1947 International Harvester KB Delivery Van
STREETSIDE CLASSIC CARS DALLAS
Fort Worth, TX 76137
If you like classic movies or are of a certain age, perhaps you remember the familiar face of this 1947 International Delivery Van pulling into your driveway every morning with a fresh bakery delivery. Custom built with a full ""Rustina"" body on an upgraded chassis and powered by a 350 crate engine, this is a wonderful throwback to a simpler era and an iconic workhorse that's pure Americana.
The International Harvester K and KB line of trucks was made throughout the 1940s, with a total of 42 different models produced. However, you can't argue that this KB isn't one of the best iterations, the result of which is a great-looking delivery truck with bulky rounded fenders and a tall six window cab up front. The rounded nose and prominent grille are instantly recognizable and this machine is no less practical or hard-working than its more ordinary competition. We don't know exactly where this one spent its working years, but the patina has been sun-scorched into the bodywork for a wonderful effect that looks incredibly en vogue today. It's got nostalgic bakery logos on the flanks, roof, and rear doors, along with pinstriping on the hood, and you'll quickly learn that taking this truck to a show brings more crowds to it than a fleet of Top-Flight Corvettes. Up close you'll note the original ornate grille, the big headlights, and simple sliding doors, that all work in unison in what is actually still a practical vehicle that could be used commercially or recreationally. And we're particularly enamored with all the awesome stance possibilities thanks to the Air Ride system underneath. Take a look at that killer profile!
The interior is, of course, pretty basic, with a lone metal bucket seat for the driver, a matching rear bench for a couple passengers, and every other square inch dedicated to storage. I personally remember our milkman driving while standing up and leaping out of the cab before the truck had even fully rolled to a halt in the driveway, and with the upright steering wheel and controls, it's easy to see how he could do that so easily. The seats have pinstripe accents on their backs, the floors are raw patina steel, and there's removable shelving out back, so it's low-maintenance throughout and if you've got stuff to move, this sucker will handle it. The original dash still has delivery stops written on it, and although the factory gauges are now inoperable, a set of auxiliary units are installed in the glove box. A very tall, chrome shifter juts from the floorboard and controls the 700R4 below, and that awesome vintage steering wheeling is actually Kaiser stock that fits in wonderfully with the theme of this build. Dig the high-mounted emergency brake, the original door lever, and the nice and cold R134a A/C system, a very welcome feature on hot summer days. The cargo area is ready to go to work or play and provides plenty of room to haul anything you need.
The number of engines that were planted under the big hood of these International trucks varied, but that doesn't matter now because the engine found here is a crate 350 V8. Torquey, sturdy, and dependable, it's a good match for the delivery van and a big improvement over the early KB's and their small horsepower drivetrains. Thanks to an Edelbrock 4-barrel carb, an Edelbrock intake, and an HEI ignition, this one is easily able to keep up with modern traffic without a fuss and the engine bay is nicely dressed with black Chevrolet valve covers on the engine and more custom pinstriping throughout. Power brakes and power steering translate to very manageable driving conditions despite this van's large size, and shorty headers feed a custom Flowmaster dual exhaust system that sounds fantastic. The transmission is a 700R4 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission that shifts great through all the gears with ease and it spins a heavy-duty 12-bolt rear end. A swapped-in heavy-duty frame from a '60s Chevrolet truck and a full Air-Ride suspension mean this truck should last forever and look darn good doing it, no matter how you use it. Bright chrome wheels wrapped in 215/75/15 wide-white Michelin radials finish the look.
Delivery trucks are seeing a bit of popularity in the market today, and as one of the coolest ones we've ever seen, this is surely the one to own. Vintage looks, more modern performance, and a lot of great memories. Call today!