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Desert Star: 1980 International Harvester Scout II Project

The International Harvester Scout II came rolling down the road in 1971, to replace the Scout 800. Changes included different grilles and light housings as production extended to 1980, a slightly lower stance, and best of all, the optional 345  cu. in. V8 motor. The Scout remained a 4X4, with a Dana transfer case. Prices of Scouts have soared recently, along with Broncos and FJ40s. Here on eBay is a 1980 International Harvester Scout II, with bidding at $6,101, reserve not met. This vehicle is in Prescott, Arizona. The Scout was produced in several body styles over the years; this is the station wagon with a removable roof and rear bench seat. It has the 345 cu. in. V8 motor with three speed automatic transmission, good for about 197 bhp. While the Scout was not fast off the line even with the V8 – about 12 seconds from 0 to 60 – its torque made up for everything. You can pull a stump with these rigs.

This Scout is a dry Arizona car with original paint. The seller notes that the prior owner parked the vehicle over twenty years ago to rebuild the carburetor and radiator – unfortunately, both items were lost and do not come with this rig. We’re told that the engine does turn freely; other than minor corrosion and dust, the under-hood view is decent. There’s no indication of the mileage.

The owner has replaced the marker lights, wheels, and tires. Sighting down the sides, the panels look straight and well-aligned except for the driver’s side rear quarter panel. All the glass looks great and even the decals are very clean. With the exterior in original paint, it’s a tough call whether to fix that dent or not. Once you do, you might be in for repairing the paint, which will never look right against this patina.

The interior is needy, with a rat’s nest of wires. The seller indicates that rust is limited to just the front floor you see here. The seat covers and door cards have seen better days, for sure. Note that the shift plate and shifter are missing; the owner has those items. The grille is straight if not perfectly shiny. The seller thinks the 1980 Scout II is the most desirable of all the models, but many prefer the earlier round headlights to these square versions. I like the very early Scouts best, despite their woefully small motors. Tailgate chains, folding windshields – the entire vintage feel just strikes a chord with me. But depending on the price this Scout has plenty of virtues. What would you pay for this one?

Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    The seller replaced the side marker lights, wheels, and tires, but won’t invest in a carburetor and radiator to actually get it running for the sale?? That alone tells me that the engine needs a lot more than those two items. I just can’t believe that people actually buy these Ebay BS stories and actually bid real money on this crap! OVER 6K WITH THE RESERVE UNMET! This is nothing more than a salvage yard vehicle with new wheels and tires and few new marker lights. SMH!

    Like 13
  2. Big C

    Many of these car flippers couldn’t figure out which side is up on a carburetor. Much less install one. But, you’re right. If you can’t hear it run? Then you can’t hear the rod knock!

    Like 5
  3. ScoutII

    Who cares about the engine, the problem with these Scouts is the body, and an original one like this will reach 15k all day long. Plenty of these around with good engines but the bodies on them make a restoration impossible. This unit will do well. Been involved with Scouts for 30 years. Most are basket cases.

    Like 6
  4. Connecticut mark

    Yes stupidity, get it running and this could be a Bronco price over 35 grand easy. Maybe more since body is so good.

  5. Bob C.

    Zero to sixty isn’t bad for this beast. That’s about what it took for an early 70s Thunderbird with a 429.

  6. 1959buickman

    The body alone is where the money is on these rigs, it will do well. Engines are out there.

  7. Bob C.

    I meant to say zero to 60 in 12 seconds, my bad.

  8. Chuck Blair

    A 1980 345 should have a 4BBL carb on it. Either not an ’80, 345 or someone has changed the intake. That may be why the carb is missing, never found a 2bbl after changing intake.

  9. Chuck Blair

    Just looked at the by-pass hose again, this is a 304 not a 345.

    Like 1
    • Parkerdo

      You’re correct, Chuck. My ’80 Scout has the 345 with a Carter Thermoquad 4bbl carb. The seller also calls the 345 “rare” which it is not. An online search will find a number of 345s available especially with so many Scouts taking on LS swaps these days. The 1980 Scouts were also shipped with the highly valued Dana 300 transfer case. It was mentioned that the grille was “straight but not too shiny”. It’s not “too shiny” because it’s made of plastic. As far as I know, IH did not produce a chrome plated plastic grill for the ’80 model. These grills are rarer than hen’s teeth because the plastic was not near as durable and long lasting as the metal grills. (Long story when I just meant to comment on your 345 comment :-)

      Like 1
      • Michelle Rand Staff

        The grills were plastic but I have seen them sunbleached or splotchy. This one looks to have a bit of that starting on the center horizontal bar. Still, hard to find.

  10. Todd Zuercher

    Curious if this truck was purchased and dragged to Prescott or if it’s been there a long time. If it was purchased new there (at Boyd Tractor and Equipment), it shouldn’t have any rust on it.

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