Diesel Duty: 1980 International Scout II 4×4

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This boxy 1980 International Scout 4×4 diesel with manual transmission checks just about every box for me. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Marquette, Michigan which also checks quite a few boxes for me. That’s a lot of boxes. The current bid price is $10,050 and the reserve isn’t met so you’ll need a big box full of $100 bills to bring this one home.

The International Scout was made for a couple of decades, from 1960 to 1980 and this is a later Scout II which was made from 1971 until the end of the line in 1980. We have seen many Scouts in all ages and styles, special editions, modified, gas, diesel, EVs, … hey, wait a minute. Well, gas and diesel at least, and this one is a diesel which is really interesting I think. For the record, Hagerty is at $13,100 for a #4 fair condition Scout in this configuration and $32,200 for a #3 good condition Scout. This one has a long way to go to meet the seller’s reserve I’m guessing.

This one is reportedly all original other than a single repaint at some point. I always wonder what a new Scout would look like if they would be around today. For sure there would be a four-door version, that would have come decades ago. People have to have four doors on their trucks and SUVs, God forbid their vintage cars have “two too many doors!” though… (crickets) Here’s what the rear cargo area looks like.

The seller has provided a lot of photos but it almost looks as if they set the camera timer and just tossed the camera into the air and then posted the photos. They’re literally all over the board, crooked, skewed, just plain, um, unusual. I know that not everyone can figure out what may be the best photos for an online ad, but when you click on the listing you’ll see what I mean. I’m sure that they’re the nicest people ever and it’s not a reflection of that at all, the photos are just so unusual and hard to see and tell what’s going on with them being at different “Batman angles” like that. That being said, the interior looks pretty good, at least other than the dash which we don’t see really at all in any of the photos.

Ahhh, there it is, a Nissan SD33-T six-cylinder turbo diesel that had just over 100 horsepower. That’s not a lot for a two-ton 4×4 but with the Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmission, this would be a fun one to own. Have any of you owned a Scout with a diesel engine?

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  1. Daniel Wright

    It is not fast, nor is it meant to be. This is a four wheel drive vehicle from the dark days of 55 MPH speed limits.
    What is will do is get you where you need to go off road without fail. Just not quickly.
    I bet it would literally climb a wall with that four speed

    Like 2
  2. CARFREAKMember

    Had one with a plow. Not fast at all. Had to replace reduction gear Mitsubishi starter. $400 and rare in 1985. I can’t imagine what one would cost now!

    Like 0
  3. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking Scout II. This is my favourite year for the International Scout. It’s a damn shame that it was discontinued after this. The only upgrade I’d give it would be a Duramax 2.8 litre Turbo Diesel.

    Like 0
  4. Joe Btfsplk

    All those artsy pics and not one chassis pic. Vice-Grip Garage has a You Tube video of buying one, getting it started and driving a few hundred miles back to MN. It was very informative!

    Like 2
  5. Terrry

    Finally, a Scout that isn’t rusted out and generally beat up from hard use. I have never seen one of these with the rectangular headlights and a non- International diesel. Whoever pays the price for this Scout will get one that should be good for another couple of decades.

    Like 0
    • nlpnt

      They go hand-in-hand, almost. Square lights were a new facelift for the 1980 model year and the Nissan diesel had been on offer for a few years but were installed in as many Scouts as possible in 1980 to fulfill the engine contract and use up stocks on hand of the bought-in motor before production ended.

      Like 0
  6. Terry J

    What fun I have reading Barn Finds because at age 73 I’ve owned lot of cars. Today’s finds hit it out of the park since I’ve owned 5 of them: Old Chevy suburbans (2), a TR3, a ’57 (2 door) wagon, 2 early Camaros (67 & 68 convertibles) and even an old Scout. Thanks gang, :-) Terry J

    Like 3
  7. Roland Schoenke

    People keep calling this a Scout II , but my dad owned a 76′ Scout Traveler ( not to be confused with the monstrous Travel all ) and this appears to be that. The Scout II had smaller notched rear side glass. My dad’s had the 304 v8 and was quite powerful when I drove it.

    Like 0
  8. geomechs geomechsMember

    A guy in the same aftermarket business as I am said that the reason you saw a Scout all rusted out was that the powertrain was so well made that it was still going strong when the elements eventually took over the sheet metal. After working on a few of them and seeing how well the drivelines stood up I can agree with him. IOHO Binder knew what abuse was likely to befall the Scout so it went one-up on everything. The Diesel engine was a pretty sure bet that it wouldn’t compromise anything from the clutch back. The SD-33 was a good engine albeit with a few annoying drawbacks such as a lack of power and a timing advance unit that loved to foul up with sludge (It was a good mosquito killer when that happened). Extortionately expensive to overhaul but it went a long time between as long as the glow plugs were working and the owner used ether to kill unwanted pests instead of help start a cold engine. I wouldn’t turn something like this down…

    Like 1
  9. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Auction update: this one ended in no sale at $10,050.

    Like 0

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