Scout Lost Chapter Part 12: IHC A-Line 1957-1958

A for Anniversary
post by
Jim Allen
Media Name: unnamed-50s_a-line.jpg
The Lost Chapter series is from Jim Allen and John Glancy's book, International Scout Encyclopedia; one so thorough it couldn't all fit into the final cut. Pre-order the second edition, coming August 1, 2020! Join our mailing list for pre-order specials and exclusive content.

For this series, author and historian Jim Allen is sharing extra material with photographs from John Glancy’s extensive collection as well as photographs from the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

The International Harvester Company marked its 50th anniversary building motor vehicles with a very much upgraded line of light trucks that appeared in March of 1957.  The line designation reverted back to “A,” something many International Harvester Company (IHC) fans have regarded as inexplicable. One of the explanations is that A stood for “Anniversary.” The IHC ad department played their “A-game” and touted the Action Styling of the new trucks. The cabs were much more roomy and stylish (the Ted Ornas touch!), with a wraparound windshield, more comfort features and an improved heating and ventilation system. Once again, albeit a little late, IHC brought their truck line into parity with the other light truck manufacturers. This would become increasingly difficult for IHC as the light truck market became more popular and the larger manufacturers devoted more money and energy into that market segment.

The A-Line brought many other new things to the IHC light line. The Travelall got the same major facelift as the trucks but one very important addition; a third door. A passenger door was added on the right side of the truck. This was an industry first and propelled the Travelall to the head of the SUV pack (the SUV acronym didn’t exist at the time). Another big addition was the smooth-sided Custom shortbed, which was available on the short wheelbase trucks or with a Travelette, another addition.  The Travelette was a three-door crewcab pickup that was another timely innovation from IHC.

On the technical front the A-Line offered the options of the 220 ci six, with the 240 and 269 ci sixes as upgrades in some categories. The 220 did not come in the 4x4 line, where the 240 was standard. As with the previous models, the 4x4 option was not offered in the half-ton lines.

One of the gems from this era was the Golden Jubilee A-100 package. Primarily designed as a showroom display unit, it was a short wheelbase A-100 Custom Cab with the Custom bed and a two-tone white over gold paint job. It came standard with the BD-220 six but you could order it with the 240ci six, power steering, and even the T-26 ( Borg-Warner AS-2) automatic.

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