Bruce Teel of Warsaw, Indiana, drove this 1977 International Transtar 4300 for his uncle, who bought it “almost new” in 1980. Except for some vacation time taken off, Bruce has been the only driver for this International since it hit the road for his uncle in January 1981. He bought the truck from his uncle in 1991 and has worked the truck daily ever since. Primarily used for local hauls (300-mile trips) of grain and farm products, the International has racked up 2.5 million miles over the years. Bruce estimates that he averages about 50,000 miles per year, usually hauling a tandem dump trailer, with a GVW of 80,000 lbs. Originally painted green and white, the truck received a new paint scheme of red with black and silver trim, most recently refreshed in 1996. It has also undergone a few other changes over the years. Originally equipped with a 350 Cummins engine, it now has a Cummins Big Cam III 400 diesel engine. A 13-speed transmission and International air-ride suspension have also been installed. When the original steel cab rusted out, Bruce replaced it with a cab from a similar 1977 Transtar to keep the look identical. He also removed the original 34-inch sleeper and installed a 64-inch stand-up sleeper from a 1984 International. Bruce’s kids are grown now, but when they were small they enjoyed riding along and playing in the sleeper. Bruce enjoyed having them along, but said, “It sometimes took me 20 minutes to clean out all the candy wrappers when we got home.” In earlier years, he modernized the look of the truck, but said he has been going back to his roots by replacing the wide front bumper with a more authentic “C-channel” bumper and installing 5-inch straight stacks with rain caps. Bruce is also working on another modification – installing a Spicer 4-speed auxiliary transmission with two sticks, but not for authenticity. This change is just because he wants to! He said, “I learned to drive on two-stick trucks, and I like them.”
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.