Owner - Dwight Ruffin
International Trucks, once a hallmark marquee is now an almost forgotten name among classic trucks. Once produced in large numbers, only a few remain on the road today. However, a few enthusiasts have taken up the challenge to restore one of these fine classics.
Dwight Ruffin didn’t start out looking for a frame-off project when running across his 1947 KB-1 while looking for a tiller for his vintage 1953 International tractor. After some thought, Dwight felt as though the old truck might be useful for hauling around his tractor to local parades.
Little did he know that his love for old tractors would grow into a hobby of collecting International offerings, both tractor and truck. Dwight says, “When the Bug hits you…there is only one thing you can do”, and he began working on the old hauler.
Needing various, hard to find parts, Dwight found himself researching his project to better understand the direction he would need to take in accomplishing his goals.
One interesting item that Dwight uncovered was regarding the bed on his truck. His KB-1 was fitted with a Knox Bed from the Knox Box Company. Dwight learned that International had contracted with Knox to build Beds for International trucks in order to keep up with the post-war demand for trucks. International trucks that were fitted with a “Knox Box” are today quite rare (scarce) today, which makes Dwight’s KB-1 even more special among its peers.
As Dwight began his project, he found the ride of the old hauler a bit rougher than he had hoped. In an effort to smooth out the ride some, Dwight looked for ways to soften the old trucks stock suspension. In the end, the old rumble bump suspension had to go. Safety and ride won out over keeping the old girl stock, which makes a lot of
The project began by removing everything down to the bare frame. As the project progressed, Dwight was able to locate several sources for hard to find parts and seek out individuals who had small pieces he needed for the restoration.
My father bought this truck in October of 1966 for $1795.63 as a second "car" and a tow vehicle for our travel trailer. This was a bare bones truck: no cigarette lighter or carpet, but its all truck. The AM radio still works!
The truck is all original except for the mirrors, the wheels and the step bumper. This truck came from the factory with painted Jr. West coast mirrors but I could not find replacements. I decided to go with the Stainless Steel ones you see here. The wheels, well, nobody wants to muck around with split-rims anymore, so I went with junk yard aluminum wheels off a '78 Jeep Wagoner. Since all 6 bolt patterns are the same, they fit well and are stout enough to handle anything I might want to they look good!
The truck originally had a painted bumper on the back and when we bought it, Dad asked the dealer to install a step bumper. I took the old bumper off and had a new one made to look almost the same. I plan on installing auxiliary lights in the bumper with a dash mounted toggle switch so I can see what I doing at night.
It came with a heavy duty clutch, rear heavy-duty springs, jr. west coast mirrors and split-rims and 8-ply tires. The engine is a V-6 305E with 3 on the tree and a 3.54 rear end behind it. I love the big block V-6. It has never let me down and although I don't go anywhere fast; I can haul/pull anything I want to, and then some! The 305-E has 165 hp @ 3800 rpm and 280 ft lbs of torque @ 1600 rpm; fairly decent for a mid 60s truck engine. She only has 130,000 miles so I didn't do a rebuild; didn't need too! Just cleaned her up real good and painted Chevy orange. The original color is really a darker orange, closer to red, and when I rebuild, that's what I'll use.
When my father sold me this truck, he told me I would have to fix all the stuff I did to it when I was a teenager; what with dents and scratches, it had my name written all over it! I'm almost finished. - CTS