Nicely Optioned: 1976 International Harvester Scout II

As a classic SUV restoration project, this International Harvester Scout II is quite an interesting one. Already a competent off-roader, the addition of the Rallye Package brings a touch of luxury to the vehicle. It appears to be complete and essentially unmolested, but there are some rust issues to face if the Scout II is going to be returned to its best. Located in Wichita, Kansas, you will find the Scout II listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached a mere $2,949 in what appears to be a No Reserve auction.

Finished in Omaha Orange, the Scout II wears one of two different variations of vinyl graphics that were part of the Rallye Package. These ones provide a more conservative look, but they still look to be quite nice. One interesting aspect of this vehicle is that it appears to still be wearing its original wheels, which is actually quite unusual for a Rallye. It’s pretty common for owners to stick a lift kit under these, and to fit bigger wheels and tires. Finding the standard rims does make a refreshing change. The big enemy here is rust, and this is a vehicle that has some. The most obvious areas include both rockers, and these will require a full replacement. There is also rust visible in the lower quarter panels, and around the rear wheel opening on the passenger side. One thing that the owner mentions, and that I would be inclined to check carefully, is the driver’s door. He mentions that this sags, and needs to be lifted to close. There’s a real possibility that this is due to wear in the hinges, but it would be worth investigating to ensure that there are no rust issues with the door, or more importantly, with the front pillar.

Powering the Scout II is the 345ci V8 engine while shifting duties are completed by a 3-speed A727 automatic transmission. With selectable 4-wheel-drive and power steering, this is a vehicle that is prepared to tackle the toughest terrain. This is where the news is really good with the Scout II. The car is said to run, drive, and stop well. The owner provides this YouTube video. It not only provides a full walk-around of the vehicle, but you get to hear the engine start and run. I have to say that that 345 sounds really nice.

If I bought this Scout II, my starting point on the interior would be to give the whole thing a really good clean. The upholstery on the rear seat is free of rips and tears, but it is seriously dirty. Apart from that, the vehicle will need the headliner fixing into place in one spot due to its sagging, and the front seats will both need new covers. The rest of the interior really isn’t too bad, and it is completely original. The vehicle has been fitted with a number of nice options, including factory air conditioning, a center console with a locking lid, an AM/FM radio, a tilt wheel, and cruise control. The belt has been removed from the A/C compressor, which would suggest that the system will require some attention before it blows cold again.

While the Scout II is not a particularly rare vehicle, this one has been fitted with a nice range of options that make it stand out from the crowd. Loosely speaking, that 345 engine will add about 5% to the potential value of the vehicle, while the Rallye Package can add up to 10%. Values on the entire Scout II range have risen quite sharply over the past 12-months. This means that while it is possible to find a fairly nice Scout II Rallye for around $22,000, prices of around $45,000 are not unusual for a pristine and original example fitted with the 345 engine. The fact that this one has retained a lot of its original features, and it doesn’t appear to have been modified, means that this could be quite a decent restoration project.

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Comments

  1. Car Nut Tacoma

    As International Scouts go, this has always been my favourite year, at least until the last year. If I had one, I’d swap out the original V8 engine, and install a Duramax 2.8 litre 4 cyl. diesel engine. :)

    3
    • Stilbo

      Don’t forget the 6 speed GM automatic with transfer case..

  2. Lance Nord

    Probably 70-80% of the Scout II’s came with the 345. That won’t add squat to the value. The Rallye package is irrelevant to the condition of this unit. They Rallye wheels are probably the best part of the entire package on this vehicle. Whoever buys it will be spending some bucks fighting the rust bug. I’m going to be in the market for one soon, but I will try to find my Scout in an area of the country that doesn’t have Scouts with as many issues from rust.

    3
    • Duaney Member

      You’re wrong as can be. I have a Scout salvage yard with close to 75 Scouts, almost all have the 304.

      3
      • Lance Nord

        How bizarre then that the lion’s share of Scout IIs that come up for sale have a 345 (if they haven’t been bastardized with an LS or other motor).

  3. Karl

    It’s definitely got some rust but on the other hand it’s NOT a very attractive vehicle either. IHC used that 345 in a heck of a lot of vehicles including some 1600 series 2 ton trucks, not sure how but that little engine seemed to move a heck of a lot of weight, not fast but certainly usable.

    1
    • Lance Nord

      That 345 is one of the smoothest running engines ever built by any company. It has no vibration at idle. You can put a glass of water on top of the air cleaner. The surface of the water will hardly ripple and the glass will never vibrate off the air cleaner.

      3
  4. Del

    Never got to drive one.

    Would have liked to compare it to my Ramchargers

    1
    • BeeMoe

      10:1 that sagging door has nothing to do with hinges. My money is on body mounts being shot… as in rusted through. Very common on these rust buckets that we love so much.

      1
      • Neal

        I was going to say the same thing about the body mounts.

  5. Neal

    I love these Scouts and would like to own one. This one will need a lot of metal work. Reminds me of my mom’s 79 Rallye that I grew up with through 92. Hers had those chromed Rallye rims as well, but had the later stripe over a beautiful Tahitian Red metallic paint. I think the writeup lists this as Omaha Orange, but I think it might actually be Terra Cotta.

    I’ve commented about it here on Barnfinds, and I also wrote about it on some Scout-community FB sites this past winter (sorry if my words sound familiar to you):

    My mom just sent me this paperwork from when she and my dad ordered their Scout in July of ’78 and took delivery in November.

    She was serious about getting a SUV (before they were called that), and we visited lots of dealerships to check out Cherokees, Blazers, Ramchargers, and Broncos. I liked the IH dealerships the best with all of the big trucks like the S-series, Eagles and Transtars. What a terrible way to spend time as an eight year-old boy!

    Then when the local smaller Scout-oriented dealership insisted that she “be a good gal and bring her husband by” to talk about the options and finalize a deal, she left and went to a bigger IH dealer farther from home in Northeast Philly to order her truck. Interesting, though, that it is my father’s name on the paperwork.

    It is also interesting how that carbon-paper handwritten list was somehow accurately turned into a build sheet and then into our family Scout which we enjoyed through the winter of ’92. Looks like the total was $8695.00. That’s about $34,500 in today’s money. And they gave only a $95 deposit!

    I knew that rig inside and out since I cleaned it and cared for it. I remember the Tahitian Red paint coming off onto the sponge as I washed it. I learned to drive in that bouncy rig. Helped with maintenance and later did some repairs like fixing the window regulators. I capped and pop-riveted scales of aluminum flashing to cover rust holes and rot in its later years.

    So the only surprising detail on the order form for me is the axle ratio of 3.07. For some reason I thought it had 3.54s. Makes sense since we were not into off-roading at all. (Not that 3.54s are best for off-roading). In fact I remember being upset that they didn’t order the white spoke wheels and Tracker All-Terrain tires to make it look tougher. Chrome Rallyes and Tiempos instead were more practical for city driving, they said.

    Mom named her truck Foxy Lady, and she loved opening up the Thermoquad on occasion while listening to oldies.

    It served us well.

    My parents sold it in early ’92 when it needed floors, mounts, and rockers AGAIN.

    Sigh.

    I’d REALLY love to have another Scout someday.

    I’ve tried to post a picture of our scout, but for some reason I don’t seem to be able to.

    2

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