1941 K-3 International Woody Wagon
International is so often forgotten as a station wagon manufacturer. It had a vigorous line of wood station wagons from the twenties through the forties. After the fifties, the bodies were all steel. Their 1937-39 D series came into the limelight when Commander Attilio Gatti took five custom-ordered wagons on his tenth African expedition. The five wagons covered 66,000 miles on that treacherous trip and only required $38 worth of repairs.
But in America, these International station wagons were more commonly used for school buses. In addition, many were used as transport for feeder bus lines between smaller cities and communities, ultimately becoming the likes of Trailways and Greyhound.
The K Series were introduced in 1940 and produced through 1947. The K-1 though K-05 series all used the same cab design, but on a different scale. During WW-II, the K series stayed in production with black-out trim.
In 1941, International built 92,482 trucks, making them the fourth largest truck maker that year.
The K-series was first offered in ’40 with a full line of over 30 different models, everything from cowl/chassis through station wagons, stakes, pickups, milk trucks, bakery vans, and panels. The K-3 model was based on either a half–ton or a one-ton chassis with a either a 113-inch or a 125–inch chassis. An even longer 130” wheelbase chassis was also available and could be also be ordered for a woody body.
I see designations of K-1, K-2, K-3, and K-5, but doubt any K-5s wagons were built as they were full-sized commercial hauling truck models. I’ve seen photos of this model in publications as a K-5, but so far, all my research shows that this is a K-3. Any update would be appreciated!
In 1948/1949, the design remained very similar with only minor trim and engineering revisions, before the new generation of International L series arrived in 1950.
These bodies could be ordered from any of the woody wagon body builders, but could be a P.J. Moeller but it does not have Masonite panels that were typical of Moeller, so it may be a Burkett, Hercules or even a Cantrell. It surely looks very utilitarian, but was apparently quite popular with private schools and civic organizations like the Boy Scouts and sports teams. Powered by a six-cylinder Green Diamond engine putting out 82 horsepower, it must have been a very truck-like wagon to drive for daily chores.