Ty Higgins(3)

Blog: Ty Higgins

A barn full of Internationals and not a tractor in sight

I often find myself driving through rural Ohio and wondering what is hiding, purposefully or not, behind the rotted walls of centuries old barns in the countryside. There are surely stories those structures could tell and who knows what treasures that might lie within — most with more value of sentiment than monetary.

But never judge a barn by its cover. That is a lesson that I recently learned in northwest Ohio as I made my way to a crop insurance meeting in early February.

That is where a found an incredible collection of vintage International cars and trucks in a newer 100 by 160 barn, owned by Rich Kleinoeder.

“I became friends with an International dealer and we started with one truck that we paid $1,000 for,” Kleinoeder said. “We have a hard time selling anything because we become attached to what we have bought over the years. They’re like our kids now.”

The 60-car collection spans from the first International cars made in 1908 to the manufacturer’s last efforts with trucks in 1980. Now, they are all tucked away in a barn made just for them, with heated floors included for preservation.

Among the relics is Kleinoeder’s pride and joy — an International Brass car.

“This is one of only six left in the United States,” Kleinoeder said. “It was International’s last attempt to take the car market away from Henry Ford in the early 1900s. It was a little too fancy and a little too pricey, so they didn’t sell very well and International pointed their efforts to trucks after that.”

There are even some movie stars in the group.

“We have an International Metro truck that we took down to the Mansfield state prison and it was used in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’” Kleinoeder said. “Every once in a while the movie studios will call looking to use something we have here and we try to fit their bill.”

The barn is almost to capacity, but that isn’t stopping Kleinoeder from adding to his rare assortment, although he is getting to be a little more picky.

“We try to steer clear of pickups from the 50s and 60s because they have hydraulic brakes and they are not the easiest to work on,” Kleinoeder said. “Back in the teens the brakes were mechanical the trucks ran on a basic two-cylinder motor, so those are the ones we are looking for these days.”

It truly was like stepping back in time and wondering, like I do with old barns, what great stories these machines had to tell. Thanks to this carefully maintained assortment of International vehicles in a 16,000 square foot time capsule, their stories continue.

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Author: Ty Higgins

I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Licking County. Using the “its who you know” and “seize an opportunity” mantras, I started my farm broadcasting career right out of high school at WRFD-AM, thanks to my uncle Scott Higgins introducing me to then Farm Director Joe Cornely.

From there my radio path took me to Columbus country music station WHOK-FM, where I was known as Tyler Jacobs for over 12 years. Eventually I ended up right where I started and where I am most comfortable, back in farm broadcasting – using my real name!

I became a member of The Ohio Ag Net team in 2010 and I am proud to share the great stories about Ohio Agriculture, one broadcast at a time.

I currently live in Delaware County, where I am raising one boy and one girl, with my wife Angela. When I am not coaching my son’s baseball team or rehearsing for my role in my daughter’s dance recital (pictures if you want them), I am grilling, golfing and doing whatever may be on my “honey-do” list at any given moment.

10 thoughts on “A barn full of Internationals and not a tractor in sight”

  1. Excellent article! I was waiting for this since we met & talked @ the Hartlen Insurance meeting. Thank You!

  2. Thank you, Ed! Great to hear from you!! -Ty

  3. What a collection of vintage cars and truck..
    Nice article too.
    Thanks for sharing such a unique collection of cars and truck.

  4. I remember my Dad having an International pickup truck. It was IH red.

    Also, my grandmother had an International Harvester refrigerator chest freezer that ran for years.

    They certainly made quite a range of products!

    • They dabbled in a lot of things. Thank goodness they got the tractor right! LOL

  5. Where is this located? open to the public?

    • Ty, if you can find out, that would be great! I would love to have the opportunity to admire this collection.

      • It is not open to the public and I am not at liberty to say where this is. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time!

  6. Rich and George -Good friends and a great collection!

  7. Fantastic collection would love to add all the pre 1940 trucks to our registry. http://www.vihtr.com

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