Eye Of The Beholder
For Earl Miller, of Shelbyville, IN, one of his lifelong dreams was to own his buddy's "ugly truck." So you can bet when the time came, that ugly truck became his ugly truck.
"Recently I've finished my truck, a 1954 International R-100 pickup. This truck was born the same year I was, and I had admired it a long time. One of my oldest friends had it out in Palm Springs, CA. When the opportunity came along, I offered to buy the truck, because it was different and unusual. I do believe that 'ugly trucks' are a beautiful thing.
"Over the past three years I have gone from the bottom up and refinished and replaced everything to what you see in the pictures. I've tried to keep an old-school look with a lot of modern day upgrades underneath. Modifications include allnew wiring, and a conversion to 12-volt, with a new 100-amp chrome alternator. I also redesigned the rear suspension with traction bars, a new performance driveshaft, and a completely rebuilt Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.50 gears. The body was taken off, and a new paint job, basecoat/clearcoat Corvette red, was applied. The interior and gauges were refurbished by Williamson Instruments. All the cracked glass was replaced and all the rubber seals have been replaced. One thing I have found out is that parts are not readily available for Internationals, and at times this can cause a challenge. Since this was my first custom, I learned a lot.
"The truck is unique in that it has a one-piece tilt-up hood, which was fabricated by the original builder, made out of the original hood and front fenders. Under the hood is a '79 Corvette 350 with 4-bolt mains, which moves it along very well. From the Edelbrock valve covers to the chrome oil pan, transmission cover, water pump, and a lot of chrome under the hood-the engine is dressed up. The cooling is handled by a 16-inch electric fan/shroud combination that keeps the engine running well even in traffic situations. Topping things off are the Wheel Vintiques rims I threw on."
Editor's Note: Getting your truck into Readers' Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes is a stack of good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs. Send photos of your truck (no Polaroids or printouts) to: CCT, Readers' Trucks, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it.