1917 IHC Auto Wagon

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Project by rustfever posted 1744 days ago 2611 views 3 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I told a few days ago, I completely rebuilt this ‘Auto Wagon’ over the last several years. It is a 1917 International Model ‘H’. It is rated as 3/4 ton. It has a 4 cylinder engine capable of producing something near 20 hp. and was cabable of top speed of near the same.

I just took the truck to it’s first show, and you can see the wife and I, riding over to load into the trailer. I also included a pic of the truck as found, and 4 pics of the reconstruction in progress.

The machinery runs well, albeit a bit cranky to get running. Once up to operational temperature, it runs very well. The top speed I’ve had it is about 12 MPH.

One side note…the wood wheels had some deterioation that need to be stopped and corrected. I elected to give the wheels each a 4 month ‘bath’ in a specially constructed tub filled with boilded linseed oil. After the bath, the wheels were allowed to dry for three months, then scraped, sanded and 5 coats of spar varnish.

-- Rustfever, Central California

29 comments so far

View woodworm's profile


14124 posts in 2186 days

#1 posted 1744 days ago

Sweeeeet! Great job!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View huff's profile


2779 posts in 1880 days

#2 posted 1744 days ago

Rustfever, Am I seeing the fourth picture correctly? Is the motor sitting in there backwards with the radiator facing the firewall? If so, that’s the first time I’ve seen that. Great restoration!

-- John @

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2160 days

#3 posted 1744 days ago

WOW! Very nice, love to see this restored piece of history, excellent work too! Interesting orientation on the engine. Now lay off the gas pedal, we don’t want to hear about any speeding tickets.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Dadoo's profile


1763 posts in 2586 days

#4 posted 1744 days ago

The motor is in backwards! How about that?! Beautiful restoration Rustfever!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View firecaster's profile


557 posts in 2014 days

#5 posted 1744 days ago

Does this truck have wooden brake drums?

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View SteveMI's profile


845 posts in 1890 days

#6 posted 1744 days ago

That looks like you are having way too much fun.

View dustyal's profile


1195 posts in 2070 days

#7 posted 1744 days ago

Phenomenal restoration… by the way… when you get that old, you have the right to cranky in the morning and hard to start… it takes a bit longer to get warmed up, too…

Wheels are original… could you save any other wood components? Steering wheel was saved? Just curious… loved looking at the oldies when we lived in Hershey, PA and they had their huge fall meet.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5241 posts in 2180 days

#8 posted 1744 days ago

Very nice looking vehicle wish it were mine, have fun friends . LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View gary46's profile


6 posts in 1744 days

#9 posted 1744 days ago

Great job! You’ll probably be in many parades.

-- Gary, Arkansas

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2040 days

#10 posted 1744 days ago

Fantastic restoration.

View ohwoodeye's profile


990 posts in 1749 days

#11 posted 1744 days ago

Any time you need a chauffeur – GIVE ME A CALL!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View rustfever's profile


619 posts in 1905 days

#12 posted 1744 days ago

Huff and Dado.
Yes, the motor is in there backwards. So is the raidator. This was so the teamsters, could not back their freight wagons into the radiator, crushing it, thus rendering the ‘smell, noisy’ automobiles useless. The French started this style, calling it the ‘Berloit’ or something close to that. Many makers picked up on the practice, including Mack and International. This orientation proved poor, at best. In 1924, International brought out a new line of truck, moving the raidatior back out front. But they added a set of bars to prevent the teamsters doing damage. The bars were call a ‘Grill’.
Now you know why all automobiles today, have a ‘grill’

-- Rustfever, Central California

View rustfever's profile


619 posts in 1905 days

#13 posted 1744 days ago

No the brakes are not wooden. They are made from raw ‘Asbestos’, 3” wide. I was forced to have new brake shoes made, at no small cost. But the do stop the truck in a very short space. In fact, you need seat belts or you will get dumped over the sloping hood, if not holding on very tight.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View rustfever's profile


619 posts in 1905 days

#14 posted 1744 days ago

You have a good eye. Steering wheel is original. That is the only piece of original wood left on the truck. I spent over 25 hours, just dismantling, scraping, clean, piecing it back together, and revinishing. Of course it has recieved 5 coats of spar varnish, too.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2172 days

#15 posted 1744 days ago

Great job what a fantastic truck.

-- Custom furniture

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