International Travelall – One of the World’s Earliest “SUVs”

December 22, 2022
Posted in Cars, Life
December 22, 2022 Nick Engvall

International Travelall – One of the World’s Earliest “SUVs”

What is it that makes the obscure so appealing?

I came across this beautifully aged International Travellall last week and haven’t stopped thinking about it. I should have stopped to take more photos of it. My best guess is that this is a 1968 edition, but I am by no means an expert on these or SUVs of any kind. In fact, like most people, I’m more familiar with the more famous sibling, the International Scout, which Mecum touts as the “First-Ever SUV.” 

That said, the International Travellall was first released in 1953 and production continued for 4 generations of the Travelall until 1975. While earlier versions might not feel like a precursor to what we call SUVs today, there is no doubt a resemblance to the Chevrolet Suburbans of yesteryear. Fun fact, the International Travelall had four doors, while the Suburban didn’t get four doors until 1973.

As I was looking for information on this vintage beast, I discovered that the actual name of the company was International Harvester. This, as you might guess, was due to the fact that the company specialized in tractors and farming equipment of various sorts. The company also touted J.P. Morgan as one of its original founders.

History aside, I love this thing. If I had infinite amounts of money and nothing but time, I’d add this to the long list of cars I would love to own and customize. As someone who loves camping in their car (shout out to my Honda Element), the International Travelall would be a blast to update with modern amenities inside and under the hood, while keeping the dated aesthetic of the 1960s for the exterior. The appeal for me is the functionality, ’60s styling, and the obscurity of the Travellall. You just don’t see them very often, which makes them that much cooler.

International Harvester Travelall

Nick Engvall

Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.

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