I always thought International Harvester was a really interesting company. They made such a wide range of products, from farm equipment, to military vehicles, to refrigerators and air conditioners. Somewhere in the midst of all the weird shit they were doing, they managed to pump out a few really cool light duty trucks as well. And I do mean only a few. Although they were in the light truck business from 1907 to 1975, when’s the last time you saw an IH driving around?
I came across these two trucks parked next to each other at the Happy Valley Wal-Mart last night. I find the dichotomy of the two trucks pretty interesting.
First off, we’ve got the white 9th Gen F-series. It’s probalby my favorite body style for a 4×4 truck, and probably my least favorite as a 2wd. But here, it looks great. It’s riding on 35s, which to me, stuck in my Jeep forums, are massive. I think 35’s are the perfect size for a full-size truck though, 33s look a little goofy, and any larger than 35s, and well, you’re just a dickhead. The billet grill is a little dated (although acceptable on a legit 90s vehicle) but the Daylighters show actual off-road intent, since they aren’t part of some half-ass prerunner light bar thing that’s just for looks. I also see some decent suspension work under the truck, however, the owner is still rocking (or attempting to rock) the factory Twin-Traction Beam front end setup, which is… how can I put this gently… a total piece of shit. He needs to swap a solid axle in there.
You’ll often find me criticizing the local populace of 4WD truck owners for doing it all wrong. What do I know about offroading with my two, lowered 2WD trucks and family sedan? I’m sure you think I don’t have the first clue about how awesome pedestrian 4×4’s can be. I mean they’re usually set up with cruising gears, automatic transmissions, limo-like wheelbase lengths, usually have a useless pick-up bed 40ft in the air, have over-sized tires that howl at moving speed and use their drop hitches (rarely) to tow a pair of jet skis, which is why they need the biggest engine possible optioned. If you and your bros have to take dad’s boat to the lake, or there’s some water or dirt on the street, you just press that little 4WD button and everything is good to go.
This 59-60 F-100 is exactly what I love seeing when it comes to 4WD pick-up trucks. It’s old but well taken care of, and it gets used. It doesn’t have over-the-top tires, a giant lift or some crowd-pleasing diesel conversion. Just a good old-fashioned gasoline-powered 4×4. Continue reading →
Way back when, before all Nissan Hardbodies sported a set of Escalade wheels there was the Datsun 720. I wasn’t sure what this thing was at first, just some old Nissan truck. I’d seen it around town a couple times, once down 32nd Street, and again around 19th and Union Hills. Recently I was finally able to get a closer look and still couldn’t tell what it was, there was no badging so I had to research it a bit. Apparently these trucks were sold as the Datsun 720 from 1980 to 1982 and switched over to Nissan 720 until production ended in 1986.
I’m not sure what the factory or dealership options were when these things were new but regardless of that I’d like to think that the original owner responded with a simple “all of them” when asked.. this including one hell of a graphics package (that’s almost, but not quite, as gaudy as what Ford offers for the Raptor). Don’t get me wrong though, I like it, it screams early 1980’s and I love it for that.
I can’t quite put my finger on how I would like to stereotype the driver of this truck. In fact, after about ten minutes of waiting to greet the driver I determined that I don’t actually want to know what they are like and went on my way. Whatever assumption you have about the owner of this truck is a fact (it’s more fun this way).
It’s good to see something old, clean, driven, and not beat to piss. I’m sure its offroading days are long gone, especially with those street tires, but you never know.
It’s a curiosity for sure.
A couple interesting notes I found in my research:
– In 1959 Datsun became the first company to import a compact truck to the US
– Only 10 or so trucks were imported that first year
– In May of 1986 the 720 was replaced by the Hardbody