An early International truck total restoration

Malcolm has rebuilt his family’s International Model 33 truck. Photo: Catherine Fry.

Vintage machinery collector Malcolm Lumsden has family history around Ohinewai going back to 1912 when his grandfather, John Lumsden, and his wife Jessie, immigrated to New Zealand.

They leased land and Jessie milked a few cows. John, a qualified engineer, contracted and did road work with his draft horses.  

“He bought his first IHC truck in 1918 and second truck, an International Model 33 in 1924  for his carrying business,” says Malcolm.

“The Model 33 has a  four-cylinder 20hp Farmall regular tractor engine with three forward and one reverse gear.  It has a maximum road speed of 17mph.

By 1930 the International Model 33 was parked up as newer, faster, six speed trucks became available.

While Malcom’s father Frank was overseas during World War II, relatives needing parts during war time shortages, took the chassis to make a farm trailer. They put all the other parts from the truck in the shed.

Post World War II, Malcolm’s parents, Frank and Margaret, continued with the family farm.

“All my grandfather’s horse drawn wagons and old trucks were left lying around and I was really interested in them as a child. Unfortunately my mum told my dad they had to go!”

In 1959, Frank wanted Malcolm to learn about engines, so he got him to pull the truck’s motor and gear box apart and put it all back together.

Malcolm says it started and ran well.

He remembers Frank  putting a cup of oil into the carburettor before turning it off to preserve the engine. That created a lot of smoke, but 60 years later it is still as good as new.

In 1916, while on a trip to the South Island looking at vintage tractors, Malcolm came across a chassis from the old Opiki school bus, identical to the one missing from the family’s Model 33 truck. He happily brought it home.

Malcolm used the parts from his original truck and the old bus chassis to painstakingly rebuild the Model 33.

The condition of the International chassis Malcolm discovered in the South Island. Photo: Catherine Fry.

Using his self-taught engineering skills and his extensive collection of gear, Malcolm fabricated all the panels and missing parts needed. 

“Cutting the flutes on the bonnet cover needed my son and grandchildren to hold a corner each while I pressed them out.

“My grandson Jake and I built the wooden deck. We rebuilt a manual worm hoist to tip the deck.”

The Model 33 is near to being finished, but needs some thought put into the repair of the wheel rims so it can be driven. 

Malcolm and his grandson Jake built the wooden deck. Photo: Catherine Fry.


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