“Josephine” The Tow Rig

“Josephine” The Tow Rig

1973 international travelette Our love of all things old and classic here at Deadrise has a firm hold on us. Some may say it’s a problem. In case anyone loves vintage trucks as much as we do, I decided to share the story of our company tow rig. We wanted a unique vehicle for the Deadrise Project, so I had been hunting for a 4 door classic truck for a while. I wasn’t too excited about any new trucks on the market and I felt it was a good opportunity to start from scratch to make my own version of a perfect adventure truck. It started as an idea to do a Duramax swap on an early 70’s suburban. Being I wanted to make it my daily driver, my decision was utility driven, and I soon realized the early suburban were only offered in 3 doors. This wouldn’t work, because of the dogs mostly, and just every day use. To add to that, the third door is on the passenger side so definitely a no go.

I heard International Harvester made a similar version with 4 doors called the Travelall. I then learned they actually made a 4 door crew cab pickup called the Travelette and the hunt was on. I probably could have spent a little more time looking because I have learned a lot now about what to look for. But after about 6 months I found one on instagram that wasn’t for sale but convinced the owner to part with it. It was a 3/4 ton fully optioned truck with an 8 foot bed. We flew to California to check her out and it was love at first site. I arranged shipping back to Florida and the project began.

Like a lot of projects, I didn’t plan to get as deep into it or go as far as we did. As I mentioned we originally planned on a duramax or other diesel conversion. After getting some good advice from my buddy Adam Pela at Pela Motorsports we decided on a late model LS motor instead of a diesel swap. Diesels are loud and these old trucks don’t have much for insulation. So again the practicality of daily driving took precedence. The cab had to come off for the swap so we decided to blast the frame and powder coat, and on and on and on.

Through months of hard work, sweat, and many late nights at the shop, our dream truck finally came to life and we took the first cruise down the beach road here in Jupiter. I couldn't even count the number of people who waved, gave a thumbs up, or just yelled "Hell yea!" With everything buttoned up, we'll be hitting the road for an east coast road trip in the coming month so if you see us, be sure to say hey! Why the name Josephine you ask? Have a listen for yourself and you tell us if you agree.

Contact us for more information about Josephine and look for us out on the road and your favorite local coastal barbecue joint. If you live in an amazing coastal town let us know and we will head that way to see everything your town has to offer. See you out there!

Want a Josephine sticker to carry on the spirit of classic trucks and good times?


Deadrise Project Truck sticker


Thanks for checking us out. Deadrise Project is a coastal culture and boating brand designed to inspire exploration and new adventures, by boat or land, but always on the coast. Our web shop offers our favorite hand selected products that we use on our on boats and in our travels. You’ll see apparel and gear from our “Deadrise originals” collection and other like minded brands that we support and wear. If you like boats, vintage trucks, motorcycles, music, board sports, beer, and good food and all the gear to get you out there doing those things, then join our journey by following along on our email list and social media.

If you like our style, spread the word, shop with us instead of those big box stores, and support us so we can continue to bring you more great products, content, ideas, and motivation for your next adventure! 

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