Backyard Built 1965 International Loadstar aka ‘Rusty Nails’

1965 International Loadstar

Dewey Dougherty’s (@dullahans88) 1965 International Loadstar dubbed ‘Rusty Nails’ is a backyard-built, chassis swapped, and 6.0L LS-powered behemoth. Here’s how it came about…

Dewey, of Ocala, Florida, got his truck roughly 20 years ago from an 80-something-year-old farmer he bought hay and feed from at his little old town feed store in Starke, Florida. “I grew up there. I put new gate hinges on his cattle field gate because he was just too old to do it himself, and it needed doing,” Dewey tells us.

On a whim, he asked about a truck on his property — a 1965 International Loadstar. The old man told him that he’d used it as a family vehicle for years and that his son was born in the back seat during a vacation in Tennessee. “And then he just gives it to me,” Dewey said.

Dewey wasn’t going to build this truck and said that his kids used it as a playhouse for years — that was until his wife discovered and just fell in love with rat rods at a car show, which set the wheels in motion.

Building Rusty Nails

Dewey had another project at the time that he’d acquired a 2005 Chevrolet one-ton chassis and 6.0 Liter LS engine and 4L80e slushbox for. It just so happened that the wheelbase of the ’05 Chevy donor and the ’65 International Loadstar truck would work out quite nicely and with minimal customization.

2005 Chevrolet Chassis and 6L LS Engine Donor
2005 Chevrolet Chassis and 6L LS Engine Donor

Dewey built everything on the truck including the bed, which is all made of body panels — he had one International donor truck that he sourced and cut the parts from. The engine cover is crafted from a pair of fenders welded together, and the back fenders are actually a set of front fenders.

The front section of the bed is a front door turned around, the back section is the donor hood cut in half. The very back section of the bed is fashioned from the donor’s roof, and the visor is the front section of that roof.

Progress Photos from the 1965 International Loadstar Build

The top panel removes to have an open moon roof. The truck is fitted with Viair air suspension, but it’s all ball valves, no electric. True to its Florida roots, the truck sports Cypress floors inside and out.

Dewey did all the fabrication from the ground up and had a little help from a friend who plasma cut some parts for the bed. He also sent the seats out to get redone by Luckys Upholstery in Bellview, Florida.

The truck is now fitted with MO985 Breakouts from Moto Metal Wheels, who’s done a couple of photoshoots with Dewey and will feature the truck at upcoming promotional shows.

“It doesn’t matter shiny or not, the same sense of pride is still there”.

Dewey Dougherty

Rusty Nails has been built for about nine months, and the project took two years to build off and on between other projects. Now that it’s complete, Dewey has turned to Poppy’s Patina Clear Coat to enhance and protect the finish.

1965 International Loadstar Custom Dressed in Poppy’s Patina Clear Coat

Dewey used the Jameson Whiskey theme because both of his Grandparents are from Donegal, Ireland. His Grandmother, who was a big part of Dewey’s life, loved the whiskey. Jameson is familiar with the truck, and they love it, but they do not sponsor the truck currently.