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History of the 1969-1975 International Harvester Pickups
After a decade of a design that was becoming quite dated, International’s new Light Line for 1969 was styled competitively with the Big Three from Detroit. Penned by IH Chief of Design Ted Ornas, it was influenced by his first generation Scout. Subsequently, the new Scout II in 1971 was even closer aligned to the Light Line styling. Featuring a clean shape with minimal body character lines, it still looked fresh decades later.
A full line of step side and restyled Bonus Load pickup boxes were available in multiple wheel bases, with single and crew cabs and in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive form. Engines ranged from an AMC-sourced inline-six to IH’s rugged 304, 345, and 392 cubic inch V-8s until the latter was replaced by AMC’s 401 cubic inch V-8 in 1974. Manual transmissions ranged from a column shift three-speed to the choice of under or overdrive five-speeds, along with Chrysler three-speed automatics. Three levels of trim were offered during this era: Standard, Deluxe, and Custom. The Custom was the range-topping trim, and featured simulated woodgrain body side trim and a plush, car-like interior.
Beginning in 1971, IH offered a few limited edition pickups for specific regions. For the sales districts in the Southeastern U.S. was the “Johnny Reb”, festooned in orange and gray. Up north, the “SnoStar” was the industry’s first factory-optional snow plow package.
A novel concept was introduced in 1973 called the Wagonmaster. It was essentially a crew cab pickup version of the Travelall wagon with a minimalist unitized cargo box. Although targeted at the early fifth wheel camper market, it actually foreshadowed vehicles like the Chevrolet Avalanche and Honda Ridgeline by three decades.
While IH may have had some forward thinking trucks, sales declined despite overall growth in the truck market from the 1960s on. While the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 contributed, it was mostly due to multiple internal corporate problems that would eventually see the company reorganized in the mid-1980s. As a result, the Light Line trucks were discontinued in 1975.
1969 International (IHC) 1000D 1/2 Ton Info
2dr Chassis & Cab
2dr Fenderside Pickup
2dr Bonus Load Pickup
4dr Panel Truck
6-cyl. 232cid/145hp 1bbl
6-cyl. 241cid/141hp 1bbl
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