1st Annual Berkeley International Car (and Truck) Show

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Parked on California Street, about a block from Infospigot World Headquarters. This truck has been in the same spot for as long as I’ve been paying attention (we’ve lived in the neighborhood 19 years now, though I can’t remember the first time I saw this vehicle; I’ve never seen anyone working on it or driving it, though that that looks like fresh oil on the pavement under the front end). It’s an old International, though I can’t say how old. The 1956 model at the bottom left of the ad below (click for a bigger image) looks pretty close to this one. The license plate dates back to the late ’60s or a little after, when California switched from its old gold on black pattern to gold on blue (the switch to the current standard blue on white started in the early ’80s).

It’s a battered old classic in any case, with all the rust and dings and oxidized paint. I like the way the wheels are turned to the curb (it’s facing downhill) and the rear wheels are chocked. I wonder when the engine started last.

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[Update: Checking further online, I found a great collection of International truck pictures — this year is the 100th anniversary of the International Harvester Company producing its first truck — at the Wisconsin Historical Society site. And going through the collection, one model — the 1950 L-160 — looks like a dead ringer for the truck on California Street. I’m also waiting for an expert opinion from a guy over in San Bruno who’s organizing a cross-country International truck convoy this summer to celebrate the centennial.

Update 2: My expert’s opinion: “That truck is a 50 – 52 “L” series and is probably the 160 but may be a 150. The130 – 180 designation was determined by chassis strength and axles weight rating.”]

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4 Replies to “1st Annual Berkeley International Car (and Truck) Show”

  1. Do you know the writer Michael Perry? He’s a nurse and volunteer firefighter in rural Wisconsin. He wrote “Population 485.” I’m reading his most recent book now, “Truck: A Love Story.” It’s about getting an International that resembles yours (in terms of condition) up and running, among other things. Highly recommend it in light of your newfound interest in Internationals.

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