1938: International Inheritance

A longtime trucking family restores its most prized possession—this gleaming 1938 International Harvester.

BY: ROD O'CONNOR


This vintage 1938 International Harvester pickup truck was purchased used by Louis Franklin Barney, a government trapper who used it to run traplines in the Utah wilderness. Barney got 20 good years out of the truck before it fell into disrepair. Then, in the 1970s, the truck got a second life. Don Ipson, whose family owns DATS Trucking in St. George, Utah, bought the pickup from Barney—who just happened to be his wife’s grandfather—for the incredibly low price of $65.

Don and his son Dale have tinkered with the truck ever since.

Five years ago they dropped in an engine built by a family friend, as well as a new transmission and new suspension. Soon afterward, they added a modern interior, leather seats and a fresh green paint job that closely resembles its original look.

Today the pickup is immaculately restored and completely drivable, but it spends most days proudly parked alongside 20 or so other classic vehicles in the family’s impressive private museum.

That’s a lot of hardware, but whenever Dale, 44, is asked to name his favorite, he’s got an easy answer. “I always tell them, the International Harvester,” he says.