“What's an International?”
Sometimes I worry about the next generation and those that follow. I think they are in too big of a hurry to get somewhere but are never happy when they get there. I bought a 1949 International Pickup with the hopes of restoring it with my teenage son--you know, a little quality time for the men?
The truck itself was in pretty good shape considering what I paid for it. All of the ribs in the front grill were still there which is amazing to find after 5-plus decades. The front windshield on Internationals cranks outward (otherwise, there would be NO ventilation in the vehicle!) and surprisingly it still worked on mine.
Of course, the upholstery was in bad shape and I couldn't even tell you what color it had originally been. The truck had been stored in a barn for the past twenty years so the rust was manageable. The only really bad parts on the truck were the huge fenders that were banged up and dented all over. We spent many a night and applied much Bondo getting those fenders back in shape!
When we got the truck it was painted this matte black which had absolutely zero shine to it. Since we were completely re-upholstering the interior, we were free to paint the outside any color we wanted: We went with powder blue paint and a black leather interior.
It took us the better part of a year and almost every spare minute to get that truck into shape. When we were finished, I decided to take the truck down to a car show that visits our area every summer. I kid you not--everyone wanted to know about the funny-looking powder blue pickup! “What's an International?” I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that question that day.
My son had not been thrilled about that International from the moment it arrived on the trailer. It was big, bulky, and did not have synchronized gears, which really drove Jake nuts when I was trying to teach him how to drive such a “dinosaur.” But when my son realized how original, unique, and rare his new truck was (yes, I gave him the truck for his birthday about a month after the show), well, I think my hope returned for his generation. If my son could realize how hard work, patience, and dedication could turn that old International into a show-stopper, then anyone can! Oh, and he still has that truck and just started college last Fall!