Limo Meets Labor: 1974 IH Travelette

Posted on 18. Jun, 2012 by in Auto News

By Jim Allen

Four-door pickups are so popular these days that it's actually hard to find a regular cab long bed. That was not the case before the new millennium, and certainly not in the mid-1970s.

In early 1974, ordered an oil executive in Oklahoma a new pickup – that's right, a pickup truck, not a luxury car. They do not show up to the oil fields in a limo if you want to command respect from roughnecks, but oil execs sometimes required to carry VIPs. He ordered a special collection: a Travelodge Lette crew cabin of International Harvester.

It can grow to an oil rig in a sedan, two-tone IH 200-series pickup is a base hit with the audience roughneck. Since it is a rare 166-inch wheelbase crew cab long bed, maybe you get a double. And as it is probably the largest light truck IH V-8 that powered the 392-cubic-inch four-cylinder with factory dual exhausts to get to third base. The fact that you sign the paychecks probably take you to the home plate. Ordering every comfort option is only for you.

In early 1974 IH trucks were on the way up. The new D-series pickups that debuted in 1969 were light years ahead of the previous generation of technical functions and the available comfort and convenience features. IH fell far behind the Big Three to bring its trucks to comfort-food chain option. The company had long built some of the toughest light commercial vehicles available, but they were farmers truck, working truck -. Truck is not well suited to the American pickups' growing role as an ordinary family recreation vehicle (the second or third "car"), the new D-series includes options to remedy this deficiency and also the go-to-work issues, the IH was legendary.

The visibility was another reason for IH-digit light-truck market share. Commercial farmers and people knew where to find a maintenance truck, but John Q. Public the usual response was, "International what?" You have IH truck tractor dealers and scouts at the edge of the city, not on Main Street, where people bought the window Chevy, Ford and Dodge. And that's where caught the crowds of prospective truck owners to pick bug.

When the 70s began, IH began thinking about how to get their trucks on Main Street, but the steps in this direction soon hit a standstill. If our Oklahoma oil was delivered to his exec '74 IH Truck, few people knew that these light trucks were headed toward extinction.

For the 1974 model year adopted IH new model designations. Numbered from the previous 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300 models, IH to a modern-sounding 100 and 200 series down, the 100 is the half-ton line in various wheelbases and GVW configurations, and the 200-line the three-quarter ton and one-ton range with similar variable wheelbases and a gross vehicle weight. All cars have chassis improvements and a wider stance. Power disc brakes to the standard, and the engine was moved back into the chassis, in order to improve the cooling.

The long, long end of the 200-line was the 166-inch wheelbase Travelodge Lette 200th Lette was traveling IH marketing term for a four-door cab. In '74, Travelodge Lettes came in 149 – and 166-inch wheelbase, the shorter with a 6.5-foot bed and the longer loading area with the full 8-foot bonus. This year, the Travelodge Lette was only on a two-wheel truck, previously, a Travelodge Lette was also offered on an all-wheel chassis. The standard engine was moved to a 258-cubic-inch six of AMC, but 304, 345 and 392 IH V-8s were options. Due to a lack of 392S, which were also used in the medium-duty IH lines, a 401 V-8 engine was sometimes replaced by AMC.

Our oil exec took only the best options. The Camper Special with air conditioning delivered a stack of functional stuff, including a 8,200-pound total weight, front and rear stabilizers, underslung spare wheel carrier, auxiliary 16-gallon fuel tank (for 32 gallons total), high-output alternator and battery, heavy- duty cooling, dual exhausts, dual oversized mirrors, camper wiring and a sliding rear window.

The Custom Exterior Trim Package contain lots of chrome and bright trim, and for $ 71 more you step back with one hook. Inside contains the Custom Cab interior carpeting, special trim, padded door panels, lighter and a clock, but the high-back bucket seats with folding armrests free to spend more money. The tinted glass and AM radio exec put our back even more, but for some reason he did not order the $ 59 tilt steering column.

The 392 V-8 was a $ 255 option, and with the dual exhaust made 193 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The 392 was offered in contrast to the large blocs in other brands of LCVs. Its more like a Clydesdale and less a thoroughbred. The 392 was not a revver – it was pretty much done by the time it reached 4,000 rpm, wheezing pretty hard at this point. But from idle to 3,000 rpm, the torque curve rose like a rocket and made a long, flat plateau. It was the type of engine, with which you could accidentally start off in 4th Gear and hardly notice.

The standard transmission for the 392 in a 200 was stood a heavy four-speed automatic, Warner Gear, but two Clark five-speed manuals are available, one a close-ratio with a direct 5th Output and the other with a larger ratio box with an overdrive 5th Transmission. Our exec ordered the three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission and an additional cooler. The truck came with his standard axle ratio of 3,73:1 (4.10:1 was optional), but the oil guy also ordered the optional Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential for the Dana 70 HD Full-floating rear axle. Over time the oil exec order was done, there were not too many more tick boxes on the order form to.

By the end of 1974 were the happy days on light commercial vehicles for maintenance. The gas crunch was in full swing, and the economy was spiraling down. Corporate schizophrenia reigns IH boardroom, where the agricultural, commercial and light trucks competed all lines for diminishing resources.

History shows us, lost that fight. Marketing materials were printed for 1975 trucks and 1975 model-year vehicles were produced with a number of improvements and changes, but not many rolled the line. Records show just over 6,000 trucks were built, and at the end of 1975, after almost 70 years of production IH light trucks were a thing of the past. The Scout models continued, and a new Scout Terra pickup was the de facto IH light trucks, as well as the scouts only took until 1980 before the economy and boardroom power struggles, they are also killed off.

The truck shown here belongs to Rick and Paulette Riley collectors who have a thing for maintenance products, but also for Jeeps and AMC muscle cars, tractors and a number of other things. They have that rare truck for about 10 years in family ownership. It from a known IH light truck expert Larry Buckland, the most widely used new old stock (NOS) parts that are already bringing good cars back was restored showroom condition.

Very little is known about the truck on the fact that an oil exec its first known owner was. It passed through several hands before being restored by Buckland and in possession of the Rileys. Travelodge Lettes from this period are often, but decked out ones like this are very rare, according to John Glancy at Super Scout Specialists.

"They were most of International Light Line markets commercial," he said, "so the majority of Travelodge Lettes were built to work. Few tricked-out ones were built, and even fewer remain." Glancy estimates the value of these trucks the collectors market in the $ 25,000 to $ 30,000 are. Glancy should know, since he. Heritage parts store bought by Navistar International for all IH light-line products, trucks and scout alike, and he owns the rights to many of its brands and tools Super Scout Specialists also inherited a huge database of information with the purchase and has included it in the decades since.

1974 International Harvester 200 Travelodge Lette

  • Engine: 392ci V-8 OHV 4-cylinder
  • Power: 193 hp at 3,600 rpm (179 HP with single exhaust)
  • Torque: 305 pounds-feet of 2.400 to 2.800 rpm (297 pounds feet with single exhaust)
  • Bore x stroke (mm): 4.125 x 3.656
  • Compression ratio: 8.02:1
  • Transmission: 3-speed automatic, Borg Warner 11
  • Rear axle: Dana HD 70
  • Final drive: 3.73:1
  • Tires: 9.50 to 16.5, 10-fold
  • L x W x H (mm): 237.2 x 72.8 x 78.8
  • Wheelbase (mm): 166
  • Total weight (kg): 8200
  • Curb weight (kg): 4849 (base model)
  • Fuel Capacity (gal): 32 (16×2)
  • Current owners: Rick and Paulette Riley

At 20 meters long, this truck is definitely in the limo-long category. The main Glacier Blue color has been popular because many remaining IH seen trucks and Scouts from the 1970s in it. The Bimini Blue Metallic is a good highlight color with the optional two-tone design. The 1974 model year brought a lot of small upgrades, not least of which was a new grille, now christened "the electric razor grid."

A full 8-foot bed provides a large load or a large overhead camper. It did stretch the wheelbase by a good bit and made the turning circle only slightly smaller than the Queen Mary. This truck was originally dual exhausts, and there were two types: those that just came out of the back like this, and those who rely on the sides. The rear exit exhaust and a factory receiver hitch probably why the spare tire is not in bed under the truck.

The 392-cubic-inch four-barrel V-8 was International strongest light-truck engine. It made 193 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque with dual exhaust. It seems modest, but it was a slow turning, medium truck engine in a light truck. Longevity and low speed performance was exceptional. IH engines use high nickel content blocks with holes and extremely durable forged crankshafts, sodium filled valves with rotators, hardened valve seats, high-flow cooling systems and high-volume lubrication systems. About the only thing missing on the light-truck engines from the medium-duty kingdom were governors. The 392 had two-and four-barrel versions over the years. The four-barrels were early Holley and Carter Thermo Quads in the 70s.

The filling point for the fuel tanks on IH truck mounted in an unusual place compared with other trucks. With a single tank of the filter was here, on the driver side. With dual tanks, a second filler appeared on the opposite wing.

There is a lot of meat to show here, including a Dana 70 HD axle with a limited slip differential and a rear stabilizer that was part of the Camper Special package. The chassis has been beefed up for '74 as well.

That was about as plush as it got for International Harvester. The center console is not original, according to John Glancy SuperScout specialists. It seems to come from a '80s-era Chevy Blazer, but it works stylistically, and even match the color.

There is room for five, which would have been for six with the standard front bench seat. Rick Riley says this is a very comfortable truck on a long drive, despite the severe suspension. Modern radial tires help, but that's the wheelbase. The truck is lively, but not economical – about 10 to 12 mpg is as good as it gets.

Prices and Options

Base Price
392 V-8
Limited slip rear axle
Camper Package w / AC
Custom exterior
Two-tone paint
Tinted windows
Door locks

$ 4,408
$ 255
$ 142
$ 740
$ 278
$ 106
$ 118
$ 6

Rear step bumper
Custom interior
High-back buckets / console
Transmission cooler
Power steering
AM radio


$ 71
$ 186
$ 191
$ 238
$ 53
$ 152
$ 72

$ 7,016