Mike Casey was leaning against the bumper of his truck, having a smoke on a sunny Saturday morning.
Approaching him with my camera, I looked at the truck’s stacked headlamps and guessed it was a ’58.
“No, a ‘Fifty-nine.” Mike explained it’s an International Harvester B-120. “They only made it a couple of years.” This one has the rare 3-door crewcab body; the second-generation International Travelall also was a three-door.
He’s owned it since 1990.
Patting the front fender, he said, “I like it because it’s made of steel, not old pop cans.”
Then he walked me around to the driver’s side, sliding his finger along a crease in the door. “It took a bullet for me in L.A.,” he said, adding that someone thought he might be reporting them for tax evasion.
Mike skedaddled from that scene; he now lives eight miles north of Yucca Valley. Rocky roads lead off to all kinds of old mines.
“It’s my prospecting truck.”
I wasn’t surprised when he said so. He has that prospector look.
Even though Mike also has a Toyota, he drives the International a whole lot because, as he said, he enjoys it.
It originally had a Diamond-series six-cylinder engine, but he replaced this with a Chevy V-8 and added power steering. (That’s why the steering wheel has a Chevy bow-tie.)
The interior is rather grim, with a big tangle of wires dangling from the bare roof.
I got him to pose for a picture, then gave him my card.
“You got it.”