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The International R series replaced the L-Series in 1953. It was mostly a facelift of the light and medium models. The front style seen on the L series redesigned for the R line. A simple rectangular opening with a tapered bar running across the center replaced the ornate grill design of the L series, and the IH “man on a tractor” logo was placed in the center. The heavy duty models (R-185 and higher) were changed only slightly in appearance, in that four of the seven vertical bars in the upper grille were removed.
There were few mechanical changes in the R line, other than facelifts. There were twenty-nine engines available. Both Cummins and Buda Diesels were now offered in the RD-190 and RD-200 Series, whereas only Cummins had been available, and even then only in models larger than the 190/200 Series.