The July/August 2017 issue of Vintage Truck magazine will be available in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands soon. When Wendell Kelch arrived at the 2010 International Harvester Collectors Club “Red Power Round Up” in LaPorte, Indiana, he did not expect to see anything out of the ordinary. After all, he grew up on a farm where every piece of equipment was either IH or Farmall, and he owns a large collection. He also restores antique tractors for a living through his business, Kelch Restoration, in Bethel, Ohio. However, a few words on a stranger’s business card introduced him to the rare model featured on the cover of this Vintage Truck magazine—his 1924 “Red Baby.”
“I’ve got a 1913 Auto Wagon they wanted me to take up there, so I did,” he said. “As I went to get in it to go home, I saw that somebody had laid a business card on the seat. It said ‘International Harvester Red Baby.’”
He thought, “What the heck is that?” Then, he stuck the card in his pocket and went on his way. Later, he learned that the Red Baby was International Harvester’s standard Model S “speed truck,” built in Springfield, Ohio, and purposely painted an eye-catching red. Introduced in 1921 as a 3/4-ton model on a 115-inch wheelbase, it was the first IH truck to offer pneumatic tires, an electric starter, and electric lights as standard equipment. A year later, the weight rating increased to one ton and the wheelbase to 124 inches. It had a 4-cylinder Lycoming engine, a 3-speed transmission, an enclosed cab, and a pickup bed. As part of a new sales concept, McCormick-Deering dealers used these trucks to deliver parts, service, and merchandise right to the farm. To advertise such services, the local dealer’s name was displayed prominently on the truck, creating a kind of rolling billboard.
To read more about the rare 1924 “Red Baby,” pick up a copy of the July/August 2017 issue of Vintage Truck now!
Other articles in this issue include:
- The Civilized Jeep - Dave Chynoweth’s 1955 Willys Utility Wagon (Bill Norris, photos by Al Rogers)
- “What the Heck is That?” - Wendell Kelch’s 1924 IH Red Baby is still a great marketing tool! (Candace Brown, photos by Brad Bowling)
- Huckster Homecoming - This 1921 Ford Model T truck returns home after nearly a century! (Bill Siuru, photos by Brad Bowling)
- Life of a Salesman - Old photos in a trunk bring Studebaker history alive for the Hedrick family (Candace Brown)
- Chevy Talk - 1940 Chevrolet Bike Hauler (Danny McGill)
- Dodge Garage - 1937 Dodge MC (Mike Felix)
- Delivery Designs - Boyertown Merchandisers (Pete Costisick)
- Notes from the Corrosion Lab - Putting the Brakes on Speedy (Bob Adler)
- Triple Diamond Treatise - Marketing International Trucks in Print (B. Mitchell Carlson)
- Granny Gear - Knob Road (Ted Kalvitis)