Powering this unique creation...
Powering this unique creation is a '70 Chevy 400ci small-block fitted with TRW internal components that include a Crane Cams hydraulic camshaft and valvetrain. On top are a pair of Cy Lard-prepared Bow Tie cylinder heads, Mooneyes finned-aluminum valve covers and breathers. A Mooneyes-filtered Edelbrock Performer manifold and carburetor complete the fuel delivery.
Inside we found a GM six-way...
Inside we found a GM six-way tilt steering column, Lecarra leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Chevrolet S-10 seats covered in black and light gray leather by Jim Skinner at Denver's Autoweave Upholstery.
The custom-fabricated dash...
The custom-fabricated dash features Classic Instruments gauges and a well-hidden Audio-installed audio system.
A Mack's Products bobbed Ford...
A Mack's Products bobbed Ford F-100 truck bed was modified to match the original '46 International Harvester fenders. Notice the inner fender tubs.
Josh Bjorgo fabricated most...
Josh Bjorgo fabricated most of the trick custom bodywork on this silver beauty, including the Majestic Metals aluminum grille, the rolled rear pan, and the custom running boards (manufactured from a total of four IH running boards).
When we first saw Steve Dalrymple's stunning silver '46 International pickup, we were completely mesmerized. In the many years of photographing and writing about vintage trucks, this writer can't recall having ever photographed an International pickup truck for a feature. None we've seen at past events came close to being this well constructed.
Of course, there's always an interesting story behind the creation of a vintage hauler. Steve told us, "I was in Sturgis, South Dakota, for the [motorcycle] rally and spotted this truck sitting in a shop just outside Spearfish. Shop employee Roger told me his wife Margaret owned the truck, that her grandfather purchased it brand new after the war. When he died, her father inherited it. Then when he died, Margaret took the title."
Dalrymple then spoke with Margaret. She told him how all her children had learned to drive the IH in the South Dakota wheat fields. When Steve asked her if the old workhorse was for sale, he got a definite, "No!" Of course, where there's a will, there's always a way-and Steve passionately wanted that truck.
Steve continued his story: "I went back four times and visited her husband at the auto repair shop in Spearfish. Evidentially at some point, he'd had intentions of building the truck into a hot rod. It already had a Nova front clip and a 350ci small-block Chevrolet engine installed. But every time I broached the subject of selling it, I got the same answer: No!"
Then Dalrymple had the good fortune to run across one of the locals who knew ol' Roger reasonably well. Through that contact, Steve learned Margaret's husband had been looking for "just the right deal" on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
"I guess you could call this a Harley-to-Hauler scenario, and one with a happy ending," said Steve. "I traded my '99 Harley Lowrider motorcycle for the truck!" Unfortunately, at this writing Margaret could not be reached for official comment.
Once Steve got the International home and started taking it apart, it became apparent that the IH's cobbled chassis was a disaster. It had three separate sections: Nova front rails, IH main rails, and a set of rear framerails of an unknown origin. Dalrymple drove the truck to Denver's Masterpiece Rodding/ Color On Wheels for a second (and professional) opinion.
"We took one look at that thing and pronounced it D.O.A.," commented Masterpiece's Gary Vahling with a laugh. "We told Steve he needed an all-new chassis, something safe and solid."
Once given the green light, Master-piece's Jerry Weatherman and Steve (a welder by trade) fashioned a new chassis from a combination of 2 x 5-inch mild steel box tubing (main rails) with a 2 x 4-inch rear kick up. Next, they installed a Heidt's Hot Rod Shop Mustang II-type unequal length A-arm front suspension and Heidt's front cross- member, complete with 2-inch-dropped front spindles, 11-inch ventilated disc brakes, an antisway bar, and rack-and-pinion steering.
The rear suspension on the IH consists of a Chassis Engineering leaf spring- suspended, 3.25:1-geared Ford 9-inch, narrowed a total of 5 inches with late-model Corvette air shocks and 11-inch drum brakes. Other additions to the chassis include a bed-mounted 20-gallon aluminum gas tank.
The ignition system on the truck is a GM HEI, while the exhaust consists of a set of Sanderson block hugger headers dumping into a Masterpiece-constructed 2 1/2-inch thermal-coated system with twin FlowMaster mufflers. Backing all this is a Jelard's Transmissions-prepared GM TH-350.
The bodywork on this beauty is a matter of, well, where do we start? For example, the front fenders and hood have been welded into one-piece units and smoothed. The distinctive headlights are frenched Hagan three-bar halogen lamps with Head Winds turn signals. Notice the awe-inspiring Josh Bjorgo- fabricated Majestic Metals aluminum grille. In fact, Josh was responsible for all the trick custom bodywork on this silver beauty, including the rolled rear pan, full custom running boards (manufactured from a total of four IH running boards), and Mack's Products bobbed Ford F-100 truck bed and IH rear fenders.
Bodyman Greg Karlsterun block-sanded the IH to perfection. Then Color on Wheels' Joe Qualls sprayed multiple coats of PPG '03 Volkswagen Silver with clearcoat, along with Louis Allison pinstriping.
When the paint was buffed to perfection, Steve added a set of 17x8-inch and 17x9-inch American Racing wheels wrapped in P265/50xZR17-inch Faulken radial rubber.
No expense was spared on Steve and Helen's International. There should be no doubt-it's not simply a well-constructed hauler; it has the distinction of being an award-winner and one of the best- preserved examples of a '46 International Harvester pickup in the world.