Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

This is a rare International Travelette 1210 4×4, ¾-ton, crew-cab short bed. A survivor California International, it features factory automatic, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning. It has matching numbers.

Features include original IH-stamp bed bolts and military tires show-mounted on steel wheels with factory hubcaps. The original Line Setting Ticket (build sheet) is still taped to the back of the glovebox. It retains the original radio. It has had only one repaint. It’s powered by the original 345-ci V8 engine with automatic transmission, has four-wheel drive with locking hubs and dual gas tanks.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1972 International 1210 Travelette 4x4 pickup
Years Produced:1969–75
Number Produced:82,810 (all 1972 U.S.-built Light Line)
Original List Price:$4,410
SCM Valuation:$17,738
Tune Up Cost:$350
Distributor Caps:$15 to $36 (NOS)
Chassis Number Location:Driver’s side frame rail, aft of the bumper bracket, capacity plate and VIN decal on the edge of the driver’s side door
Engine Number Location:Machined boss on the front of the block
Club Info:National International Harvester Collectors Club Inc.
Alternatives:1972–80 Dodge W200 Power Wagon Crew Cab, 1968–72 and 1973–79 Ford F-250 Crew Cab, 1973–80 Chevrolet K-20/GMC K2500 Crew Cab or Bonus Cab
Investment Grade:B

This truck, Lot 328, sold for $32,450, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s auction in Palm Beach, FL, on April 7, 2017.

Crew-cab pioneer

The concept of a truck suited to move a crew of workers surfaced in the years before World War II. As the country was becoming more reliant on truck transportation, workers needed to get to job sites that were farther away, and they needed to do it efficiently. As such, aftermarket companies began to add second rows of seats to truck cabs.

In the 1920s, with wood-framed cabs, this was fairly easy, but as the 1930s all-steel cabs came into the market, specialized body companies became involved — usually by grafting a second cab behind the original one. Most were on medium-duty trucks, but they also applied the formula to pickups. After the war, most truck builders had at least one aftermarket upfitter building crew cabs as factory-authorized conversions.

International was the first to offer a crew cab as a regular option built in their factory. It was introduced in early 1957 as part of the all-new A-line trucks. The A stood for “Anniversary,” as they commemorated the 50th anniversary of International Harvester’s first truck.

These first Travelettes had three doors — one for the driver and two on the curb side. This mimicked the carryall Travelall, as both models shared door and cab stampings. In 1961, the revised C-series (using a lowered cab structure) ushered in a 4-door cab for both Travelall and Travelette. Still, it would be two more years before the next competitor — Dodge — offered a factory crew cab. Ford followed suit in 1965, although they weren’t made in-house until 1968.

By then the International Light Line was losing market share in what was becoming a very competitive pickup truck market, regardless of the number of doors they had. IHC discontinued all light-duty trucks, except the Scout, in 1975.

Not just for crews

By the end of those 18 years of Travelette production, the need for space in the truck market had evolved. While the primary target had been businesses, IH also marketed the Travelette to rural families — and not just for Pa to take Ma and the kids into town for provisions while he was at the feed store. IH also began tapping into the budding camping and RV market with it. Advertising extolled the virtues of a six-passenger pickup as the perfect truck for camping as much as for the farm — if not more so.

By the time the last Travelette rolled off the assembly line in 1975, changes in the work environment (with workers driving to job sites in their own pickups) and a boom in the RV market (despite the 1973 Arab oil embargo) saw nearly as many of them used by the campers and RVers as workers.

This was just a hint of changes to come in the industry. During the 1990s, the combination of a booming economy, growing market share for pickups and a cultural shift towards “cowboy Cadillacs” in rural markets saw crew-cab sales explode. This trend continues today, where full-sized 4-door pickups are now far more common than single cabs.

Opening doors of interest

Combine the interest and market share for new crew-cab pickups with the few vintage examples built (let alone still existing), and you have a perfect storm for Travelettes to move up smartly in value.

Our featured truck generally reflects the interests and tastes of today’s market. It comes closer to being restored than modified, but it isn’t concours-lawn-ornament-nit-picky-correct. It also has the necessary trifecta of options that are virtually essential today: power steering, power brakes and air conditioning.

The seats were reupholstered in a near-stock pattern, one that I remember very well from my family’s 1972 Travelall. Another feature I remember well is the dual-fuel-tank option — necessary with the bone-stock but thirsty 345. The control was a dashboard-mounted knob; pull out and turn to the left for the rear tank, push in and turn to the right for the tank under the front passenger’s feet. Get it wrong and the truck will sputter to a stop within a mile (don’t ask me how I know).

The only goofy changes (to me, at least) are the matte finish on the otherwise-textbook 1970s dark gold metallic and a set of vintage military-style non-directional tires. They may look mil-spec rugged, but they prove that this truck’s builder never really went off-roading with NDTs. Or in the rain. Or on ice. If this Travelette is going to be anything other than a garage queen, the new owner should really ditch them for modern rubber.

Overall, with this truck’s good workmanship, the model’s low survival rate, a now-popular body style, and a stable vintage four-wheel-drive pickup market, this price isn’t all that surprising. It may be a little strong compared to the median market of the rest of the remaining Travelette fleet, but its peers should continue to climb in value rather than falter. Call this one market-correct.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

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