1975 Loadstar 1600 Truck and 1970's Dodge Van in Coahoma,
By Chad Hauris, Retro Electronics and Audio Lab, Midland, Texas
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While traveling along the
interstate, I saw a junk shop near Coahoma where they had some trucks
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 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
Most Loadstars were gasoline powered, but some diesel models were also
made...these are designated as 1750 or 1850.
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 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).
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).
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.
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.
Late 1970's Dodge Van. It is probably from around 1978 or 1979. This is
the extended length model.
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.
Dashboard. This design did not change for many years.
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