The International Scout

Before there was a Bronco –

Before there was a Blazer –

Before there was —

there was always
a war-surplus Jeep,
I guess.

it goes back
a ways, any way –

The International Scout
was the ‘go-to’ vehicle for
folks who wanted to ‘go to’
when the weather or terrain
otherwise wouldn’t cooperate.

The SUV class of vehicle,
now rather common, was
an unheard of term in the
middle part of the
20th century….

— most vehicles made to serve
that function were tractor-like,
or truck-like.

International Harvester,
a tractor manufacturer
themselves, saw a market
for a vehicle like a Jeep
(but not a Jeep) that could go all
sorts of places without having to
train a special equipment operator –

– it would handle
like an automobile,
and have amenities
the Jeep CJ didn’t offer –

— but also have the
toughness necessary for the job.

The head of International Scout
design department once said:
the task was basically to
“design something to
replace the horse” .

In late 1960,
the first Scout 80
came off the assembly line
in Fort Wayne, Indiana –
equipped with a rather
under-powered 152 c.i slant
4 cylinder gasoline engine,
a fold down windshield,
removable windows,
either fixed or removable roof,
and was available in either
2 wheel or 4 wheel drive models.

The 4 cylinder engine utilized
was actually the right half of
a 392 V-8 “Comanche” engine
used in the International
“TravelAll” pickup truck.

Scout quickly developed a
reputation for durability
and reliability, and the
Scout 8 series
(80, 800, 810)
(with small refinements
along the way, like:
electric wipers in 1967,
a SportTop convertible
option in 1966-1968,
glam packages like the
“Champagne Series”
with headliner, door
and floor treatments,
and finally,
an offering of a 266 C.I. V-8
in 1967) continued until 1971 –
when it was ‘replaced’ by
the Scout II – which were
produced until 1980.

Following the tendency
on the part of International
Harvester’s tractor
manufacturing mentality
not to make heavy style
changes on tried
and true machines,
in particular in sheet metal,
the Scout II wasn’t all that
different from the original
Scout –

— it is easily enough distinguished
from the previous models by
horizontal bars in the grill
and SCOUT II markings,
but otherwise, it takes someone
who’s an affectionado to really
explain the differences in
each years offering.

And one of the things that
does make the whole Scout line
stand out, other than the
affection and dedication
their owners seem to have
for their vintage vehicles,
is the long list of special
versions that were offered
at one time or another —

— one might see a
‘Soft Top Safari’ ,
a ‘Traveller’ with a hatchback ,
a ‘Terra’ with a half top,
a ‘Shawnee’ with a Hurst performance package,
a ‘Midas’ camper
conversion, and any
one of
a number of others–

This was simply due to
the fact that the IH Scout
platform was so flexible,
adaptable, and dependable.

No wonder so many
folks still love them-
even 38 years after
they were last produced.

!!! HOY !!!