International Harvester (IH) was a celebrated American company with a history that spanned more than a century and a product line that encompassed everything from rifles to refrigerators and tractors to trucks. As a result, when it comes to gatherings, conventions, shows, and celebrations, there is plenty to choose from. All have a smattering of IH products from all genres, but most have a specific theme. In the case of the Scout & All Truck Nationals (midnitestar.org), the main theme is the IH Light Line, which includes the light trucks and cars from 1907 to 1975 and the Scouts from 1961 to 1980.
The 2018 gathering at WACO Airfield in Troy, Ohio, marked the 29th year of the event. Until a couple of years ago, it had been known as the “Scout & Light Truck Nationals,” but the founder and event manager, John Glancy, wanted to make it more inclusive and include the larger IH trucks as well, and there has been a significant increase in turnout. John is also the founder of Scout Light Line, which is the licensed parts distributor for International Scout and light-truck parts. Scout Light Line (scoutlightline.com) licenses independent dealers to sell IH parts around the country, and John also runs Super Scout Specialists (superscoutspecialists.com) in Springfield, Ohio, which will soon be in a whizbang new location.
Scout heaven—and this is only one row of it. If you want to see the most Scouts in one place at any event, the Scout & All Truck Nationals is typically the place to get that done. Stock unrestored, stock restored, built to any level, show rigs, and even a nice selection of barn finds are typical. Ohio and much of the Midwest had been recently mugged by a lot of rain. The overcast skies and threat of rain no doubt kept some away, but the turnout was still a good one.
For the past few years, the event has operated out of the historic WACO (pronounced WAH-co, originally an acronym for Weaver Aircraft Company) Airfield, which was the home of WACO’s test facility. In business from 1920 to 1947, WACO built aircraft at a nearby factory. Because of its open grassy area and several large hangers, it makes for a great event venue. You can even fly into WACO’s grass strip if that suits you. The airfield also houses a museum operated by the WACO Historical Society (wacoairmuseum.org), and while you are exploring Internationals, you can also explore the history of WACO in a collection of vintage aircraft and artifacts. During the show, a Classic WACO biplane takes passengers on aerial tours of the area.
This year, more than 200 Internationals were on display, the earliest being a ’34 C-1 pickup. Even with the Midwest socked in by rolling storms, the 2018 event was well attended, and you could see one of just about everything IH. Well, this year we didn’t see an IH built M-1 Garand or an IH refrigerator. Everything else. Look for yourself!
Dick Rhindress’ ’65 Scout 80 fire truck won the coveted Ted Ornas Award, which goes to the most historically significant vehicle at the show. It can only be won once per vehicle. Converted by W.S. Darley & Company and used as a first response vehicle at the Springfield, Ohio, IH plant, it was in service until at least 1975. Scouts were useful as fire trucks because they could get through most doors of the plant and bring some knockdown capability to a fire before it got too big. It’s no longer in its original markings, and Dick is still researching what they would have been about the time it was first put in service. If you are an old Springfield IH Plant guy and know something about that, get back to us and we’ll pass it along. It’s showing a mere 8,301 miles on the odometer.
It doesn’t get much gnarlier than Erich Reiselt’s ’71 M-412-70 4x4. The M-Series truck debuted in ’61 as one of IH’s heavies. Erich owns Reiselt’s Machine Works, a custom truck upfitter in Radnor, Ohio, so he’s in a good position to deal with a truck this big. Powered by a Cummins 855ci diesel and rated for a 38,000-pound GVW, it was a snowplow at the Fort Wayne International Airport for many years. Erich reports the truck can barely go 40 mph. Small wonder for a truck with only a direct-fifth five-speed and extremely low gear ratios. It isn’t clear what body it had in service, though it’s likely to have been just a weight box.
In true Wally Byam (Google it) fashion, Paul and Melanie Paradis drove their mostly original ’61 International Travelall and ’63 Airstream Bambi all the way from Rhode Island and kind of stole the show. The Bambi is no work at all for the 266ci V-8-powered Travelall. It mounts a four-speed and has 3.73:1 axle ratios. Paul and Melanie have an extensive collection of IH trucks and are regular attendees of the Nationals. You never know what gem they will show up with, but this has to be one of their finest showings, and they won the Travelall Street Stock trophy.
Here are some vintage muscles. Bob Moessmer’s ’54 Travelall R-110 stands tall on a vintage four-wheel-drive conversion. Purchased new by a grain and timber operation in the Pacific Northwest, it was bought before International offered 1/2-tons with four-wheel drive. The original owner then converted it using a pair of surplus WWII Dodge 1/2-ton military axles and the single-speed transfer case. The truck has been restored to how the original owner operated it back in the mid-1950s, and that includes a dual fuel tank conversion. The original BD-240 and four-speed are in place. Bob’s Travelall won First Place in the Street Stock class for ’50-’59 Travelall.
Starting in 1979, International contracted with CVI (Custom Vehicles Incorporated) to build regional specials of many different types. Some were well advertised nationally, and others were designed and ordered by district managers especially for their dealers. There are more than 20 varieties known and a few that are not yet well documented. The Shadow was a Canadian special similar to a U.S. version called the Raven, though each had a slightly different package. Art and Mike Stoyshin had just put the finishing touches on this Shadow, and the 2018 Nationals was its first showing. It did well in the judging, garnering Show Stock First Place in the 1980 Scout II category.
“Yes, I am a movie star!” Like many aging starlets, this Scout is showing some wear and tear, but it was immortalized youthfully in the 1980 movie Humanoids From the Deep, starring Doug McClure and Vic Morrow. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds and at the lower edge of Grade B sci-fi flicks. But this Scout also has a Grade A aspect: It’s a prototype for the Midas SSII model. Research is ongoing whether it’s “the” prototype, or one of a couple of pilot models in the run-up to the Midas SSII specials. It was likely shown at the 1979 Chicago Auto Show. John Glancy and Rick Riley recently turned up this rare bird hiding in plain sight. It’s almost 100 percent 1979 original, right down to the vintage Goodyear Tracker tires. It’s very storage worn, however.
International offered three-door crew-cab Travelettes starting in the mid-to-late ’50s and a true four-door when the C-line debuted for 1961. Tim Myers’ lightly restomodded ’61 Travelette C1100 won the Spirit of International trophy.
Joe Torres’ ’79 Scout II restomod is a 3-year labor of love that debuted at the Nationals. The attention to detail is phenomenal. On one hand, the Mint Green body and Russet Plaid interior are period perfect, but under the hood lurks a modified 392ci IH torquemonster V-8, with Stan’s Tri-Y headers, a Comp Cams cam, and a four-barrel carb. It’s backed up by a stock-but-beefed TF727 and the stock Dana 20 transfer case. The front and rear Dana 44 axles are enhanced with alloy ’shafts and 4.11 ring-and-pinions, plus a Truetrac up front and a Detroit Locker in back. Alcan SUA 4-inch-lift springs allow for the 35-inch BFG M-Ts. Overall, this is a superb blend of vintage and a new old-school buildup. No wonder this Scout took home multiple awards!
Photo by Joe Torres
“Rescue me!” This pretty solid A-120 4x4 truck was for sale in the vendor area and seemed to be crying for rescue. The A-Series debuted for 1957 on IH’s 75th anniversary. The six-cylinder under the hood is most likely a Black Diamond BD-240, one of the most durable engines of all time. The body looks straight, and if you brought back the Harvester Red paint, you’d have an eye-catching four-by.
The two restored V-Series trucks in the foreground and the green ’40s-era KB truck farther back highlight International’s long history as a big player in the heavy-duty markets. The V-Series was introduced in 1956 with a new line of heavy-duty gas V-8s in 401, 461, and 549ci displacements. Big gas V-8s were popular before diesel finally took over the trucking industry.
Bob Evans’ ’65 D1300 1-ton 4x4 ¬pickup took home Second Place in the Street Stock Class, and it’s not hard to see why. Powered by a 304ci V-8 backed up by a four-speed, the truck looked ready for another lifetime of work.
Paul Warfle’s ’72 Scout II was a government-issue time capsule. Bought surplus decades ago by Paul’s father and put into storage, it only recently has been cleaned up and made to run. It’s still wearing the original semi-gloss military green paint and government markings. It was the 29th of a 65-unit order made in 1971. It’s unusual compared to most GI-issue Scouts in that it has a 304ci V-8 versus the more common bare-bones 196ci four. It was ordered with a number of towing accoutrements, so the V-8 no doubt was there for a specific purpose. It was ordered with a T-90 three-speed, the base gearbox, which was barely strong enough for the V-8 and not the best choice for a tow rig.
The ’71 Comanche is in the top 10 of Scout collectibles, but this isn’t one. During his restomod of a ’68 Scout 800, Jared Dietzenbach decided to do a Comanche tribute Scout, since all the appliqués are available repro. The powertrain is significantly enhanced, with a late-model 5.3L LS engine under the hood. This rig is still under construction, with a number of details still to be finished. So far, so good, we’d say!
Super Scout Specialists had started a big move about the time of the Nationals, but still managed to fill one of the hangars with new and N.O.S. IH parts, manuals, and fan gear.