Project Car

PROJECT CAR: 1952 International L-Series Truck

This 1952 International L-series pickup looks to be a solid restoration project.

Many may know of the reputation International Harvester has for building farm and construction equipment but for a number of years, the Illinois-based company built numerous light-duty pickup trucks. One such model line was the L-series, which included trucks with a cargo capacity ranging from 1,600 lbs. to 4700 lbs.

We recently came across this rough-and-ready 1952 example, wearing a patina of heavily worn white paint. Other than a couple of dings in the rear fenders, the body appeared straight with minimal signs of rust. We didn’t care for the junkyard or swap meet sourced wheels and tires but appropriate age on the rolling stock gives the classic work truck an overall look that works.

A few dings are evident in the rear fender but otherwise the body is straight.

Our guess is the factory Silver Diamond 220ci inline six-cylinder engine is underhood. A quick peek inside the cabin revealed a well-used interior compartment that appeared factory correct. A cover and closed tailgate prevented any looks in the bed but we’d imagine the condition would be as solid as the rest of the decades old vehicle.

A quick walk-around revealed that the truck was largely complete and could serve as a regular daily driver or local cruise night hauler. Classic pickups, especially orphaned ones like this L-series, are becoming quite desirable amongst those in the collector car market and we’d love to get our hands on one such as this.

There wasn’t a ‘For Sale’ sign in sight but if it were up to you, how would you take on an overhaul? Leave it as is or go with numbers-matching originality? Let us know in the comments below.


** All photos and content by Classic Recollections and may not be used without permission. 2012 © **

5 replies »

  1. I have a 52 L110 with solid steel panel extensions on the bed which I think were custom ordered when the truck was ordered, it last ran 5 years ago. It has small amount of cancer on the front bottom of the left front fender and the tailgate hinge bar along the tailgate , otherwise only surface rust in the bed and on the body in spots .I bought it to restore it and was very impressed with it’s condition,it has three original hub caps and side mounted spare,this is a very cool looking truck, I just don’t have time to do the project. I feel this truck is worth at least 3 grand maybe more the way it sits. I’d be willing to send pictures if your interested.

  2. I have a 52 ih with 48000 original miles on it
    It was my dads it’s been parked in a garage where he left it over 30 yrs ago. I was embarrassed to be seen in it as a youngster but now I can’t think of anything better than to cruise out in it! I’m soaking the engine in pbr blaster and transmission oil right now as it seems to be locked up. I have no dout that I’ll get it running soon with all original parts. If you have any knowledge that isn’t readily avaible online please send me some of your experience on this truck. Or send me your email address and I’ll send you pics

    • Oh, it even has original wheels and hubcaps with embedded emblems. I got it 12volt rewired with blinkers, restored master cylinder, transmission, radiator, starter, brakes. I need to do the differential. Want any helpful information on that. Thanks

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