Old Cars Reader Wheels: 1937 International truck

Ben Williams November 21, 2020 4 No Comments


Curt Kindschuh was kind enough to share the story behind his amazing 1937 International. He had this to add…

I’ve been a reader of Old Cars for approximately a year now, and I completely enjoy your nice magazine. It is read cover to cover on precisely the exact same day that I get it. Attached you may come across some “before” and “after” photos of the 1937 International truck. My Grandfather, Helmuth Tornow was a farmer close Poy Sippi, Wisconsin, and he bought the truck from the late’50s from a guy named John Scripp, who passed out from 1961. Mr. Scripp either worked for a butcher store or owned a store at the Chicago region, and the truck has been used as a delivery vehicle. At one stage there have been folding steps onto the rear of the automobile that my grandpa had removed, which, along with the sloped bench type seats on the trunk and the yellowish shade, lead me to feel it might have initially been a school bus for a rural place. A couple of years back I watched a very similar older school bus manufactured from the White Motor Company in a museum at Denver. 


My grandpa used it as a farm truck before he had a tragic farm crash, losing his left hand, along with four of his fingers and the tip of his thumb into some corn-picker. (attached is a newspaper clipping from 1972 showing him Olsen’s feed mill in Auroraville). 


My father, Calvin Kindschuh, purchased the vehicle from 1974, also as a 12-year old, I snapped the 50 miles back home with himand what a joy that was!  My dad had the truck in a number of parades on behalf of those South Byron 4-H Club and the local Grange, and I recall riding shotgun and handing out little containers of ice cream to children on the parade path. He also used it as a runner, as he liked to buy and sell antiques; I moved on a number of events to help him take the huge stuff!

My dad passed away in 1979 in the time of age 53, way too young. He never made any alterations to the vehicle, and you might still read the title of the butcher shop on the doorway and “original sweet nut hams and bacon” on the side panels. Sadly, another member of this local Grange made the truck to get a parade and painted on the first images on the doorways. 


My younger brother, at 1982, has been carrying timber with it, also there was a mechanical failure using the clutch. He along with his buddies pushed it to the shed in the farm, and there it sat. I’ve always appreciated antiques and also people who came before us. My grandpa passed away from 2001 in the time of age 93, and eight decades later I decided to invest the money and generate a tribute truck for my grandparents, Helmuth and Clara Tornow. 


In the collapse of 2010, I achieved to Mark Kemmel of Muscle Car’s by Mark, situated near Brownsville, WI. Mark is a one-man show, and you’ll discover him in his store seven days per week. I had met him when he drove to the local post office parking lot forcing a Mayberry squad car he had done because of his dad, Gerry, and I mentioned the older truck . We had some mutual friends, and they gave him a thumbs-up, and consequently started a 3 year journey of bringing the’37 back . I asked my mother, Joyce, to provide me the truck since it had been, and that I said I’d spend whatever it took to bring it back to life. There were dead rodents at the motor block and the skeletal remains of 2 cats beneath the chairs. Mark ripped down it and did a complete rebuild. We maintained the engine, which Mark had obtained everywhere for repair. As a history enthusiast and a guy that likes to have fun and watch people smile, the photos will present my additions to make a one of a kind truck. My grandpa’s farm had a massive stone on the face of the mountain from the forests, and they called that place “Old Baldy.” With the title of the butcher store being lost to history, the doorways currently read “Tornow’s Old Baldy Farm, Poy Sippi, Wisc.” My spouse, Shelly, and that I call the’37 The Time Machine as if you’re going someplace, it requires additional time to get there! My top rate is 47miles and I am OK with this. I don’t take part in car shows, so far it’s just appeared in one parade. I push it, running errands, meeting friends for a meal, taking back roads and such, along with my mother, who’s currently 90, enjoys riding in it. The elderly guy in the rocking chair in the trunk is a massive hit, each time I push it, I see people smiling and taking photos. 


A couple of years ago, I was in a pizza combined with a few buddies, also detected two elderly ladies with smiles from ear to ear as they walked round the’37, looked inside, then shook hands with the older man as they left! We have a good deal of fun, the’37 and I. 


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