The Travelall was an early full-size truck-based wagon / SUV. It was similar in concept to the Chevy Suburban, and made by International Harvester from 1953 until 1975.
1953 was a new model designation year for International with the introduction of the R line of trucks. International began using the Travelall name in 1953. The 115-inch-wheelbase R-Series panel truck was equipped with side windows and seats to make the Travelall. A new tailgate and liftgate design was available on the Travelall; however, side by side rear cargo or 'ambulance' doors were also still available. Two or three rows of seats were available. A Travelall name badge was mounted on the front cowl directly below the International name badge. A few L-Series trucks were also produced with windows and seats in 1952, but whether the Travelall name was used that year is unknown. Prior to 1952, International station wagon type vehicles were mainly woodies, having wooden bodies produced by outside companies. A few K-Series panels in the latter 1940s were built with windows and seats and used by airlines to move people at airports. The Travelall name continued to be used for station wagon versions of the succeeding S-line, A-line, and B-line pickup trucks.
The 1953 through 1957 Travelalls had two passenger doors. Access to the rear seats was gained by flipping up the passenger side of the front seat. From 1956 to 1960, the Travelall had three passenger doors, the third door being located on the curb side of the body. From 1961 to 1975, all Travelalls had four passenger doors; by contrast, the Chevy Suburban was not available with four doors until 1973.
Travelalls were also produced with raised roofs and extended wheelbases for applications such as school buses, ambulances and airport limos. Many of these modifications were performed by the Springfield Equipment Company and were marketed by International.
Four-wheel drive was available as an option on Travelalls beginning in 1956. Engines were International manufactured inline six-cylinders or V8s. From the 220 or 240 'Silver Diamond' six-cylinder of the 1950s to the 392 V8 of the 1970s. Transmissions available included automatics, 3-, 4- and 5-speed manual transmissions. The 5-speed was optional from about 1966 until 1973 and could have either a direct or overdrive 5th gear. A Bendix anti-lock brake system was available on later Travelalls, but was a rarely selected option.
In April 1961 the Travelall underwent the same changes as the pickup range upon which it was based. The new C-series Travelall benefitted from a whole new chassis with all new independent front torsion bar suspension. Aside from the lower body, the most obvious visual difference were that the twin headlights were now mounted side-by-side, and a new grille of a concave egg-crate design. The wheelbase for the C-100/C-110 Travelall went up to 119 inches, as the front wheels were mounted further forward. This adjustment increased the front clearance angle in spite of the lower body.
This series was available either with a flip-down tailgate or two doors. The fold down gate had a window which wound down electrically. Development continued in a gradual fashion, becoming the D-series in 1965. A steady stream of new grilles and headlight treatments set the model years apart until a more thorough makeover took place in 1969. Until this model change, the Travelall had been considered merely a version of the related pickup truck; after the facelift the Travelall became a separate series.
The Travelall was last redesigned in 1969 with a more modern look which echoed that of the smaller Scout, but sales declined nonetheless and production of passenger pickups and Travelalls ended entirely in May, 1975; production of the Scout continued until 1980. The company exists today as Navistar International, and continues to make medium and large trucks. A twin barrel version of the AMC 401 V8 was used in 1974 when International's own 392 was in short supply.
In 1973 and 1974 a modified Travelall was marketed as the Wagon Master. The roof over the cargo section was removed to make a short pickup type bed. The target market for the Wagon Master were people who pulled fifth wheel RV trailers. The exposed cargo area of the Wagon Master provided the space needed to mount the fifth wheel for the trailer. The Wagon Master was very much like the Chevrolet Avalanche produced in the early and mid 2000's.