1950s / 1960s / American / Driven daily / International Harvester

Driven daily: International Harvester B-120

international-harvester-b-120-8Pickup trucks from the 1950s-1970s are an enduring symbol of the West in the U.S., but their recent climb in value means that many have been over-restored. At big collector car auctions in America, some classic trucks are selling for more than the equivalent of a brand new one.

So it is becoming increasingly appealing to find an unrestored truck being used regularly – even if somewhat more gently, as this International Harvester B120’s life probably is these days.

Tucked into a leafy side street in South Denver, Colorado, this B-120 no doubt has more than a few stories to tell. It’s either a 1959 or a 1960 and it features optional four-wheel-drive, or what International marketed as “all-wheel-drive.”

With its stacked twin headlamps, the B-Series was the last of the curvaceous International trucks. The brand’s offerings became less bubbly and more “modern” at the dawn of the 1960s.

Despite the B-Series nomenclature, the truck pictured really fits into the middle of International’s long heritage of pickup trucks. For 1956, International rebranded what had been known as the S-Series with a redesigned model called A-Series, the A representing the brand’s 50th anniversary. A special gold and white model christened Golden Jubilee featured extra chrome and some additional luxuries.

Still, as this B-120 clearly shows, trucks in the 1950s were largely agricultural machines – even if their designs have worn especially well. This truck was once a more aqua-like color, but its blue and white scheme today appears to have been applied not long after the truck was new.

Words and photos by Joseph Keller.

4 thoughts on “Driven daily: International Harvester B-120

  1. Wow, thanks for posting! What a beaut! Why do people not see the character in an original old truck like this?! All too common are the flat black or canary yellow examples.

  2. yes get a daily driver truck before the prices skyrocket. i would find a piece of used channel iron for a front bumper for this truck.

  3. In my hometown, there was an aggressive IH dealer who kept the countryside well supplied with IH trucks. We went through a lot of trucks (from the L-series to the Bs) on the farm. My dad hated the A & B series because they handled so poorly compared to the previous units, so we ended up with a legacy of GM, Ford and later, Dodge, in the 60s and 70s. But I still have a special place in my heart for ‘Binders.’

  4. Pingback: Post-production: The week in review | Ran When Parked

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