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Glenn-WV

IH Sightliner

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I ran across this while surfing Hank's Truck Pictures -

sightliner2_brochure.jpg

sightliner1.jpg

I've never heard of it, much less seen one. Was this a special-purpose truck? How many were built? Anyone know anything about it?

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I would say they are fairly scarce. Ive only seen pictures of them and in Crismons book it seems like you only saw them listed for a few years.

It looks like they appeared in September 1957 and were gone by 1962. fairly short production run :blush:

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Back when, the overall total length of tractor trailers was much shorter.

Illinois had an overall length of 50 feet. Depending on what you were running for a tractor, 40-42 foot trailer was about the max.

Tilt cabs, COE, or whatever they were called were very popular then.

I remember the Sightliner but I dont think that it was a very big seller.

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I would say they are fairly scarce. Ive only seen pictures of them and in Crismons book it seems like you only saw them listed for a few years.

It looks like they appeared in September 1957 and were gone by 1962. fairly short production run :blush:

Just saw a nice one at the ATHS truck show in Hutchenson KS, owned by the

Skinner trucking family in southern Wisconsin. I might have a picture of it from a past show, but didn't take a pic of it this trip. ---Yep got one from last year in Colo Springs

Rick/mn

I would say they are fairly scarce. Ive only seen pictures of them and in Crismons book it seems like you only saw them listed for a few years.

It looks like they appeared in September 1957 and were gone by 1962. fairly short production run :blush:

Just saw a nice one at the ATHS truck show in Hutchenson KS, owned by the

Skinner trucking family in southern Wisconsin. I might have a picture of it from a past show, but didn't take a pic of it this trip. ---Yep got one from last year in Colo Springs

Rick/mn

post-368-1212532980_thumb.jpg

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The area I grew up in about 20 miles south & east of the Quad-Cities, USA, Moline & Rock Island, IL and Bettendorf & Davenport, IA was IH truck country. Small town of about 100 people five miles from Our farm had a feed mill that had one of those SightLiners they hauled feed from the processing plant in Muscatine, IA with plus the livestock trucker Dad worked for had a pair of CO-190's which later turned into a pair of Emeryville's, Single axle with 185 Cum-a-part and a twin screw with 220 & 5+3.

In another town about 10 miles away was a dry freight trucking co. that had a whole fleet (15-20) R-190's, both single axle & twin-screws. Plus several other livestock truckimng companies also had various models of IH gas-powered trucks. Even as late as the 1970's the local livestock trucking companies kept a gas-powered truck around because some of the older farmers felt diesel exhaust was harmful to the cattle & hogs.

And at this same time (early 60's) the ready-mix company I drove for in the mid-70's was still using gas-powered IH R-series twin-screw trucks under their mixers and had two IH R-series tractors to haul sand & gravel into the batch plant. By '66 they turned into Cummins powered Whites which I was still driving some of them in 1976 & 1977.

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I got a couple interior pics of that same truck..pretty cool speedo/tach!!

post-6141-1212642219_thumb.jpg

post-6141-1212642232_thumb.jpg

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They're rare today and I don't know of any production numbers for the ACO, but there seemed to be a fair number built when they first appeared. Remember that true COs were a fairly new concept in 1957--the Emeryville DCO-405 had just appeared in 1956. Photos indicate that the Air Force bought a quantity for use as tankers.

The lower windows were there to provide a view of things right ahead of the truck, but proved to be a real problem at night with the oncoming headlights shining into the cab. I'm sure more than a few of the windows ended up permantly blocked off. Crismon noted that tinted windows were installed near the end of production, which was in 1964, just before the introduction of the CO-4000 in 1965. If nothing else, I'm sure the experience with the ACO had a big influence on the CO-4000 design.

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Never seen a real one, but have a brochure just like that in my collection. Interesting desing, to say the least.

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All, look at the Sightliner sheetmetal above the headlights closely in Rick's photo ... and then look at a Loadstar cab -

AmherstNHE4.jpg

Did IH used the same basic cab stampings for both trucks? :huh: It kinda looks that way to me, based on the curve/shape of the windshield and the doors. What do you think?

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I would think so. The ACO evolved from the AC series as did the Loadstars.

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I would think so. The ACO evolved from the AC series as did the Loadstars.

Howard, thank you. :) I had no idea. I learn something new on this site just about every day. B)

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These were at the best show on tracks in woodland, enjoy!

gilligan

post-2935-1214023108_thumb.jpgpost-2935-1214023126_thumb.jpgpost-2935-1214023149_thumb.jpgpost-2935-1214023170_thumb.jpg

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Glenn if you look at IH trucks in that time frame you will see they only used 3 basic cabs. The r and v along with the construction trucks D230 used the old R style cab. The emeryville and transtar 400 used the emeryville cab. The CO-190 used a modified version of these stampings (look and the design of the windshield and the door stampings. The Fleetstar 2000 and Loadstar used a modified version of the A series cab.(the roof line was higher) hope this helps Eason

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Eason, wow, I didn't know that only three basic cabs were used back then, although it makes sense from a cost standpoint. Very interesting!

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Halliburton, in Rankin, TX, had one of these in 1974. No telling when it was new, for years Halliburton was one of IH's largest, if not the largest, customer, as well as being the largest user of Cummins Diesels. It could have been a 'one of' as it was the only thing available to put a unit in the field during the boom, or it could have been an experiment, to see if the increased vision would be an asset in spotting the unit on tight locations.

Even thou the brochure shown, says this model was only available with gas, and LP gas engines, I would think that the unit I saw, was Diesel powered.

Personally, I thought it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, up to that time.

I cannot remember the name of the IH truck dealer in Duncan, OK., but every IH truck, be it a semi-tractor, or cab and chassis, was delivered through them. To my knowlege, however, they never used IH pickups, if they did, it was long before my time.

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During the 60s and 70s until the plant was closed, Emeryville/San Leandro built a lot of unusual trucks called 8000 Series Specials for the oil fields and other special uses. I recall some pictures of some 8000 series specials built from the D-400 conventionals that were going to Cape Kennedy for NASA. Things like 6x6s, tandem steers, huge oversize sand tires, very large engines with cooling systems to keep them cool at 120 deg, etc. were not unusual. These often had Transtar or DCO-405 cabs and they probably did something with the Sightliner too before the later models came along. A diesel in a Sightliner Special wouldn't be a surprise to me.

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During the 60s and 70s until the plant was closed, Emeryville/San Leandro built a lot of unusual trucks called 8000 Series Specials for the oil fields and other special uses. I recall some pictures of some 8000 series specials built from the D-400 conventionals that were going to Cape Kennedy for NASA. Things like 6x6s, tandem steers, huge oversize sand tires, very large engines with cooling systems to keep them cool at 120 deg, etc. were not unusual. These often had Transtar or DCO-405 cabs and they probably did something with the Sightliner too before the later models came along. A diesel in a Sightliner Special wouldn't be a surprise to me.

I did see a diesel powered S-Liner once. It was being parted out and since it had the same cab as my R-200 and air powered wipers that worked, I got them for my truck. My impression on the truck as a whole was it being a "Johnny Cash" special. A piece from here and a piece from there. Since the cab didn't tilt, there were a bunch of removeable or swing out panels for accessing the engine. It looked like a real mechanics nitemare.

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This summer we went to Florida on vacation,coming back through Georgia we passed and old Emeryville on the hwy,it was NOT a show truck,but looked brand new! He was pulling a 48ft box trailer. Pretty cool looking truck!

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I travelled the mid-south back during the '60s wholesale-ing farm implements to the dealers. I don't remember any specific truck-------but do rememeber that it was not uncommon to see the "Sightliners" on the highway. Most of them appeared to be over the road haulers.

I never looked at one up close----------but was sorta like Art; always thought of them as being diesel powered. Seems like they were usually pulling decent sized trailers-------Viewing this thread is the first time I realized they were gas powered. Learn something everyday if you keep your eyes and ears open.

Delta Dirt

Avon, Ms 38723

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I was very familiar with the Skinner Sight-Liner, It has since been sold to a party in Kansas they took delivery at the Colorado Springs tuck show in 2007, they were a real treat to work on and drive. Not much room in the cab. Nothing like my CO4070B.

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