1973 International-Harvester Wagonmaster ½-ton Custom 4x4 Pickup
- Location: Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
- Make: International Harvester
- Model: Other
- SubModel: ½-ton Custom 4x4 Pickup
- Type: Pickup
- Trim: Wagonmaster ½-ton Custom 4x4 Pickup
- Year: 1973
- Mileage: 5,174
- VIN: 3Q1H0CHB92727
- Color: Blue-Gray
- Engine size: 392 CID V-8
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Transmission: Three-speed Automatic
- Drive type: 4X4
- Interior color: Black
- Vehicle Title: Clear
1973 International Harvester Other Wagonmaster ½-ton Custom 4x4 Pickup description
1973 International-Harvester Wagonmaster ½-ton Custom 4×4 PickupRarely seen Binder; it was only made for two model years – 1973 and 1974 Sold new in Denver Colorado and then to Idaho One of about 500 copies made; based off of I-H’s Springfield Plant Travelall This example spent most of its life serving on a military base in Idaho 392 CID International V-8 engine Torqueflite A727 three-speed automatic transmission Factory New Process two-speed transfer case and Dana 44 front and rear axles Alpine White roof over Brittany Blue, scratch-resistant urethane exterior with woodgrain paneling and black interior Factory power steering and power brakes Original AM/FM radio Five-foot bed with bedliner on 119-inch wheelbase and 9,600-pound GCVWR Truck has complete factory air-conditioning, but compressor needs to be installed Documentation includes copy of line ticket, original owner’s manual, original vehicle engine and emission control system and original guide for AM/FM radio
Ahead of its time by 30 years, International-Harvester “accidentally” created a four-door utility pickup truck for the 1973 model year; such trucks are a common sight now. MotoeXotica Classic Cars is pleased to present this hard-to-find International-Harvester Wagonmaster ½-ton Custom 4×4 Pickup. It spent many years serving on a military base in Idaho. Approximately 500 of these vehicles were made over a course of 1.5 years at the International Travelall Springfield plant, making it extra rare to spot one these days.
According to John Glancy of Scout Light Line and Super Scout Specialists, the Wagonmaster was an idea that came from line workers at the Springfield factory. International’s August 21, 1972 announcement read, “The Wagonmaster combines automobile-type styling and comfort with the durability and trailering capabilities of International’s popular Travelall wagon. Its design features a five-foot pickup-type bed behind the roomy six-person passenger compartment.”
Built in International’s Springfield, Ohio factory, this truck left the line originally finished in Arctic White roof over Brittany Blue with optional woodgrain paneling. While the white roof and woodgrain remain, the rest of the exterior has been resprayed in a Brittany Blue, scratch-resistant urethane. While similar in concept to the International Travelette, the Wagonmaster shares much with I-H’s Travelall, save for the roof past the C-pillars, the rear and rear-most side windows and the D-pillars. Unlike the Travelette and traditional pickup trucks, the Wagonmaster’s bed is not separate from the cab.
The paint and trim on this example are in overall great condition, with minor blemishes visible upon close inspection. The truck’s bodywork is straight and solid and the cargo area, with its own bedliner, is in very good order. The chrome bumpers look great, the engine bay is very tidy and the battery appears in good shape. This Wagonmaster has a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight rating of 9,600 pounds!
This Wagonmaster rolls on fresh BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, size 31×10.50R15LT at all four corners. Each tire surrounds a Pro Comp vented alloy wheel. The tires are new while the wheels in overall very good order and the front wheels have factory locking hubs.
Under the hood is International’s 392 CID V-8 engine breathing via dual exhausts and hooked to Chrysler’s Torqueflite A727 three-speed automatic transmission. Power is routed through factory 4×4 Dana 44 front and rear axles and there’s a New Process two-speed transfer case. Driver convenience features power steering and power brakes. There is also factory air-conditioning but the compressor needs to be installed.
Inside, the black interior looks great overall. The front and rear bench seats are in great shape and can easily six adults, while the matching carpet is in similar condition. The headliner is in satisfactory order while the three-spoke, rimblow wooden steering wheel adds a dose of style to the cabin. The instrument panel is in very good shape, while the inner door liners are in good order, as is the shift lever. The original AM/FM radio rounds out the interior.
It came with standard, Deluxe or Custom interior and exterior trim levels. The Deluxe and Custom interiors shared the same color-coded nylon or vinyl seats, tinted glass, padded door trim and headliner and some miscellaneous bric-a-brac. Custom added full carpeting, extra interior lighting, dual horns and a few other goodies. A/C was optional. Outside, both the Deluxe and Custom trims shared bright trim and chrome bumpers. Deluxe came with bright hubcaps while Custom gave you full wheel covers and woodgrain side panels. Two-tone paint was optional.
On the surface, it was a good notion and pitched directly to the sales department and passed for production without much engineering review. During the long lead presentations to the auto press, the Wagonmaster’s fifth-wheel prowess was touted, but they soon found there wasn’t enough space to place a fifth-wheel hitch directly above the rear axle. One had to mount the hitch farther aft, making for an ungainly fifth-wheel tow rig.
An in-house marketing memo titled, “Wagonmaster Publicity Situation,” discussed the methods used to counter bad press from that error after the motoring press had latched onto the issue. In normal circumstances, most historians think the Wagonmaster would have survived the embarrassment. Unfortunately, by the early to mid-1970s, International’s light trucks weren’t selling; the Wagonmaster did not last through the 1974 model year and the rest of I-H’s pickups were discontinued in 1975.
Documentation includes copy of line ticket, original owner’s manual, original vehicle engine and emission control system and original guide for AM/FM radio.
Competition to this Wagonmaster in 1973 included Chevrolet’s K-series Blazer, pickups and Suburbans, Ford’s F-series and Bronco, Dodge’s D-series and GMC’s K-series Jimmy, pickups and Suburbans.
If you’re a Binder fan and looking for something seldom-seen, you could not have found a better candidate than this Wagonmaster. This truck would be the perfect classic camping, fishing, off-road or towing rig. Come by MotoeXotica Classic Cars to check it out, today!
This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 5,174 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, mileage exempt title. GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!
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