Rare Rides: An International Truck Experience With the 2008 MXT

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

The Rare Rides series doesn’t often venture into Tough Trucks land, but when it does, it goes all the way. Before you is the International MXT, a practical pickup from the semi truck people.

For a few decades, the International Harvester brand built road-ready trucks and sold them through agricultural equipment dealers rather than a traditional dealership network. The supply of consumer vehicles dried up in the early Eighties, when the company decided to focus its attention solely on heavy duty applications.

By the early Nineties, the International Harvester Company found itself reorganized as the Navistar International Corporation. And Navistar decided in the 2000s that a return to consumer vehicles was in the cards. But the company didn’t approach it in the standard “Let’s build an F-150 competitor!” sort of way. It went bigger.

The company’s Extreme Truck Series, called XT, hit dealer lots starting in 2004. There was a triumvirate of models on offer, rolled out between 2004 and 2007: the CXT, RXT, and MXT. Navistar targeted its Commercial Extreme Truck, Recreational Extreme Truck, and Military/Most eXtreme Truck to different customers along the spectrum of Want Lotsa Truck.

The MXT was last to debut when it arrived in 2007. The Military part of the model’s name was its primary purpose. Known as the MXT-MV, the truck is still produced to this day and is available in standard, extended, and crew cab styles. Models include armored, tactical, and all-terrain varieties.

Today’s Rare Ride is a civilian version for use by those whom enjoyed the Large Truck Lifestyle around town. Joining the MXT and MXT Hauler was an upscale version called the Limited. Military trappings were stripped away, armor and gun mounts were replaced by a monochrome painted exterior, and interior trim landed somewhere between serviceable and conversion van luxurious.

MXTs were powered by a 6.0-liter diesel V8, paired to a five-speed Allison automatic transmission. For comparison on size, the MXT pickup is 68 inches longer and more than a foot taller than a Hummer H1 pickup. It should be noted the MXT was the smallest consumer vehicle offering in International’s XT range. Production of civilian trucks wound down in 2008, which meant the MXT had the shortest time in production of the three models.

This one’s available outside of Miami, which is in the restrained and tasteful state of Florida. Yours for $79,900.

[Images: seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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6 of 25 comments
  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Apr 26, 2019

    Yay! It has the horrible engine that made became so infamous. Just the thing for someone who spends $80k on a used truck, because they probably have the significant amount of money needed to keep repairing the engine.

    • See 3 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 27, 2019

      Pickups with "the horrible engine" are the hot ticket right now. Powerstroke 6.0s are the best of the era, with a little help from the aftermarket, and Ford update parts. Plus an overbuilt 5-speed automatic, advanced diagnostics, big power, King Ranch luxury, and of course "pre-emissions". They're fine in stock form, with routine maintenance, Ford filters, not abused, and or overly tuned. Pre-emissions Cummins are good too, but the Dodge/Ram trucks are a step behind F-series, didn't offer a real "crew cab", nor classes 4/5 cab/chassis'. They also have weak auto transmissions and ball-joints.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 28, 2019

    Yeah there's definitely a market for pickups bigger that 1-tons, duallys, Class III, etc. But these aren't it. It started with commercial F-450 cab-n-chassis' converted with pickup beds, some were home built, and it's an obvious, natural evolution. Then upfitters moved up to "F-550" conversion pickups as soon as they arrived in '99. No way International/Navistar could ignore the "need" for too long, especially since they built the engines in many of these "custom" pickups. Except the "conversion" pickups are not oversize, overweight monstrosities getting no better than 6 MPG, like the International "pickups". Conversions look and fit in like normal dually pickups. At a glance, you'd think you were looking at an ordinary F-350. Perhaps the best of both worlds? Another thing is the medium-duty industrial trucks with adapted pickup beds can't possibly be as well built or reliable as the "super" pickups. The Class 4/5 KodiaK/Top Kicks were a complete disaster, with or without pickup beds. Shoddy builds, electrical gremlins, etc. Then came the Ford "F-450 Pickup" in 2007. Only they didn't require luxury, nor aimed at a handful of attention whores, including celebrities and ballers.

  • Redapple2 I think I ve been in 100 plants. ~ 20 in Mexico. ~10 Europe. Balance usa. About 1/2 nonunion. I supervised UAW skilled trades guys at GM Powertrain for 6 years. I know the answer.PS- you do know GM products - sales weighted - average about 40% USA-Canada Content.
  • Jrhurren Unions and ownership need to work towards the common good together. Shawn Fain is a clown who would love to drive the companies out of business (or offshored) just to claim victory.
  • Redapple2 Tadge will be replaced with a girl. Even thought -today- only 13% of engineer -newly granted BS are female. So, a Tadge level job takes ~~ 25 yrs of experience, I d look at % in 2000. I d bet it was lower. Not higher. 10%. (You cannot believe what % of top jobs at gm are women. @ 10%. Jeez.)
  • Redapple2 .....styling has moved into [s]exotic car territory[/s] tortured over done origami land.  There; I fixed it. C 7 is best looking.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Of course they should unionize. US based automotive production component production and auto assembly plants with unionized memberships produce the highest quality products in the automotive sector. Just look at the high quality products produced by GM, Ford and Chrysler!