- Bought new in Hickory, NC
- The original build sheet is still in glovebox
- Fold-down windshield
- Removable full-length hard top with all the original plastic inside covers
- Rallye stripe package
- New 31x10.50x15 BFGoodrich T/A tires
- Factory AM radio
- One repaint
|1978 International Scout II Traveltop
|Original List Price:
|Tune Up Cost:
|Chassis Number Location:
|Driver’s side frame rail, aft of the bumper bracket; weight-rating plate on the edge of the driver’s side door
|Engine Number Location:
|Driver’s side front of the block
|National International Harvester Collectors Club Inc.
|1974–83 Jeep Cherokee, 1966–77 Ford Bronco, 1973–80 Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy
This truck, Lot FR0269, sold for $31,030, including buyer’s premium, at GAA Classic Cars’ Spring Sale auction in Greensboro, NC, on March 2, 2018.
Last of the line finally gets respect
After 1976, the Scout II had to go it alone as International Harvester’s sole light-duty truck. Sure, they introduced the Terra pickup and Traveler 2-door wagon that year, but they were, for all intents and purposes, long-wheelbase Scout IIs.
Mechanically and cosmetically, the Scout II remained generally consistent until what proved to be its swan-song year of 1980. For that year, there were a number of cosmetic changes (such as large rectangular headlights) and mechanical changes (a turbocharged diesel engine). However, a UAW strike from November 1979 through April 1980, plus a downturn in the U.S. economy, spelled disaster for the company. The last Scout II was built in October 1980.
For three decades since, Scout IIs have been the bastard children of the older used-SUV market. There have always been Scout loyalists, but for the general public — especially the younger generations that have become interested in older off-roaders more recently — it’s a little hard to sell them on a vehicle that they never realized was built.
Yet within the past eight years, vintage SUVs of all stripes have taken off in value. In the span of a few years, the Scout IIs that you couldn’t give away for $3,500 are now seeing $35k and upward when well equipped and either well restored or original.
With the uptick in interest, it seems that the limelight is on those SUVs that are equipped the way most buyers want — namely with a V8 under the hood. What they seem to forget is that for the entire production run of Scouts and all but two years of Scout IIs, they came standard with a four-banger that was actually half of a V8.
Block cutting for cost cutting
The slant-four engine was a child of 1961 — as it was the powerplant in both Pontiac’s and International’s all-new vehicles (the Tempest and Scout, respectively). Working independently, but with SAE research papers providing some guidance, each company developed an inline four that was essentially the right bank of one of their existing V8s. This made development costs far less than a new inline four from scratch.
International initially halved their 304-ci V8 for a 152-ci four. As production continued through the early 1960s, performance (or lack thereof) became a growing customer complaint, so they turbocharged the 152 for 1965. The better solution was to halve the heavy truck 392-ci V8 to create the 196-ci four, which at least had some semblance of low-end torque.
Even with various IH- and AMC-made gas 6-cylinders and the later Nissan diesel engines that became available in Scouts, the 196 soldiered on through 1980 (although they weren’t available in 1973 and ’74). While the 196 proved to be an adequate engine (rated at 86 horses in our example), today’s vintage SUV buyer isn’t shopping for adequate.
Rallye ’round the Line Setting Ticket
Since data automation came to the automotive world, most domestic manufacturers used some sort of build sheet for vehicle production at assembly plants. The amount of information varies between manufacturers, but one supplied gross intimate detail beyond even what the Big Three provided.
International Harvester’s truck division used what they called a Line Setting Ticket (LST) for all truck manufacturing in the post-World War II era. Not only did this show basics like the ordering dealer, the sales zone it was in, which powertrain and options went into it, and how it was to be shipped, it also showed additional components needed as part of an option (such as different springs for different axle assemblies) and additional labor to install some components (especially involved assemblies). The reasoning for this level of detail lies in IH’s catering to the whims of truck fleets to spec out one or a fleet of trucks to exactly what the customer wanted.
Thanks to the Line Setting Ticket (which, if it wasn’t still with the truck, is still available for all IH trucks after 1954 from the Wisconsin Historical Society or parts vendors through them), we can prove this Scout II was made into a wannabe Rallye after it was repainted.
First and foremost, the $795 Rallye Package (code 10969) doesn’t appear on the LST. Even without the LST, the Rallye stripes don’t match the original production units. OE units had a different font for “rallye” and the hash marks were all within the door. As such, these aren’t even the correct reproduction graphics.
Still, it did have the Deluxe Exterior Trim Package (code 16835), which got you chrome bumpers and lower body-side moldings. In addition, the spoke steel wheels (known as “wagon wheels” back in the day) have also been added post-production. The LST shows the standard disc wheels with H78-15 tires.
Four cylinders, less interest
While this Scout II has a somewhat unusual combination of equipment and is in good shape, as a 4-cylinder, the list of interested buyers is markedly thin.
The vast majority of buyers for Scout IIs want a V8 — the bigger, the better. The consignor also knew this, as there were zero references to the engine (in fact, more mention was made of it still having its original AM radio). Even the diesels generate more interest today than the four-banger.
Indeed, one can also be certain that the pool of potential buyers includes those who’d pick it up cheap if they could and then drop a V8 into it — either to keep that way or for a quick flip.
On top of that, with the repaint, stripes, wheels, plus some reupholstery work, it’s not the minty virgin survivor that some may hope it to be. Hopefully, the bidder knew this and was buying on the rising tide and not on this one’s originality — and hopefully he looked at the left side of the engine compartment — otherwise there might be one helluva surprise when it gets to its new home. “This thing runs out like it only has half of an engine.” Well sold.
(Introductory description courtesy of GAA Classic Cars.)