This Is the Closest You'll Get to a New International Harvester Truck

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
this is the closest youll get to a new international harvester truck

Which is to say, not close at all. The automotive brand born of the farm equipment giant produced its last passenger vehicle — the long-in-the-tooth Scout SUV — for the 1980 model year, five years after its pickup line bit the fertile Midwestern dust. Not long after, International Harvester ceased to exist as an independent brand, shacking up with Tenneco subsidiary I.J. Case after the company hit the skids and sold off its agricultural division. Navistar International Corp. rose from the remaining IH ashes.

The truck you see above is most certainly a Ram HD, but the paint is all International Harvester. You guessed it — the bright minds at FCA have come up with another special edition. By our count, it’s the 987th of the past decade.

Available on 2019 Ram 3500 (and up) Chassis Cabs, the Harvest Edition treatment has nothing to do with Neil Young’s 1972 album and everything to do with mechanized farming heritage. Of the four colors offered, two come directly from the flanks of combines, tractors, or threshers.

Those colors, IH Case Red and New Holland Blue (joined by black and white), are the product of a “direct request” from farmers in the American heartland, FCA claims. With these editions, buyers can let their agricultural allegiances fly, says Ram head Jim Morrison.

It isn’t the first time Ram’s offered a Harvest Edition, though the prior version, available on 2018 models, didn’t expand into the Chassis Cab range and called it quits at the 3500 pickup model.

FCA is quick to point out that both agricultural brands see their equipment manufactured by a subsidiary of CNH Industrial, which shares a “common ancestry” with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Sadly, there’s no green-and-yellow John Deere treatment on offer.

Debuting Tuesday at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Nebraska — site of a bizarre 1980 tornado swarm — the Harvest Edition trucks span the Chassis Cab lineup, available in every wheelbase and cab configuration. They’re well fleshed out with a standard chrome package, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, among other features. Front tow hooks and a transfer case skid plate handle the rough-and-tumble side of its persona.

Pricing starts at $43,990 (plus $1,695 destination charge) for a 3500 model, topping out at just under $51k for the 5500 truck after factoring in the charge.

We’re placing bets on the next special edition.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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4 of 21 comments
  • Sigivald Sigivald on Sep 11, 2018

    What, no mention of the RXT/MXT from the mid-2000s? (States vary, but here in Oregon you don't need a CDL for the RXT or MXT, but the CXT's GVWR is high enough you would.)

    • TwoBelugas TwoBelugas on Sep 13, 2018

      I thought Oregon's class C is good for anything less than 26,001 lbs GVWR? The CXT was "rated" at 25,999 lbs for GVWR.

  • Dilrod Dilrod on Sep 11, 2018

    New Holland bought the Ford tractor line, hence their blue color. Some of you may remember that New Holland's original colors were red & yellow. They only built machinery, not tractors. Ford spun off the tractor division years ago. Ford could snub FCA by offering that blue color on an F150. That would teach 'em!

  • Bobbysirhan The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.
  • Bobbysirhan Engines are important.
  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.