This 1962 Scout 80 has been restored by Vorstellen LLC and tastefully modified with suspension, brake and interior upgrades. The upgrades include brand-new leaf springs, bushings, shackles, Bilstein 5100-series shocks and grade-8 bolts throughout. Brand-new uprated steering components include heavier-duty tie rods, rod ends, drag link and drop pitman arm. Front disc-brake conversion utilizes GM components for reliability and serviceability. All exterior vehicle trim has been replated in nickel and hand brushed. Custom powder-coated bumpers front and rear. Custom soft canvas top with aluminum powder-coated removable support cage.  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1962 International Scout 80
Years Produced:1961–70
Original List Price:$2,579
SCM Valuation:$9,000–$25,000
Tune Up Cost:$200
Distributor Caps:$20
Chassis Number Location:Data plate on the driver’s side of the cowl
Engine Number Location:On a machined pad adjacent to the distributor
Club Info:IH Collectors
Alternatives:1955–83 Jeep CJ-5, 1966–77 Ford Bronco, 1969–72 Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy
Investment Grade:C

This truck, Lot 706, sold for $33,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach, FL, auction on April 13, 2014.

In the late 1950s, International Harvester’s management was looking to grow their market share in a number of directions. After a 1958 trip on which a few high-ups at the company saw how World War II Jeeps were being pressed into service as utility vehicles in the Southwest, they suspected that IH might be able to build something better suited to the task. From there, engineering issued a vague challenge to its designers: Design a vehicle to replace the horse.

Several flat-sided designs failed to get things moving, and the project was nearly over before it started. But lead design engineer Ted Ornas came up with a dandy little idea that revitalized it, initially sketched out one evening at his kitchen table on a piece of scrap matte board. The company was experimenting with using a plastic polymer with the trade name Royalite for body components. Ornas thought that would be perfect for the on-road / off-road utility vehicle, and his compound-curve design was penned with it in mind.

The idea gained traction up the corporate chain, and while the composite body didn’t pan out, by late in 1960, IH had obtained a former Uniroyal tire plant in Fort Wayne, IN, to start production of the steel-bodied Scout for 1961.

It was offered in one of three body configurations: pickup, a wagon called the TravelTop, and as an open body. Additionally, it could be two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Sport Utility

Product planners figured that the two-wheel drive pickup was going to get the lion’s share of sales (they were already selling pickups anyway, not Jeep-like things), so that’s what most of the initial production was geared for. The market spoke differently, with the greatest demand for the four-wheel-drive TravelTop.

The Scout may have on the surface seemed to be a direct competitor to the Jeep CJ. However, the CJ was smaller and not as well equipped, and while the Jeep wagon was bigger, it was also very bare bones and less agile. In essence, the Scout created a new genre of vehicle — the Sport Utility. With it, IH dealers started getting trade-ins for Scouts that they had traditionally never seen before — namely sports cars.

The first-generation Scout was built until late 1970, and it had evolved along with the constantly evolving decade of the ’60s. The first series — the Series 80 — incorporated two features that subsequent models didn’t have: a bulkhead behind the front seats, which separated the rear compartment, and a folding windshield. The former didn’t last very long, as it made passenger access to the rear compartment from the front all but impossible. The latter made it all the way to the end of Series 80 production in late 1964. By that time, over 100,000 of the handy little Scouts had been built, to include a limited-edition Red Carpet Special, commemorating the 100,000th Scout in 1964.

A hot market

You can argue whether the Scout really was the first SUV, but there’s no arguing that vintage SUVs of all stripes are a hot commodity in today’s market.

A decade ago, Scouts were regularly trading for under $1k. I know, since I bought a running 1967 Scout 800 V8 TravelTop for $800 in 2003, and I was absolutely tickled pink at the time that I flipped it two years later for $2,000.

Today, dead sleds are bringing $2k, and well-sorted examples are over $10k — usually double that. They have a near-cult following, with appeal on several fronts, from off-roaders to general old-car fans, truck enthusiasts and IH tractor collectors.

But unlike a lot of collectibles, these are individualistic vehicles, and that means the vast majority of the fleet has been modified in one way or another. With all Model 80s powered by the half-of-a-V8 slant-four derived from their 304-ci V8, powertrain upgrades tend to rule the day — primarily with IH V8 engine conversions. Modifications like that don’t seem to hurt the bottom line, with quality of workmanship doing more to determine a Scout’s value than what was changed from stock.

This Scout

Considering that, this Scout’s suspension, brake and appearance modifications were not a huge issue for the typical buyer. That said, I was not particularly impressed with this example. While the body paint and upholstery work were good, the use of low-budget aftermarket bits and baubles just didn’t do it for me.

Under the hood, there was good but non-stock-engine-color paint, and the cowl was rattle-canned in flat black with no appreciable masking of the wiring harness. There’s also blanking plates in the door for the window and crank mechanisms, so it’s more of a fair-weather friend than an all-weather runner. I wouldn’t call it a top-market example, but it sure brought a strong price.

As the vintage-SUV market continues to swell, there are a few chinks in its armor. The best of the best in Blazers, Broncos and Scouts are currently bringing justifiably big money, while the also-rans like this specific Scout ride the coattails. And at $33k, I think that’s exactly what happened here. I’ll call it very well sold.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.

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