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Forgotten International Loadstar COE Truck Comes Back to Life, 345 V8 Doesn't Disappoint

International Harvester has been off the market since 1985 (reorganized as Navistar), so it's not exactly surprising that most of its trucks and agricultural equipment are now largely forgotten. Car enthusiasts don't have much to remember beyond the Ford Bronco-fighting Scout, but truck fans still remember the company's highly reliable haulers. The Loadstar, a series of trucks produced from 1962 to 1978, is one of them.
1964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 1600 7 photos
1964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 16001964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 16001964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 16001964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 16001964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 16001964 International Harvester Loadstar CO 1600
Developed as a medium-duty truck, the Loadstar was initially slotted between the C-Line pickups and the heavy-duty R-series. And International Harvester built no fewer than seven different variations of the truck. From the entry-level Binder to the range-topping F1850 6x4, the Loadstar returned gross vehicle weight ratings from 19,200 to a whopping 46,000 pounds (8,709 to 20,865 kg).

And much like any other truck company at the time, International developed a forward control, cab-over-engine version of the hauler. It was sold as the Loadstar CO and came in 1600, 1700, and 1800 trims. Produced until 1971, when it was replaced by the Cargostar, it came with loaded weights ranging from 19,500 to 27,500 pounds (8,845 to 12,474 kg).

These trucks are among the most reliable ever built by International Harvester, especially those fitted with the brand's 345-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8 engine. Part of the company's V304/345/392 series of gasoline mills, the 345 was originally optional on the 1600 and 1700 and standard on the 1800. In 1974 the V345 became standard on the 1600 as well.

Shared with International's pickups and wagons, the 345 wasn't impressively powerful at 197 horsepower, but it was a torque powerhouse at 309 pound-feet (419 Nm). They were notoriously thirsty, especially under heavy load, but they're often described as "bulletproof" and capable of running well beyond 150,000 miles (241,400 km) without notable repairs.

These engines are so well built that not only they can take a lot of abuse, but they also refuse to die after sitting for decades. And the cab-over 1600 dump truck in the video below is the perfect proof. Parked for decades alongside a bigger Loadstar, the 1964 CO 1600 fired up its V8 engine for the first time in many years with not so much work. Granted, it's not yet ready to hit the road again, but it will return to hauling after a few more repairs.

Hit the play button below to see the old cab-over-engine dump truck come back to life and learn a few things about repairing the tried-and-true IH V345.

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