH crew cab.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Murilee, the last pickup rolled off the assembly line in 1975 though the trucks remained in production for some years in Mexico under the DINA name. Declining sales rather than strikes were the reason production ended – IHC was facing too much competition from the Big Three’s booming light truck business. It was the Scout that lasted until 1980.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      1975 was the last year for the pickup and Travelall. One problem was the local IH dealer specialized in larger commercial trucks, and pick ups was smaller side business.

      The dealers here were more geared for fleet sales to small businesses, local and state governments. I remember heading out to the IH dealer for some parts circa 1975. It was almost outside of the city limits. Most of the vehicles where on an unpaved parking area behind the dealer. There wasn’t a showroom, only sales offices, a parts and service department.

      In short, the dealership was a world apart from those of the Big 3 automakers.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        That certainly was a big factor. Trucks were becoming popular as family and recreational vehicles, and the Big Three had the “friendly” and accessible dealerships already in place for the boom. Would-be buyers weren’t prepared to drive to the fringe of an industrial park and walk around a big heavy-truck lot looking for recreational pickup.

    • 0 avatar

      Crap, I’m always on unfamiliar ground when writing about trucks. That’s the problem with being a damn city boy.

  • avatar
    Buckwheat

    My folks had a ’66 “Binder” crew cab shortbox 4×4 when I was a kid. It was the strangest pickup I had ever seen; now crew cab shortboxes are everywhere.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Murilee, there is no photo of the driver’s side front fender. I wanted to see if there was a fuel nozzle up front.

    The university I worked for had a fleet of these and the location of the fuel filler always left me scratching my head.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffro

      I had one like that. A 1974 model pickup with dual tanks. The driver’s side filler was down low on the front fender, the passenger up high behind the passenger door. I thought at first it was because IH maybe used the same tank from side to side, but nope they’re different. I know this because I restored the tanks. The passenger side hadn’t been used in decades and what came out of it was horrifying. I always liked filling that driver’s side tank though, the station by my house had concrete crash barriers around the pumps that were perfect height to sit on while filling the tank.

  • avatar
    millmech

    An IH engine in something else would be interesting- stump-pulling torque + a GREAT attraction to the center of the earth.
    There was also an earlier 266 engine, I think it was first made for the V8 Scouts.
    Some time in the late 70s, there was a driver/engineer, Scott Harvey, who had a rally Scout that was supposed to top out ~150mph.
    Why not go farther & find an IH 549?

  • avatar
    millmech

    As far as big 3 dealers, there was a time in the 70s when dealers were ordered to build bigger dealerships with LOTS of parking to hold the vehicles shipped that hadn’t been ordered.
    Result- big 3 (+ AMC) moved the friendly neighborhood dealers out into the weeds outside of town.
    I had seen lots of IH of this series with big barn door hinges holding on the bonnet.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Hate to burst the collective bubble, but the IH pickup trucks were HORRIBLE– heavy steering, crappy handling, shifters that sucked, and they broke down constantly… when the State Highway Dept retired its last International pickup, everyone at my road yard celebrated.


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