The wood-bodied station wagon simply known as the “woodie” has become such an icon of leisure culture that its origin as a utility vehicle is often forgotten. Indeed, many such wagons were sold as commercial vehicles and listed in the truck catalogs. Ford, the predominant wagonmaster of the 1930s, did not consider the style a passenger car until 1939. Even when most manufacturers had assimilated wagons into passenger lines, truck-based woodies remained popular, particularly from Dodge and International.
As the name implies, International Harvester Company had agricultural origins. IHC resulted from the merger of Cyrus McCormick’s and William Deering’s harvester companies in 1902. Branching out into trucks and cars for farmers, IHC marketed high-wheel “auto buggies” beginning in 1907. A full line of trucks, from three-quarters to 3-1/2 tons, was offered in 1915; by 1927, more than 25,000 were built annually. Pickup production started in 1932 with a Willys-based model. IHC’s own C series supplanted it in 1934, an attractively-styled modern design with a v-shaped grille. In addition to pickups, wood-bodied wagons were offered, with bodies by outside suppliers like Baker-Raulang, Hercules, Cantrell and Robert Campbell’s Mid-State Body Company at Waterloo in upstate New York. These carried through into the 1950s, with International’s new L series, the first with a modern, full-fendered cab. A modest restyling of the nose resulted in the 1953 R series, a year that also brought IHC’s first factory-built 4x4s. Early in 1952, IHC had introduced the Travelall, a steel-bodied half-ton, two-door wagon, but for wagon bodies on larger trucks, outside body builders were still employed.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
107hp, 240 cu. in. overhead valve six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 130"