Lewis Newby was the original registered owner of a 1965/66 International Harvester that he purchased in 1966 from a local grain company.
Lewis was a farmer who used the truck for farm chores and did not use it as transportation for long trips. The IHC was a barebones truck that served a basic role on Lewis’s farm as a workhorse vehicle until 1984 when Lewis gave the truck to his son Thomas who subsequently used it as a metal scrap hauler.
Thomas had a family of his own that included a son named Ronald who grew up with the truck and developed very fond memories of the International Harvester pickup over the years. Ronald became the truck’s owner in 1997 when his dad Thomas gave him the family heirloom.
Ronald was well aware of the truck’s multi-generational history in his family and wanted to restore the hardworking IHC back to its original glory. The process involved a frame-off approach that included Ronald’s sons (Charles and Andrew) when they were little car guys.
The restoration took three years and Ronald kept the truck’s originality at the forefront of the process. As mentioned, the IHC pickup is very stock and still has its original powertrain that consists of a 4-cylinder engine bolted to a 3-on-the-floor manual transmission.
International Harvester was a small-sized truck company compared to the Big Three (GM, Chrysler, and Ford) domestic truck builders, so they had to be creative with their approach to manufacturing vehicles.
For example, the IHC pickup’s four-cylinder 152 cubic inch engine was the company’s 304 V-8 engine sawed in half and used by International Harvester as an economical alternative to its full-sized V-8. Ronald’s truck does not have a rear bumper or side mirrors because his grandad Lewis did not see any value in these add-ons since the IHC pickup was destined to be a farm vehicle for him.
Ronald did add an under-dash radio to the IHC truck at one point in the past because it did not have a factory radio. He mentioned the radio was connected to a boat antenna under the dash, so no hole was carved into the IHC’s metal to secure the antenna.
One of the unique features of the pickup is its posi-trac rear end that allowed both rear wheels to dig in whenever they had to pull a heavy load. The workhorse nature of the truck became obvious to Ronald’s grandad when he used it for hard work on the farm.
Ronald mentioned the truck “was not meant for the highway”, a view that was clearly shared by his grandad Lewis because the man never drove the truck much more than 30 miles from home during its entire time on the farm.
Ronald shares his granddad’s view, so he also does not take the truck on long trips.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.
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