1939 International Harvester Pickup
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: Base price: $550.00
Number made: 28,158 (D2’s, 1939)
Engine, etc.: 6 cyl.; 213 cu. in.; 78 hp; 3 speed
The Classic Car Collection has International Harvester vehicles from 1907 (auto buggy), 1909 (auto wagon), and pickups from 1919, 1929, 1939, 1949, and 1959.
The 1939 model was positioned between the smaller half tons of other brands and the larger 1 tons which many considered either too small or too big. It was the start of the domed roof cabs that would dominate the line for several decades. The design was utilitarian but sufficient for a workhorse of a vehicle. This model was also offered in a stake bed and a panel truck. The hood sports the classic triple-diamond International Harvester logo. The 1939 models had one tail light and the only dealer option was a heater.
International Harvester was in dire straits during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In 1929 it produced 50,000 trucks but by 1932 was down to about 17,400.
The company decided to enter the light-duty market which resulted in the successful 1937 C-1 pickup. During its three-year run, 76,820 C-1 trucks were produced until replaced by the D-2 series. Production of D2’s ended in 1940. In 1937 construction began on a new International plant for manufacturing truck engines. After production began in 1939, the plant grew to be the world’s largest devoted exclusively to truck engine manufacture.
The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company was founded by Cyrus H. McCormick who invented the first commercially successful reaper to harvest wheat. When he died in 1884, his son, Cyrus Jr., became president of the company. International Harvester Company was formed in 1902 by the merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. and Deering Harvester Company.
In 1920, the motor truck industry began to claim victory over its traditional rival, the horse. An early issue of International Trail magazine quoted the Chicago Daily News as stating “efficiency in industry is supplanting the ‘neigh’ of the horse with the ‘toot’ of a horn and the ‘clatter of the hoofs’ with the ‘roar of the engine’.”
The company re-vamped its Springfield plant in 1921 and committed itself to manufacturing heavy-duty models. These made their first appearance in 1923 from a new plant in Fort Wayne, Ind. The degree of specialization in heavy-duty truck manufacture was unmatched in the industry. Instead of mass producing a standardized chassis model and adapting it as best possible for specific uses, International trucks were built from the ground up for specific hauling requirements.
http://www.howstuffworks.com/1937-international-c1-pickup.htm (1937 IH C-1 truck)