Dream Pickup Project Has a Nightmarish Start

Dream Pickup Project Has a Nightmarish Start
By Robby DeGraff

Many automotive enthusiasts constantly search Craigslist for a project vehicle. Whether it’s a 30-year-old Porsche or a rusted-out Ford F-100 pickup, any time you commit to a Craigslist buy, a good story usually comes out of it.

“That site is like Krispy Kreme doughnuts dipped in crack cocaine for any connoisseur of bad ideas, and I, loyal readers, am the world’s foremost authority on poor decisions,” Zach Brown wrote in an Autoblog article.

Browsing Craigslist for a tough, big pickup, Zach came across his dream project: a low-mileage 1975 International 150 with a four-speed manual and two-speed New Process 205 transfer case. Even better, this three-quarter-ton pickup was California-bred, meaning almost no rust.


We tend to know when a Craigslist ad is telling a lie. A stock four-door Honda Civic EX does not have a racing-inspired V-8, and a 1987 Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup truck with 150,000 miles in “great condition” cannot tow a 6,000-pound power boat up hills with “great ease.”  We just need to be careful with what we find.

Zach contacted the owner of the International, drove three-and-a-half hours with two friends down to Bowling Green, Ky., and came face-to-face with the International. Almost immediately did things start to seem a bit strange.

The seller, whom Zach nicknamed "Shady Bobby," didn’t have the vehicle available at the time. Turns out Shady Bobby — who we later discover is a member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang — hocked over the International Harvester’s title to a friend, and the truck was actually sitting behind a locked gate at his car lot.

When Zach and his friends finally checked out the truck, they were fooled. It wasn’t a low-mileage (104,000 miles) or a three-quarter-ton truck, and it only "ran well." Besides a rear bed filled with diapers, cigarette boxes, McDonald’s bags and various auto parts, the International 150 had a leaky fuel tank combined with a broken fuel pump, a bad steering box and worn wheel bearings. But at least it wasn’t rusty!


Read the rest of Zach’s story at Autoblog and find out what Rambo-esque object was found in the bed and how Zach and his friends rigged up an Advanced Auto Parts gas jug to the fuel lines to get the International on its way back home to Knoxville, Tenn.

This truly is a great story for all car enthusiasts.

[Source: Autoblog]


I had a similar experience, luckily not as bad. I had the person meet me close to my house. Turns out they were 30 minutes late, the vehicle had more rust than they advertised, and the tailgate and passenger door wouldn't open.
I was able to talk myself out of it and walked away. After that day I leaned to ask plenty of questions and do plenty of research before diving into something.

Good article thanks for the read

You lie!

That things in tip top shape. Strair off the showroom floor.

As a person who buys/sells/restores old cars....Mopar/GM/Ford...

1.American cars have a 5 digit odometer 1900's-1980's,meaning you cant tell the original miles...I bought many so-called 40,000 mile cars though they probably had 600,000+miles on them..And I bought a true 300,000 mile car and it looked like a 30,000 mile car,clean engine bay,interior shiny straight orig paint/body...mileage means nothing as on an old car you cant tell,the pedals dont wear out especially Mopars dont wear out..a 600,000 mile old Mopar gas/brake pedal still looks new !! So some peoples theory of looking at the pedals to determine the mileage is b.s !

2.Many vehicles dont have a title,most often misplaced/lost..nothing new there...or the guy selling it isnt the titled owner..

3.Runs good means it starts and stops,pretty much it..

WOO International Harvester all the way!!

No such thing as an International pickup with no rust. Look close at those pictures. Good luck finding parts!

that international truck reminds of me of the 1965 mustang and 1962 galaxie i used to own and drive. As a 22 year old adult, i already have a particular taste for classics and muscle cars. i have learned my lesson about making classic cars as daily drivers and once i pay the bills, and own my own home, i will once again reignite the flame i once had and collect a whole acre full of classic cars.


1962 Galaxie is one of my favorate rides. I also dig the Thunderbolt Fairlane's. Those cars to me are exotic.

I wish I was born in the 50's. I'd have them all.

Good luck.
I don't know how prime a "collectable" an old CornBinder is, but then again the whole point is that you want it and it's fun to rebuild.
It is fun to hunt for old cars and to try to track down parts.
I got a BS story once and I travelled 500 miles (one way) to check the car out.
Makes for great stories. The best ones always come from misadventure.


Those are the best. I bought a '65 Falcon for $50 in mint/ok condition a few years back. The guy said it didn't run and mentioned it needed a rebuilt engine.

Guess what? Upon further investigation I decided to fill the tank with fuel to being the diagnosis. Next thing I know the 289ci V8 cranked up and started.

The guy see's me a few weeks later and say's "wow, I see you rebuilt the motor," I said yup, damn Ford engines are expensive.

I laughed my a$$ off, bro, Seriously!!!!

I sold it for $2100.00 a few weeks later.

@ Frank

it always amased me how the 289 back then, would leave bigger big blocks in the dust. if you were to buy another one again, would you keep it carbureted as well? or update it with fuel injection( no points, cap, rotor or generator)?

Oh International Harvester you steal my heart. Those pictures take me back to my Scout II. Wish I still had it.

I bought my Jeep off Craigslist... 95 Grand Cherokee, 185,xxx miles... a "new transmission"... come to find out its the original transmission... arg. Oh well. Live and learn.

I don't see the lure of this heap. I had a '73 Camper Special in fine shape. It was tough but it was a binder. Parts are awful and the truck is ugly. Just a pain. If I were going to put time into restoration, it wouldn't be a binder again. I built a lot of them and finally, it dawned on me "why am I banging my head against this ugly, hard to find parts, heavy hunk of farm machinery?" I guess it's like babies, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

I guess if you tossed that farm tractor lump of iron engine and replaced it with a Chevy Big Block crate engine.......

Screw putting a cookie cutter Chevy engine in it. Put a Big block Ford.

Zach and Shady Bobby are also posters on pickuptrucks.com

IH trucks were rugged,but really really liked to rust.Parts are unique and near impossible to find.No auto parts store will list even normal stuff,much less a total rebuild.If you find one mint,great,dont use it and keep it mint.Otherwise,you are buying a frame and shell,just waiting a transplant....maybe with 383/440 Chrysler power.Remember,IH used Mopar Torqueflight automatics after the very early 1970s (71/72),should be no problem to mate a 440/727TF to a stock IH/NP transfer case.

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