Having spent a month working on the bus with Brian, I found myself wishing I had a more purpose-built vehicle for the trip and for the work. Driving the Scout was awesome, of course, and it’s easy to throw heavy tools in the back and hit the road. But I’m always worried about rain getting tools and the truck wet, and until I get the electrical, wipers and fuel gauge sorted out, I’m going to be preoccupied with the weather report instead of enjoying the ride.

We bought our current cars to transport our family with the most available room and the best possible gas mileage, but a gray sedan does not make hauling tools or drywall easy—in this I have firsthand knowledge. The CR-V does great for a lot of things but it’s not fair to Jen for me to be stealing that all the time, given that she has no love for the Accord.

Looking ahead to the next vehicle in our future, I have been seriously considering a pickup of some kind—but not a Texas-size mall crawler. There are several medium-sized pickups on the market right now that look really good: the Tacoma has always been an attractive option, of not trendy, and Ford just re-introduced the Ranger. Both offer quad cabs and several trim packages that would fit our needs well. I’m not looking for a lifted overland-kitted expedition vehicle, but something with all-wheel drive would be nice. Ford offers a stripper version of the Ranger with rubber flooring and base-level accessories but I bet we’d never see one of those in the wild without special ordering it. I’d like something that offers reasonable gas mileage, seats four people, and maybe even has a manual transmission (the Ranger doesn’t have this yet, but the Tacoma does).

I do a daily search for Scout parts in my area on the off chance something good will show up, and that search usually includes whole vehicles. I stumbled across an ad for a 1966 International D1200 pickup that is just the right amount of beat-up without being disgusting. The common vintage car term for it these days is ‘patina’ but it just looks like a well-worn International to me. It’s a V8, it’s a manual, and it’s a longbed. I don’t see a second stick present, so it’s rear-wheel drive, like God intended. The top of the cab looks clean, the dash is in good shape, and look at that bench seat!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks thinking about this truck and trying to put it out of my head. I don’t have anyplace to store it under cover. There’s a good chance the brakes on this rig are built with parts I wouldn’t be able to replace—and I’m not that interested in an axle swap. International D-series sheetmetal is rarer than hen’s teeth on the east coast. The tailgate looks pretty crusty. There’s a line of rust around the rear fenders all the way around the truck. There are no pictures of the rockers, door pillars, or cab corners—the most likely places for this truck to rot. There is no picture of the bed itself, which means it could be made of road signs and roofing tar.

But god, would I love to load this thing up with a toolbox and Jen and Hazel and take it to the landscapers’ and fill the bed with bushes or mulch or dirt and haul it all home. And I could see Jen driving it as well.

Date posted: November 1, 2021 | Filed under cars | 1 Comment »

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