Note: This feature is in the May TF 2018 issue
International Harvester enjoyed a long and storied history in American industry, and was perhaps best known for its tractors.
Toy Farmer has chosen two of these tractors for its 2018 National Farm Toy Show. For the 41st National Farm Toy Show Nov. 2-4 in Dyersville, Iowa, Toy Farmer is issuing an International 886 in 1/16 scale and an International 4166 in 1:64 scale. For each model, red chrome chase units will be randomly inserted into the production run. Order forms with details are included in this month's Toy Farmer.
Sadly, the International Harvester story was well into its last chapter in the 1970s when the "66" Series of tractor entered the market. The equipment was still solid, with a loyal farmer following and a strong dealer network, but corporate mismanagement in a changing and challenging business climate was steering International toward failure. The "66" tractors and the upgraded "86" models that followed helped keep the company afloat until the slae of International Harvester to the Tenneco Corporation in 1985. Let's look at a couple of these red tractors.
The first offerings in the "66" Series were unveiled in September 1971, with delivery set for the 1972 growing season. The 4166 was the only four-wheel-drive tractor in the initial rollout. Unlike much of the competition, most notably Steiger and Versatile (and soon Big Bud), IH chose a rigid frame design for its four-wheeler.
Four-wheel or "crab" steering technology had been employed in the Hough industrial loaders, which were part of the IH conglomerate also. There was no need for new engineering of its own articulated drive. The Hough design was employed on the first International four-wheel-drives back in the 1960s, specifically the 4100 and 4300. These big tractors were actually built at the Hough Works in Indiana.