I have to admit that I am bad at television. I have not seen an episode of the Welderup rat rot building show on the tube but I have seen their work for years and I have liked most of it. I know many of your out there cringe at the thought of a diesel powered old Ford or some hot rod that wears off road tires but I kind of dig that irreverence and lack of fear when completely blowing the “norm” out of the water. The Welderup crew had several vehicles at the 2015 SEMA show and it kind of makes sense as the are based in Las Vegas but by far my favorite was this International KB-series truck called Ditch Digger.
There was an episode of the TV show apparently done on this truck and since I don’t watch it I’m kind of in the dark on the back story but the photos below tell a pretty good tale. I cannot be sure if this is a KB-5/6/or 7 cab and I am virtually certain that it dates from the late 1940s. If you think the styling is dated for that era you have to remember that during WWII there was no time devoted to civilian truck production or design so the designs of post war trucks for a few years following the fighting were “lagging” with more contemporary automotive shapes. That being said, this thing is a big ol’ handsome brute in my eyes.
The engine and transmission have been upgraded to modern stuff. Cummins 6BT power lies under the hood and you can see some of the intercooler plumbing peeking out ahead of the rounded grill on the nose of the KB. You can also see the winch and the unique use of a small excavator bucket in the construction of the front bumper. All of this stuff ties back into the business of the customer who commissioned the truck in the first place.
The big 10-lug wheels are perfect and I certainly approve of the use of the floatation tires up front and the more narrow dual tires in the rear. The short wheelbase, flatbed, and high stance really give this truck the perfect look. The exhaust plumbed in as part of the headache rack on the back of the cab is fun as well. Add in the under bed tool boxes and you have a real working truck on your hands.
Being that I have never seen the tv show that these guys are on, I am not sure of their demeanor, attitude, or approach. I can say that I’m in love with this truck and many of the other things that they have built. I’m not sure what that makes me but I’m OK with it!
I’m going to continue to dig for more specifics on the truck. At the time I blasted these photos, I was running and gunning and did not have time to climb under the truck to see what was what. This is one of the neatest trucks I have seen…ever. DO WANT!