1957 was a milestone year in International Harvester history, as it marked the fiftieth anniversary of truck production. IH smartly timed the introduction of their all new truck line to coincide with the anniversary and called it the A-series (A for Anniversary). It featured an all-new cab with a semi wrap-around windshield and fully enclosed front fenders.
The A-series saw the Custom trim package become a unique model. Exclusive to the short wheelbase (114-inch) A-100 Custom was an all-new seven-foot long wide-side styled cargo box. Unlike the Chevy Cameo, this was all steel and fully integrated construction, and unlike Ford, it offered a fully styled tailgate and the industry’s first one-handed latch.
As part of their anniversary, IH also offered their first limited edition truck called the Golden Jubilee edition. Essentially a one-per-dealer item, the Golden Jubilee was a Custom with a gold and white paint scheme and interior trim. Most Customs were Golden Jubilees, although the Custom was continued into 1958, unlike the Golden Jubilee.
Another new offering was IH’s first cataloged crew cab, called the Travelette. For the duration of the A-series and following B-series, this was a three-door cab (one for the driver and two on the curb side). This same door configuration was also used on the Travelall wagon, which shared doors and several body stampings.
Introduced in late 1958, the B-series IH trucks were essentially restyled A-series. The most visible change was in following the rest of the industry and converting over from dual to quad headlights as well as a new egg crate grille that looked like it came right off a 1955 Chevy passenger car. These vehicles are notable as the first of IH’s Light Line trucks to offer an optional V-8 engine, the 266 cubic inch unit that was the first of IH’s new for 1959 light to medium duty V-8s. For 1960, this became the standard engine, with the Black Diamond 240 six moving to the option list.
Also new with the B-series was a new styled all-steel pickup box, the Bonus Load. Unlike the A-series Custom box, the Bonus Load was available across the entire range, in long and short wheelbases, along with the Travelettes.