Auction Pick of the Week: 1971 International Loadstar 1700 Travelette 4×4 fire truck

Hagerty Marketplace | Jeff Inglis

Who didn’t dream of driving a fire truck when they were a kid? These machines are big, red, loud, and can spray hundreds of gallons of water, all with a Dalmatian in tow. Our Hagerty Marketplace auction pick of the week, a 1971 International Loadstar 1700 Travelette fire truck, is for those who remain children at heart.

International was—and still is—a go-to name for anyone who needed to move really heavy stuff. In 1962, the company introduced the Loadstar line of medium-duty trucks to replace its aging B- and BC-series models. With its bubble cab, stubby nose, round headlights, and large, slotted grille, an International Loadstar is endearing in a cute-but-ugly way.

Hagerty Marketplace 1971 International Loadstar 1700 Travelette 4x4 fire truck
Hagerty Marketplace | Jeff Inglis

Loadstars, like most commercial trucks of the ’60s, could be ordered in a variety of configurations to serve the needs of farmers, construction companies, schools, firefighters, and more. During its 16-year production run, the Loadstar gained a reputation for being rugged and dependable. Many surviving trucks still see heavy use today.

Our featured truck was originally used by Forest Service fire crews to control wildfires out in the bush. It’s still outfitted with a functional, fire-fighting water pump, hoses, and on-board 500-gallon tank. The crew cab, originally meant to house a squad of firefighters, means you can ride around the neighborhood with five of your friends, yelling at passersby with the built-in PA system. The sirens and lights are still fully operational, ready to delight kids or provide ambiance for a backyard rave.

Our truck is equipped with the optional 345-cubic-inch gasoline V-8 that sends its power through a five-speed transmission into a rare, factory-installed Coleman four-wheel-drive system. The engine is not a powerhouse, outputting 197 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. However, the durable V-8 will pull vehicle’s maximum total weight—a hefty 26,000 pounds—anywhere. You won’t be going anywhere fast, but you’ll be in a freaking fire truck.

Hagerty Marketplace 1971 International Loadstar 1700 Travelette 4x4 fire truck
Hagerty Marketplace | Jeff Inglis

The truck is in perfectly usable condition, with minor paint wear and floorpan rust. We’re more inclined to see the patina as a badge of honor: this truck has many years of active firefighting service and 58,000 indicated miles under its belt.

The possibilities for this ’71 International Loadstar fire truck are endless. It could be a perfect summertime parade vehicle. You could use it to fill your pool. Or you could just enjoy driving it around. Bidding ends on Tuesday, January 31, at 4:30 pm EST. If you still think fire trucks are cool, give this one a look.

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    As a former firefighter I can attest these were well serviced. Oil and greased every month, even though it probably didn’t go anywhere. These idled more than anything on fires. The pumps on them were the workers. This looks like it was with California Department of Forestry.

    Fire trucks are great antique vehicles to own. (I have two with Hagerty.) I have a 1961 IH B-Series truck, and the Loadstar uses the same stampings for the doors, cab & windshield, and the two-piece hood is the same stamping cut in half. The B-Series dates to the early 1950’s, so IH really got their money’s worth out of their presses! I am lucky to have the very reliable OHV straight-six, and can get something resembling fuel mileage driving to events. The V-8 won’t crack 5 m.p.g.. But the next owner will have a great time!

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