Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

1965 International 1200 Pickup

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: pickup, truck, IH, International Harvester, auction, 1200, antique,

1965 IH 1200

In April – I think it was April – I bought another old pickup. My friend Aaron Perry noticed the old International Harvester on an auction bill and told me about it. I was scheduled to be out of town the day of the sale so Aaron bid on my behalf and won the prize for less than half my maximum price.

One might wonder why I would need another old Binder – my wife, Kate, certainly did. I told her I needed a parts truck to keep my Daily Driver on the road, and this new-old truck, a 1965 two-wheel-drive Model 1200, had all kinds of good usable parts, including a really nice box. 

The first time Aaron, his dad and I made the trip out to Lincoln County

, Kansas, to retrieve the pickup, there had been so much rain all we managed to do was get really muddy while my 2003 Dodge got stuck a few times. We wound up using the come-along to winch out the Dodge and trailer, rather than loading the International. After about an hour and a half of trying to pull the IH truck off its hillside resting place, we gave up and decided to beat it back down the ½-mile-long mud trail that was the only way in or out of the field. The fact that it had started raining again played a significant role in that decision.

About five weeks later, we redid the road trip and managed to retrieve the old pickup with little more than a bit of sweat and 25 gallons of diesel fuel. It’s amazing what a warm sunny day will do for your spirit; it didn’t hurt any that the ground was dry, either.

A few weeks ago, I chased the remaining packrats out of the truck’s cab, removed the seat and cleaned the interior up a bit. With the loader-equipped Kubota tractor, I managed to back the truck into my shop. Within an hour, I had the beast up on jack stands and its wheels off. There the old Binder sat, until I was hit with a lightning bolt of motivation last Saturday.

My dilemma now is whether the truck is really a parts truck, or do I need a spare running truck for those days when my Daily Driver needs some repairs. Kate is pretty clear on the answer to that question, but I’m not so sure. What do you think?


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .