International Travelall Ad

International Travelall – the Suburban Alternative

I have been looking for a Suburban to put my family of four kids and two adults in. It is not a lot of fun to continually look for one specific make and model of vehicle. I know about the Ford Expedition Max, but those are too expensive currently for our budget. I wish there were more options in the eight-passenger full-size SUV segment with actual cargo space behind the third row.  So I started to look in the past for other full-size SUV options. This lead my to International and the Travelall, and many questions.

How many seats did it have? What were the powertrain options? Can I get it in four-wheel-drive? Why did the International Travelall not do better?

Maybe it’s because the ads presented it as a wagon.


The Travelall is similar in size to Suburbans of the same time period. The Travelall in the ad above represents the fourth generation of the Travelall (1969-75) compared to the SIXTH generation of Suburban (1967-72). The GM model name entered production 18 years before the first-ever Travelall arrived on the market. There wasn’t any competition from Ford or Dodge at the time. The early Broncos were still relatively small in size. The Dodge Ramcharger didn’t enter the market until the end of the Travelall’s model run.

The Travelall’s wheelbase is shorter than the Suburbans (119 inches vs. 127 inches). The overall length was shorter too (203.9 inches vs. 215.5 inches). The 2021 Suburbans are going to be 225 inches. Ten inches longer than the 1969-72 versions.

The Travelall’s only true competitor was the Suburban.


Both Travelall and Suburban were available with an inline six-cylinder engine. The Suburban also had a V6 option that the Travelall did not. The Travelall had an optional 6.6L AMC V8 and three different displacement International Harvester V8s (5.0L, 5.7L, & 6.4L). The Suburban also had an optional V8. Five to be exact: 4.6L, 5.0L, 5.4L, 5.7L, & 6.5L.

The Travelall has four different manual transmissions: a three-speed, a four-speed, a five-speed, and a five-speed overdrive manual transmission. There was only one three-speed automatic transmission in the Travelall.

The Suburban had a three-speed and a four-speed manual transmission. The Suburban also had the patented Powerglide (two-speed automatic) and the Turbo-Hydramatic (three-speed automatic) transmissions.

Both of them drank a lot of fuel. The Travelall had a stock 17-gallon fuel tank. The Suburban’s tank was 21-gallons. That’s like forty to fifty miles more range.

Lasting Value

Yes, I know it’s the wrong generation of Suburban. Did you know that the Suburban was nicknamed the “Texas Cadillac?”


The Travelall and Suburban had different seating capacities. The Suburbans could seat up to seven passengers using three rows and the Travelalls had a maximum of six in two rows. The center seat on the front row for both trucks had to do some dancing around the gear shift for the manual transmission-equipped trucks. Suburbans may have been able to hold more people, but this generation of Suburban only had three doors: one for the driver and two on the passenger side.

International Travelall Interior

The cargo capacity of the Suburban was larger. With the third-row seat in place for the Suburbans, then the Travelall would have more capacity, but that also meant two more people in the ‘Burb. Both trucks in these generations had the fold-down tailgate. The Suburbans could also be found with the barn-door style rear doors.

International Travelall Interior

Destined for a ‘Burb

I know that we are headed towards a Suburban. It makes the most sense (other than a minivan) for our “growing” family. We are not adding any more kids. It’s just that they are literally growing right now. My oldest is approaching teenage years and we can’t keep up with his food intake.

The second-row captain chairs, third row, and cargo space make a lot of sense. I still want a full-size van, but that is a campaign that I am currently losing. We’ll see if travel this summer can help that.

I hope that we see more Internationals restored. Parts are hard to come by, but they have interesting looks. The Internationals don’t look like everything else. It would be a shame to see these succumb to the rust and be lost. We didn’t even talk about Scouts at all.

International Travelall Restomod

Icon’s 1,000hp Suburban Build

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21 responses to “International Travelall – the Suburban Alternative”

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      A Jetway 707 could fit the whole family, with plenty of room for camping gear.
      They were factory available only as FWD, but I see no reason why a second/third Toronado driveline couldn’t be added out back, to convert it to AWD or 4WD.

  1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Wow, the had not one, but two five speed transmissions? They rather advanced for any American car at the time, let alone a burly pickup based wagon.

    1. Scoutdude Avatar

      Actually 3 different 5sp. 1 direct, one wide ratio 5sp and one close ratio 5sp. Note because the 5sp was designed to be a 5th direct for MD trucks the OD boxes have a very interesting dog let shift pattern.

      R 2 OD
      1 3 4

      In certain years there were 2 4sp a wide and close ratio.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        [ponders shift pattern]
        …I can handle that. It’s like the one tandem-axle grain truck, back home on the farm.

        [low range]
        R 2 ( )
        1 3 ( )

        [shift range box coming out of 3rd]
        ( ) 4 7
        ( ) 5 6

  2. ptschett Avatar

    When I was a kid and these were more plentiful on the road, I remember my dad calling them a “Hutter hauler” whenever he saw one. Evidently they were a popular vehicle for colonial Hutterite folks to take for shopping trips in die Welt or to go visit at other colonies.

  3. Batshitbox Avatar

    Travelalls did okay sales-wise when you consider that the IH “Light Line” was sold through IH dealerships, which were largely agricultural equipment suppliers. I don’t think they were out to conquer the world, just offer their ranch and farm customers an alternative to the Big Three.

    I was always amused by the diminutive name, “Travelette” that they tagged their crew-cab 4WD monsters with.

    And okay why not while I’m here mention the Scout Taveller. Longer than a Scout II, but true to the model in having two doors and a removable top.

    1. Scoutdude Avatar

      Yup the Travelette is a curios name for the crew cab, though to be fair the first Travelette was available as a 1/2 ton with a ~5.5′ bed, 50 years ahead of time.

      The Traveler did come along due the the dropping of the Travelall and via a Midas Conversion was available with 3 rows, just 25 years ahead of time.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      When I used to read my grandfather’s IH catalogue as a little tracker I thought a Traveller with I think it was a Terra roof to swap on would have been the best of all worlds; SUV, pickup and convertible. I’m sure it wouldn’t have worked in the real world.

      1. Scoutdude Avatar

        It was possible to order that is your salesman knew how to do it. The Terra inner quarters would have holes punched and weld nuts behind those holes to attach the bulkhead that aren’t there in a Traveler. The floor pan for the Traveler has holes punched for the back seat, again with weld nuts to hold the seat and those aren’t there in the Terra. Then of course you need the Tailgate and it would be nice to have both sets of the bed side top rails. Both bodies have the weld nuts for the Traveler top, but the ones for the Terra only has holes for the front bolts to pass through. But it could all be ordered and they would make it that way and ship those extra loose parts.

        I’ve got a 73 Cab Top and a 72 Travel Top, so yeah the shorter ones. I’ve run the Cab Top with its bulkhead in and a Travel Top. The Cab top is also an easy one many R&R and actually fits in the bed so it is a great convertible.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          I’ll have to check if the current Case-IH dealership is a descendant of the pre-1980 one, I’m curious whether they sold any Scouts. Otherwise I still know the guys who ran the local Massey Ferguson dealership so I can ask them for leads.

          Not sure if they would have done custom orders for Australia, or indeed whether they were assembled locally with the trucks and tractors.

          1. Scoutdude Avatar

            The Scout II was only produced in the US. They did produce a few of the early Scout in Canada but that only lasted a couple of years.

          2. outback_ute Avatar

            Thanks. I’ve no idea how many Scout II’s came to Australia but it can’t have been many. Original Scouts probably fewer…

          3. Scoutdude Avatar

            The Interesting thing is that they had a unique grille for the early Scouts sent down under that was not used on the ones sold in the US or Canada. I’ve seen a TV commercial featuring it on youtube.

  4. Scoutdude Avatar

    There are 9 passenger Travelalls, but they are not very common.

    1. Scoutdude Avatar

      Of and for those of us that prefer freedom units the V8 engines were the 266 in the earlier years, the not an AMC 304, 345 and 392. In the final years the AMC 401 was available but was advertised as the V400. The V400 was only in the 1/2 tons and it was because the demand for the 392 in the Loadstar was high not leaving enough for the Light Line vehicles. Unfortunately the Energy Crisis hit and demand for the Travelalls and full size trucks shrank considerably. But the contract was already signed so they used them up.

  5. ptschett Avatar

    When I was a kid and these were more plentiful on the road, I remember my dad calling them a “Hutter hauler” whenever he saw one. Evidently they were a popular vehicle for colonial Hutterite folks to communally own for shopping trips into die Welt or to go visit at other colonies.

  6. 0A5599 Avatar

    You’re forgetting the Dodge Town Wagon, which has space for your whole family, cargo space aft of the third row, and available 4WD. A Town Panel is mostly the same hardware, minus some windows.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      The extension bumper is pretty wild. Matches the rest of the machine, unlike the Kenwood unit.

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        I cringed a bit at the power running boards, the floor shifter (I don’t think you can have the parking brake set when the “four speed 727”–probably really a A518–is in Park), and the USB ports, but the air conditioner seemed well-integrated and unobtrusive. For attention to details, hopefully somebody will put some cable into the winch and swap the tach for a model that matches the other gauges (or swap everything else).

        Here’s one that stuck more to factory specs:

    2. danleym Avatar

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those before. Very cool!

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