I’m trying very hard not to continually obsess about working on the red truck. The weather has been unusually warm this week and it’s all I can do not to ditch work and go attack something with the angle grinder. I’ve got a long list of tasks to accomplish before I can really get into things, but the important stuff is being handled: I sent a package of documents to the Vermont DMV so that I can get a registration back from them; with that (and the Vermont plates) I can then go to the Maryland DMV and transfer the registration to a legal Maryland title.

I had some time between the end of the workday and sunset today to get into the Travelall and start cleaning things out. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to get rid of and how good things actually look underneath. The first order of business was to put some new shoes on the front; she’s been sitting on jackstands since Tuesday and it really makes the whole place look redneck. I picked up the tires and had them back on the hubs in about ten minutes; a set of General Grabber LT’s in the correct size really make things look much better.

In an effort to make it look better sitting in the driveway, I reached out to a guy on Marketplace with a 1965-66 grille in really good shape and arranged to buy it and have it shipped from Buffalo. With some clean chrome it’ll look much less derelict. It’s not the correct grille but it’ll do for now until I can source the right one (which is concave and which I actually prefer).

I’d started last weekend tearing out all the upholstery and it was pretty easy to continue. First I bagged up as much of the loose crap as possible and made a pile of the bigger stuff on the driveway. Continuing up to the front of the cabin I got the rest down off the edges of the cab roof and pulled the headliner down in sections. The carpet over the wheel wells came off pretty cleanly—I’m lucky it was cold this evening because the glue basically just gave up. The rear carpet came off the floor in one sheet. I unscrewed and removed both of the trap doors behind the front seats.

Up in the cab I used a utility knife to cut the rubber floormat out completely to get my first good look at the cab floor. Both sides have been patched at some point; the passenger side is worse. It’s rusted through in one place that I can see, right in the center. I used a shop-vac to get all the loose paint and rust out. The driver’s side has some kind of patch material over the metal that I can’t identify, so more research will need to be done there. The transmission tunnel looks to be in great shape.

Travelalls have wooden floors over the rear section—it’s a sheet of (probably) 3/4 plywood covered in rubber sheeting of some kind. This rubber is disintegrating in strips of 1″x3″ or so and will need to be scraped out, probably with the aid of some heat.

As I mentioned earlier, the wheel well is in fantastic shape for an East Coast truck: there’s some rust there and I can see daylight through one of the seams, but it’s not completely missing.

When that was all done I washed the rest of the grime off the windows and got all the debris ready for a trip to the dump. It’s good to see what we’re dealing with and now I can start listing and subdividing the tasks.

I’ve been organizing a work day at the house and reached out to a bunch of local IH friends. There are several who can’t make it but want to get together this year, so I’m going to take on the role of coordinator again and see if I can get some regular meetups happening. The core group of Bennett, Brian, and Brian will be here for the day, and an old acquaintance Will will stop by with his kids for a quick visit. Will was the guy who had a gorgeous 1968 Travelall he offered me back n 2014 when I wasn’t ready to take it on, but look back upon and wish I’d bought.

I also joined a Facebook group for 1957-1968 Travelalls (called Round Body Travelalls) and I’m waiting to be approved; hopefully there are some good leads on parts and tips for working on them to be found. I posted a new build thread on the Binder Planet but haven’t gotten much response yet; I think I’ve got to show some progress.

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