International Harvester L-Series

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International Harvester L-Series
IH L-110 in green.jpg
Manufacturer International Harvester
Production 1949–1952
Layout FR layout
Engine 220 cu in (3.6 l) Silver Diamond I6
240 cu in (3.9 l) Silver Diamond I6
269 cu in (4.4 l) Super Blue Diamond I6
Transmission 3-speed manual
Model T9 4-speed HD manual (non-synchro)
4-speed Model T98 manual
Wheelbase 115 in (2,921 mm) or 127 in (3,226 mm) (L-110/L1-111)
127 in (3,226 mm) (L-112)
134 in (3,404 mm) (L-130)[1]
Successor International Harvester R-Series

The International Harvester L-Series was introduced by International Harvester in fall 1949 as the replacement for the KB-Series and were available as everything from light pickup trucks and delivery vehicles to full-size tractor-trailers. Electric wipers, a radio, and a clock were optional.[1] International would continue to produce the line until 1952 when it was replaced by the R Series.


Heavier versions such as the L-150 to L-185 models had taller bodywork to accommodate a bigger engine, beefier chassis, and larger wheels. To hide this in appearance, they receive an extra, full-width chrome grille bar underneath the other two and the headlights. The L-190-L210 models had a longer, narrower hood and taller grille than all the smaller models, surrounded by oversized fenders. These trucks were a different look although they have the same cab as the smaller trucks. Of the pickup-type bodies, these were available in 6 ft and 8 ft lengths. On L-130 models, a 9-1/2 ft long pickup bed of same design was available and accommodated dual rear wheels. Two different styles of IH factory flatbeds with removable sides were also available for sizes up to L-180. Other bodies were designed around the basic truck chassis of each series, such as the "Metro" LM120-122 and LM150-152, the "bread trucks" used by bakeries or laundries for example. They hardly resembled the L-Line. The LB-140 Milk Delivery truck was also an oddity with its looks and revolutionary semi-automatic clutch, however it had the L-line face. The LC160-162 and LC180-182 cab-over trucks, or cab-forwards" as they were then called, were another oddity of their own.

1952 International AL-130 (Australia)

The L-series was also built in Australia, where it was called the AL-series.

The first of the marketing names[edit]

  • The "Schoolmaster" : L-153, L-163, L-173, L-183, and L-193. The L-193 bus had the same nose style as the L190-up trucks.
  • The "Loadstar" : First introduced in the L-Line, as the L-164, L-174, L-184, L-194, and L-204. It was the model with the heaviest capacity within each series. The "4's" were the only ones to have the "Loadstar" decal on the dash.
  • The "Roadliner" : First introduced in the L-Line, assigned to the L-165, L-175, L-185, L-195, and L-205. The Roadliner was IH's specific "premier" tractor truck model "loaded" with comforts and work-ready, which means not all tractors are the "5's." It was common to see basic L-190 tractors or L-183 tractors, for example. The customer typically ordered the cab & chassis package they wanted and had a body or 5th-wheel installed elsewhere.

Mining, construction, & industrial[edit]

To further bolster its presence alongside IH's own massive line of heavy construction equipment and meet highway weight limits, the LF-170, LF-190, and LF-210 series was built. These were tandem-axle 6x4 drivetrain trucks for hauling heavier loads than their 4x2 counterparts. For example, the GVW of a L-194 is 25,500 vs the 38,000 of the LF-194.


The lighter duty versions were equipped with the all-new OHV "Silver Diamond" engines in two different sizes (220cid & 240cid), while the medium-duty versions retained the older 269 ci "Blue Diamond", also an OHV engine, although it was now called the "Super Blue Diamond" after some detail improvements.[2] The BD-269 has the same peak power as the smallest, but offers more torque, at 222 lb·ft (301 N·m) versus 192 lb·ft (260 N·m) for the Silver Diamond 240.[3]

Medium-duty L-180
L-series specs (1949)
  • Engine
    • Silver Diamond 220 OHV inline-six, 220.5 cu in (3,613 cc) and 100 hp (75 kW) (L-110/120/130/150)
    • Silver Diamond 240 OHV inline-six, 240.3 cu in (3,938 cc) and 108 hp (81 kW) (LB-140/L150/160)
    • Super Blue Diamond BD-269 OHV inline-six, 269.1 cu in (4,410 cc) and 100 hp (75 kW) (L-170/180)
    • Red Diamond 372 OHV inline-six (L-190)
    • Red Diamond 406 OHV inline-six (L-200/option in L-190)
    • Red Diamond 450 OHV inline-six (L-210/option in L-200)
  • Transmission
    • Three speeds forward, one reverse, synchromesh column mounted
    • Four speeds forward, one reverse, non-synchromesh floor mounted, Model T9
    • Four speeds forward, one reverse, synchromesh floor mounted, model T98 (option in L120-L170 after 5/50)
    • Five speeds forward, one reverse, non-synchromesh floor mounted (L180 series, option in L160-L170)
    • Overdrive Five speeds forward, one reverse, non-synchromesh floor mounted (option in L160-L180 series)
    • Electric 2-speed rear axle (option in L160-up)
    • HD Five speeds forward, one reverse, synchromesh floor mounted (L190-up, overdrive optional)
    • Manual 3-speed Auxiliary transmission (option in L190-up)
Rear view of L-110
Model GVWR (lbs) Cargo Capacity (lbs)
L-110 4,200 1,600
L-111 4,500 1,900
L-112 4,800 2,200
L-120 5,200 2,400
L-121 5,700 2,800
L-122 6,200 3,200
L-130 6,800 3,700
L-131 7,400 4,200
L-132 8,000 4,700
LB-140 9,000
L-150 9,000
L-151 10,750
L-152 12,500
L-160 14,000
L-161 15,000
L-162 16,000
L-164 16,500 8,000
L-165 16,000 / 29,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
L-170 16,000
LF-170 6x4 22,000
L-171 17,000
LF-171 6x4 24,000
L-172 18,000
LF-172 6x4 26,000
L-174 18,500 10,000
LF-174 6x4 27,000
L-175 18,000 / 33,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
L-180 17,000
L-181 19,000
L-182 21,000
L-184 21,500 13,000
L-185 21,000 / 42,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
L-190 21,000
LF-190 6x4 30,000
L-191 23,000
LF-191 6x4 32,500
L-192 25,000
LF-192 6x4 35,000
L-194 25,500
LF-194 6x4 38,000
L-195 24,000 / 48,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
LF-195 6x4 35,000 / 55,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
L-200 24,000
L-201 27,000
L-202 29,000
L-204 29,500
L-205 28,000 / 52,000 w/semitrailer depends on trailer weight
L-210 30,000
LF-210 6x4 37,000
L-211 34,000
LF-211 6x4 41,000
L-212 38,000
LF-212 6x4 45,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gunnell, John A. (1993). Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks. Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-238-9. 
  2. ^ Crismon, Frederick W. (2002), International Trucks (2 ed.), Minneapolis, MN: Victory WW2 Publishing, p. 217, ISBN 0-9700567-2-9 
  3. ^ Crismon, p. 224

External links[edit]