Rare survivor 1953 International Travelall passenger truck

Rare survivor 1953 International Travelall passenger truck

The Pick of the Day has had only three long-term owners and very low mileage, and is said to remain in all-original, preserved condition

Rarely seen today in any condition, the Pick of the Day is a 1953 International Travelall passenger truck that has survived as a preserved time-capsule with low mileage and an engaging back story.

An early precursor to the SUV, and competitor of the better-known Chevrolet Suburban Carryall, the Travelall has had just three long-term owners and shows a mere 35,500 miles on its odometer, according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the truck on ClassicCars.com.


The truck-based wagon has three rows of seats

The International stands as an all-original example, fully documented, with only wear items such as tires, belts and hoses replaced during its sheltered lifetime, says the dealer, adding, “The example here survives remarkably with just 35,535 original miles, and so beautifully original, one really has to see it in person to admire fully.”

The story of this Travelall starts when it was bought new on August 25, 1953, by Bremerton, Washington resident, Albert Tapp, who planned to use it “for family hunting outings and camping trips to Yosemite and Yellowstone,” according to the ad.

“Sadly, Mr. Tapp was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and the truck went into dry storage after he was no longer able to drive it,” the story goes. “He had named his Travelall Old Faithful, and it stayed with the sentimental family long after his passing.


The spartan interior looks to be in great condition

“Always detailed and protected, it would come to the attention of Harrah’s Automobile Collection researcher Reed Doph in January 1978. Once hearing of the truck’s availability, he promptly boarded plane for Seattle with only a toothbrush and briefcase carrying cash. He then drove his new acquisition back to Reno, Nevada, covering 800 miles when the odometer only read 31,000 miles.

“He held onto this wonderful Travellall for 22 years before parting with it in 2000 to its third and final owner, Mr. Mohrschladt. He kept this vehicle very well-maintained and dearly loved these past 17 years.

“It continues to start perfectly and run down the road with utter ease. Truly a remarkable time capsule in every sense.”


The clean engine compartment shows high quality of preservation

The seller says the truck includes plenty of original paperwork and equipment.

“It will come with a host of original documentation that includes original purchase and ownership history, service stickers, Mr. Tapp’s driver’s license, maps of Olympic National Park, tool box, umbrellas, operator’s manual and original brochure,” the seller says.

With these sturdy trucks most often used up on farms and work sites, and scrapped after they became too old and battered, this Travelall is indeed a very special find after its life of ease and careful preservation.  As such, the asking price seems reasonable at $49,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day


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