Scout Lost Chapter Part 9: IHC L-Line 1950-1952

A Post-War Presence
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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 (image number 27736).

The post-war KB-Line had lagged behind the competition in many ways but still sold well. With the L-Line the International Harvester Company (IHC) attempted to play catch up. Its array of models would expand to 66 and the cabs and bodies would be highly revised for more room and comfort using the new “Comfo-Cab.”  Among the momentous features of the L-Line cab is the one-piece curved windshield, which was an industry first. Also, IHC dropped the L-head engines and introduced a modern overhead valve engine to the light line, namely the 220 ci Silver Diamond. Larger 240 and 269 ci OHV sixes would be used in higher GVW models (above one ton) but these engines would eventually find their way into the light line in other eras.

The model designations were altered in this era from a series letter and single-digit number indicating the weight classification to a letter and a three digit number. The L-110, for example, was the bottom of the half-ton range and had a 1,600 lbs. payload. The L-111 and L-112 were still half tons but with higher capacities inside that general half-ton weight category. In the half to one-ton lines, three wheelbase lengths were offered.

Among the very welcome features of the L-Line trucks were a lot of ride tuning and effort devoted to making these trucks have light steering. Power steering wasn’t in the cards yet but this era is when IHC acquired a reputation for light trucks that had less steering effort than many others on the road at the time.

One of the more significant introductions late in this era was the Travelall. It would be available in the 1952 L-Line briefly but most of the hoopla over the new people-mover would come the following year in the livery of the R-Line.

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