Volkswagen verified an unlikely report. By “long-dormant,” I suggest that the last International-Harvester Precursor was generated when Blondie’s “Call Me” went to the top of the graphes and also prior to Apple went public. And also yet, the Precursor continues to be an extremely appreciated off-roader in the fanatic neighborhood.
Below’s a take a look at what was simply un-mummified in a Volkswagen conference room.
The initial Precursor
Allow’s resolve a misconception prior to it’s sealed right into a truth on social media sites: Precursor has actually never ever been a brand name. It was a nameplate, similar to Golf or Mustang, and also the brand name that marketed it was International-Harvester. While the company was much better understood for structure farming devices, it made an excessive choice of items consisting of fridges freezer, yard lawn mowers, vehicles and also vans. Its pick-ups were never ever as preferred as the Big 3’s, however they gained an online reputation for being cutting-edge and also difficult; International-Harvester significantly obtains credit history for making the very first four-door crew-cab pick-up, which it called Travelette and also released in1957 It’s with this experience that the company delved into the SUV sector.
Launched for 1961, the initial Precursor was a forward-thinking off-roader that was probably the Jeep CJ’s very first straight opponent. Certain, the Toyota Land Cruiser got off on our coasts in 1958 however just one instance was marketed that year and also it continued to be a fairly odd vehicle by the time the Precursor started showing up in display rooms. Like the CJ, the Precursor was pictured as an easy, go-anywhere trucklet that might be used on a ranch or handled a lengthy Memorial Day fishing expedition. International-Harvester provided the first-generation version (called “80” inside) with a number of detachable leading choices consisting of a plastic Taxi Top, a steel Taxi Top and also a steel Traveling Leading. The very first 2 made the Precursor a pick-up, while the last transformed it right into a wagon. No matter, the Precursor came conventional with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (which was basically a V8 halve) ranked at 93 horse power and also 135 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive came conventional, and also 4×4 was optional.
With exceptional off-road ability, a sensible style, and also a pleasant face, the Precursor promptly swayed purchasers. Prices in 1961 began at $1,771 for rear-wheel drive and also $2,139 for 4×4, numbers that would certainly today stand for around $17,200 and also $20,700, specifically. In contrast, that year Jeep buyers might drive residence in a CJ-3B for $1,890 or in a CJ-5 for $1,980(concerning $18,300 and also $19,200, specifically). Both came conventional with 4×4, however their 2.2-liter Storm four-cylinder engine was ranked at 70 horse power and also 114 pound-feet of torque.
International-Harvester made various updates to the Precursor throughout the 1960 s to maintain it affordable. Roll-down home windows appeared as an alternative in 1962, while 1965 brought an enhanced version called 800 inside (revealed over) and also defined by a new-look front end and also a much longer checklist of conventional functions, to name a few modifications. Purchasers that desired even more power obtained their dream given in 1966, when the checklist of choices expanded with the enhancement of a V8 and also, think it or otherwise, a turbocharged (!) 2.2-liter Comanche four-cylinder ranked at 111 horse power.
These updates brought the initial Precursor and also its by-products with the 1971 version year, however a great deal had actually altered in the automobile landscape because its introduction. SUVs were no more an eccentric specific niche for seekers and also farmers. Jeep CJ sales continued to be solid, the Toyota Land Cruiser had actually developed a safe and secure footing in the USA, and also the Ford Bronco and also the Chevrolet Sports jacket were swiping the limelight.
The Precursor II
Launched as a 1971 version, and also briefly marketed together with its precursor, the second-generation Precursor was appropriately called Precursor II. It shared bit greater than a name with the initial version: it was bigger, much less fundamental, and also readily available with larger V8 engines. Revealed over, it’s this variation of the Precursor that the illustration launched by Volkswagen in Might 2022 relatively mentions; the twist in the beltline is distinct.
At launch, the Precursor II came conventional with a 3.2-liter four-cylinder engine ranked at 93 horse power and also 143 pound-feet of torque and also rear-wheel drive. Purchasers might purchase a V8 (or a straight-six) and also four-wheel-drive (with guidebook or automated securing front centers) at an added price.
While the pious Precursor will certainly have 4 doors, the Precursor II was just readily available as a two-door. Chauffeurs that desired a four-door International-Harvester were revealed the massive Travelall, which contended straight versus the Chevrolet Suburban. A number of Precursor II off-shoots were made throughout the 1970 s. 1976 brought the Precursor II Terra, a pick-up launched greatly to fill up the void left by the company’s even more work-oriented vehicles that were axed after 1975, and also the Precursor II Vacationer, a roomier version that partly substituted the Travelall. Throughout the fish pond, Swiss company Monteverdi also transformed the Precursor II right into a strikingly extravagant SUV called Safari, though that’s a various tale for a various time.
Brand-new versions and also alternative plans maintained purchasers intrigued in the Precursor however all was not well under the surface area, and also a number of variables added to its death. One is that need for SUVs dipped in the late 1970 s. If you were, state, Oldsmobile, that’s penalty; you might crank up Cutlass manufacturing. Due to the fact that the Precursor II was its only access right into America’s passenger-car sector, International-Harvester really did not have this alternative. One more is that a United Vehicle Employees strike that lasted from November 1979 to April 1980 price International-Harvester an incredible quantity of cash. Even with these troubles, the firm made a last round of updates to the Precursor II for1980 The two-wheel-drive version was retired, rectangle-shaped fronts lights showed up, rust-proofing boosted, and also a Nissan-sourced turbodiesel engine was made optional.
Precursor II sales finished after the 1980 version year, and also International-Harvester left the light-duty vehicle sector to designate every one of its interest to its sturdy versions. It was brief on cash however not brief on concepts: it tentatively prepared to launch a Precursor III for the 1982 version year, it try out fiberglass bodies, and also it also evaluated increasing its array with a minivan and also a buggy, to name a few body designs.
The Volkswagen Team’s various other Precursor
While the Precursor nameplate has actually never ever shown up on a series-produced Volkswagen version, we have actually seen it in the Volkswagen Team’s profile prior to. Czech Republic-based Škoda has actually utilized it to signify an extra sturdy, four-wheel-drive variation of the Octavia wagon on and also off because2006 Precursor is to Škoda what Alltrack and also Allroad are to Volkswagen and also Audi, specifically. Envisioned over, the current-generation Octavia Precursor marketed in a number of worldwide markets obtains a somewhat taller shock absorber and also a selection of plastic cladding, to name a few functions.
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