Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Big Woodie

I spent last Sunday at the third annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance where I served as one of the judges of some really fine classic automobiles; everything from Dusenbergs to Ferraris. One of the vehicles stood head and shoulders — literally — above the rest.

1954 International Harvester 4×4 Station Wagon

This is one of only three built for the US Army Corps of Engineers to supply the construction of Minuteman missile sites out west during the Cold War.

For all its size and weight, it has a small engine: a 240 CID, 107 horsepower 6-cylinder. And it’s built for hauling, not speed.

To give you an idea of how tall it is, look at this picture of the interior:

I took this standing up, and I’m 6-feet tall, so the camera level is roughly at 5’8″ above the ground. You need a stepladder just to get in.

I have no idea what the gas mileage is like on it, but in 1954 when they were paying $0.30 a gallon and battling the Red Menace, it didn’t matter.