1975 Loadstar 1600 Truck and 1970's Dodge Van in Coahoma, Texas
By Chad Hauris, Retro Electronics and Audio Lab, Midland, Texas  2/23/06

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While traveling along the interstate, I saw a junk shop near Coahoma where they had some trucks for sale.

1975 IHC Loadstar 1600
This is a 1975 International Loadstar 1600. It was for sale for $500.00 and they said it had been towed to the site but the engine did run. Its last registration was in 1994 or so to the Big Spring State Hospital. Since it was fairly far from home and I just couldn't spare $500.00 right then, I had to pass on it even though I wanted to get it. When I drove back home from my trip, the Loadstar was gone, so it must have gone to someone's home.

Loadstar 1600 truck view 2

Loadstar 1600 emplem. You will notice that there is a star above the "A". This emblem was used from approximately 1974-1978. Before that, the Loadstar emblem featured a "V" diagram as on a Cadillac.
The Loadstar 1600 was the smallest of the Loadstar line, generally for the lightest duty vehicles of this series, such as this one. It has smaller tires and shorter wheelbase than the most common Loadstars.
The 1600 generally used a 304 CID engine; the 1700 a 345; and the 1800 was the highest-performance model, with a 392 CID engine with 4 barrel carburetor.
Most Loadstars were gasoline powered, but some diesel models were also made...these are designated as 1750 or 1850.
Loadstar 1600 emblem

View of the engine from the passenger's side. There was also the option of a fiberglass tilting hood, beginning in 1974 or so, but many Loadstars still used the gull-wing hoods through 1978.
All Loadstar gasoline engines were carbureted, most with Holley carburetors equipped with vacuum governors. All Loadstars that I know of use points ignition, though some of the IHC consumer vehicles such as the Scout (which used the same engines as the Loadstars) may have had electronic ignition.

Loadstar 1600 engine view 1.

Loadstar engine, viewed from driver's side. The trucks use a large radiator and large diameter hoses for good cooling. The engines have a large capacity oil pan too and hold around 9-10 quarts of oil.
This Loadstar has a single system manual brake system with drum brakes on all four wheels. It surprises me as why this primitive brake system was still used on this 1975 model as all cars by this year had dual brake systems with 2 chambers in the master cylinder so you could not lose all your braking power at once if there were a leak at one wheel. Many of the Loadstar bus chassis did have a dual brake system with vacuum booster (or air brakes).

Loadstar 1600 engine, view 2.

Steering wheel and dashboard. This style steering wheel was used from the late 50's through 1978. This model has manual steering (though many models were equipped with power steering).

Steering wheel and dashboard of Loadstar 1600.

Dashboard (sorry picture is a kind of blurry). On trucks/busses with vacuum assisted brakes, a vacuum gauge was also present, and 2 air pressure gauges were included on air brake vehicles. An oprional tachometer would mount in the blank space next to the speedometer. The green indicator lights are for the turn signals. Models with dual brake systems would have a "BRAKE" warning light that was red, and air brake models have a light for low air pressure. Some models had a red light for low oil pressure in addition to the gauge.

Loadstar 1600 dashboard.

Now here's the unusual thing...an Automatic Transmission! This truck has manual brakes and manual steering but automatic transmission. This is an Allison automatic and there is no "Park" position. You have to engage the hand brake for parking which clamps brake shoes to a disc on the drive shaft, just as on the standard transmission models. The other controls seen here are for the heater and defroster.

Loadstar 1600 Allison Automatic transmission

Late 1970's Dodge Van. It is probably from around 1978 or 1979. This is the extended length model.

1970's Dodge Van

Interior view. This same design was used through 1993 or so, though the steering wheel is slightly different in style in the later models. This van appears to use a carbureted 318 CID V-8 with single barrel carb (or a very small 2-barrel carb). The only real change for the later models was throttle body fuel injectin beginning in 1989. The van received a re-design in 1994 or so with an upgrade to multi-port fuel injection, and a new dashboard design, though the body stayed pretty much the same. The Dodge Van line was discontinued in the early 2000's.

Interior of 1970's Dodge van.

Dashboard. This design did not change for many years.

Dodge van dashboard.

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