For young Cash McCord, keeping the past alive is important. At just 14 years old, Cash and his younger brother Cale (8) represent the 4th generation of the McCord family to own and/or drive this cool old cabover. Purchased new by their great grandfather in 1989, the truck has made its way down to Cash and Cale after their dad and grandfather also spent time driving it. Having sold it off to a local farmer, where it stayed for several years but was only used occasionally, the two young brothers recently bought it back and brought it back to life for fun and nostalgia.
Herbert McCord and his brother Gratton started trucking and hauling livestock in the late 1930s. Later, they formed McCord Bros. Inc. and bought an old Emeryville. That Emeryville just happened to be orange and black, which the brothers liked, so those became the company colors by default. Originally from Frankton, Indiana, the family now lives in Tipton (about ten miles away), and these days the company is known as McCord & Sons. Over the years, the company grew to include 13 trucks, and specialized in hauling livestock, grain and other commodities.
The company ordered this 1989 International 9670 Eagle with a single bunk cab in primer gray. After taking delivery of the truck, they sent it down the road to Keith Lynch for the orange and black paint, which it still has today. Powered by a Cummins Big Cam 400 hooked to a 9-speed transmission, the rig was driven by Herbert’s son Dallas McCord (Cash and Cale’s grandfather who they affectionately call “Papa D”) for a while. Later, when the company bought a bunch of the first Kenworth T800s ever built, none of the drivers wanted to run the cabover anymore. But Herbert, being an old school guy, didn’t want to drive a truck with a hood, so he jumped in the cabover for a few years until he retired from driving and moved into the office full time.
Dallas McCord has three sons named Shaun, Matt and Cory (Shaun is Cash and Cale’s dad). After getting his CDL, Shaun drove the cabover for a few years, and then it got parked. After it sat for a while, the company decided to sell it in 2003 to a local farmer named Matt Jackson. Shaun wanted to buy it, but it just wasn’t feasible at the time. Matt took great care of the truck, only used it occasionally and didn’t paint it or really change anything, which was cool. Cash was born in 2005, and from that point on, Shaun wanted to buy it back for his son to one day drive.
Three years ago, in 2016, Matt finally agreed to sell the cabover back to the McCord family. Cash and his brother, who both had some savings, chipped in, with help from their dad, and bought the truck for themselves. Over the last couple years, the boys have spent a lot of time rubbing on that truck, getting the paint back to its original luster and adding a few shiny accessories and lights – like Hogebuilt quarter fenders, a swing plate on the front (they even found a license plate with a 1989 sticker) and a chrome pig hood ornament, which they mounted on the dash, since a COE has no hood!
After getting it all cleaned up and polished, they put the truck in a local parade and were surprised by how many people remembered it and loved it. That meant a lot to the family. With 1.3 million miles on the odometer, the engine was rebuilt once, but this truck still looks as good (or better) than when it was new.
Recently, the boys hired Kurt Smith at Brushfire Design in Milan, Michigan, to pinstripe and letter the truck. Adding small embellishments and pinstripes all over the rig’s exterior, the highlight of his work is a “mural” depicting a cow skull on the back of the bunk, created with just pinstripes, along with the names of the four generations of McCord men who have driven or owned the truck underneath it (Herbert, Dallas, Shaun, Cash and Cale).
Getting a full tour of this truck from Cash at the truck show in Rantoul, Illinois, last year, he showed me some neat things, like how the wiper washer fluid reservoir was moved from directly behind the driver’s seat into the side box to allow the seat to slide back further for more legroom, and also pointed out the wiper fluid pump, which is stamped with “McCord” on the end. We’re not sure if this was just a coincidence or something done at the factory when the truck was being built, but either way, it is pretty cool. Cash also made sure I saw the stick-on air freshener, stuck to the wall inside that same side box, which was put there by his “Papa D” well over 20 years ago when he was still driving the truck.
Most of the truck is still original, including the front bumper, which the boys polished to perfection. Although Cash and Cale are proud of this truck and love owning it, neither want to drive it (or any truck) for a living. Cash is interested in maybe becoming an Agronomist – an expert in the science of soil management and crops – and working with farmers to help them grow the best products, while Cale likes farming and tractors. The boy’s dad, Shaun, quit trucking several years ago and started working for a local seed company where he handles logistics and scheduling, and works out in the fields with the farmers, as well.
Cash and Cale’s great grandfather Herbert and their great uncle Gratton have both passed away. Their grandpa “Papa D” still owns and operates his own truck, along with his other son Matt, who also owns and operates his own truck. Shaun and Matt have another brother named Cory who also works at a trucking company but no longer drives. Although he doesn’t have a CDL and can barely see out the windshield, curly-haired Cash enjoys driving the cabover around the yard, and even drove it to the spot we took some of the pictures near where the truck show was being held.
I would like to thank Cash, Cale and Shaun for taking the time at a busy truck show to tell me about the truck and give me the opportunity to take the pictures and tell their story. These days, it is rare to have a 4th generation that cares enough about a family heirloom that they want to preserve it. I think it is awesome that Cash and Cale, although they do not want to drive trucks, still see the value of the history tied to this sentimental old cabover and want to keep it alive – possibly for the next generations, as well.