Champagne Series Sportop: 1966 International Harvester Scout

The owner of this 1966 International Harvester Scout Champagne Series Sportop found the vehicle hidden away in an Arizona barn. It had been sitting since 2002, but he has revived it and returned the Scout to active duty. It is a solid classic, and with a mere 2,579 examples of the Champagne Series Sportop rolling off the line in 1966, it is a relatively rare beast. The time has come for this Scout to find a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Boise, Idaho, and while the bidding has reached $5,527, this remains short of the reserve.

When the owner dragged this Scout into the light of day, he found a vehicle that was a solid survivor. A life spent in Arizona means that it has little rust for the buyer to tackle. He notes a hole in the bed floor about the size of a quarter, but patching this should be easy. There are also some spots of corrosion in both front floors where they meet the kick panels, but this hasn’t reached the point where it has penetrated the steel. Otherwise, it seems that this old classic is as solid as a rock. The Metro White paint has plenty of chips and flaws, but it still holds an impressive shine. There are some dings and dents on the driver’s side, but there’s nothing horrendous that would cause major issues. The highlight is the fiberglass Sportop. This looks as clean as a whistle. There’s no evidence of cracking or crazing, and looking around the vehicle reveals glass that is close to perfect. All of the trim appears to be intact, and while the original hubcaps look perfect, some items may require a trip to the platers. Overall, returning the car to a pristine state looks like it could be pretty straightforward.

Lifting the Scout’s hood reveals the 152ci “Comanche” four-cylinder engine that produces 92hp and 142 ft/lbs of torque. The rest of the drivetrain includes a three-speed manual transmission, a Dana 18 transfer case, and Dana 27 axles at both ends of the vehicle. With such modest power figures and weight of 3,208lbs, it’s no surprise that the Scout isn’t a jet in a straight line. The journey down the ¼ mile would take a relatively leisurely 21.2 seconds, while it would be out of breath by the time the needle nudges 70mph. However, that isn’t what this vehicle is all about. It is designed for serious off-road work. Thanks to the little four’s ability to deliver its peak power and torque low in the rev range, it would be capable of crawling its way into some pretty inhospitable terrain. When the owner located the Scout, it had been sitting since 2002. He worked through a comprehensive list of tasks to return it to a roadworthy state. This included flushing the fuel system, replacing the fuel lines, and replacing the fluids. The Scout now runs and drives well. He says that the engine feels strong, and the transmission shifts smoothly.

The Champagne Series brought buyers some upgraded interior trim to add luxury to what was a utilitarian vehicle. Most of these items are still present, although the door trims have seen better days, and the rear trims are missing entirely. The floor mats are also gone, so there will be a bit of a shopping list for the next owner to tackle. It isn’t clear whether the seller has attempted to deep clean the seats, but it would be worth the effort since the covers have no tears or significant wear. The painted surfaces also show deterioration, and addressing this while the exterior restoration occurs would seem like a wise move.

The relative rarity of the 1966 Scout Champagne Series Sportop makes it an intriguing restoration project. It looks to be a straightforward proposition, and the next owner could potentially perform most of the tasks in a home workshop. That could save the buyer some significant cash by the time the process is complete, which can never be a bad thing. With spotless examples capable of commanding values of beyond $35,000, I would expect that there may be a little way to go before this one hits its reserve. However, for someone seeking a distinctive off-roader, it is probably worth keeping a close eye on this listing.


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  1. Todd Zuercher

    Arizona Scout with very old Oregon plates on it….hmmm…..

    Like 1
    • Terrry

      and more than its share of rust…Oregon rust

  2. Howard A Member

    Very cool find. It seems it was IH’s half-baked attempt at the Jeep Commando market, of which there was little to begin with, and most went with the new Bronco. Scouts main following were gas station owners or muncipal depts., for plow/maint. duty, few bought one for everyday travel. That all changed with the Scout ll, but these were still rattle traps that plowed driveways and jump started or pushed stalled cars.( Most Scouts I saw had those “3 tires attached to a wood plank ” front bumpers) Any distance in one I’d think would be torture.

    Like 5
    • John E. Klintz

      I.E. unlike fine wine, Turds do NOT get better with age.

      Like 1
  3. Terrry

    Is that a slant 4?? It may not have much power and probably couldn’t get out of its own way, but it was tuned for torque. And that’s what you need in this type of vehicle.

    • Todd Zuercher

      It’s a slant 4 – half of a 304 V8, in fact. Unfortunately it doesn’t have much torque. I’ve told the stories here in the past about the ’67 Scout Sportop that we owned from ’78-’81. Dad had to put the transfer case in low range (2 Lo) to climb our driveway because the engine didn’t have enough torque in spite of low axle gearing. We also had to put it in 2 Lo to get out onto the main road from our street because, again, not enough engine torque. We had numerous times when we were four wheeling that the whole family had to clamber out so Dad could attack a hill while we all prayed he would make it…. And since it was low geared, it wasn’t much for highway travel either.

      Dad traded in the Scout in ’81 for a well-worn ’69 Bronco that I still drive today – problem solved.

      Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Ha! Anyone considering a 4 cylinder type of vehicle like this, those are words to live by, my friend. My anemic 4 cylinder YJ, on some of the treacherous trails here, I’ve almost had to go into “the low side” to make it.

  4. chrlsful

    reason I bought my bronco (’70 in ’83) wuz the 80 & 800. BUT, fed law then was ‘only hafta make parts for 7 yrs after bankruptcy” so got the ford. Often wonder if the right decision (when seeing a good rest0mod). Drop windshield, top swap (I have the 3 styles) and other are so much easier on the bronk.

    “No mater da chatter” I still like ’em. All can be customized so easily we can have just what we want (can afford)…

  5. Roger Jones

    Just to add a positive note, my 67 Scout800 SportTop came with V8 4sp,n it’s a convertible. .it’s wonderful to drive anywhere.

    Like 1
    • Todd Zuercher

      Roger – I’ll bet it is! I heard these trucks with V8s and 4 speeds were completely different animals!

      Like 1
  6. Eric

    This was NOT found in an Arizona barn. It was in Southern Oregon. I actually looked at it and tried to buy it before I was outbid by this seller. The story is that it was was traded in at a local car dealer over 20 years ago. The general manager of the dealership (a friend of mine) bought it and then parked it on his property where it was taken over by blackberries. A former co-worker of mine yanked it out of the blackberries 10 years ago and parked it outside of his barn until he sold it to this seller in Spring 2021. BTW–southern Oregon is a rust-free area with little rain and no salt on our roads.

    Like 1

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