Orange Crush: 1979 International Scout II

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While discovering a true barn find may be super exciting, that excitement can be diluted by the fact that a discovery is rusty, weather-beaten or otherwise past the point of saving. However, a barn find that remains in drivable condition is a different – and better – story altogether. This 1979 International Scout II was  recently unearthed in Georgia and is available here on eBay with no reserve. 

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This Scout is impressively straight, with period body-side graphics still in place and a range of desirable features included. From the Travel Top to the Warn winch to the CB radio, this International looks like the ultimate adventure vehicle. No history is offered as to how it ended up in the barn parked next to a similarly orange Chevy pickup, but I’m guessing it was dry inside with a roof that kept the rain out.

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The interior is amazing for the age. It almost looks like it was just reupholstered rather than sitting and collecting dust for years. Perhaps it was re-done just before an owner passed away or could otherwise no longer drive the Scout. But regardless of any freshening up that occurred, the clearly original carpet, dash and trim pieces are all in excellent, survivor-grade condition. Even the wrap on the steering wheel remains preserved.

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Though the truck is in Georgia, it has a set of weathered Tennessee license plates in photos. This truck clearly resided in some temperate climates that protected the Scout from the perils of ocean water and the impact of long, salty winters. I just visited Georgia this past weekend in the Blue Ridge area and can easily see a truck like this providing reliable cruising across farm land and up into the mountains. Bidding is over $6K with two days left.

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Comments

  1. dj

    I like this. I saw one at a car show a few weeks ago. It wasn’t near as nice as this one. But there’s no pics of the engine bay, rear seat, tailgate or rear hauling space. I’d like to see those before I bid on it.

  2. Howard A Member

    Probably one of the nicest Scout’s to come down the pike. I was surprised at the lack of mechanical photos. 100 some shots, and only 2 of the motor ( like #97 & 98) Looks like the standard issue 345, and pretty clean too, from what I’m used to IH V-8’s looking like. These trucks paved the way for fancy SUV’s, but sadly never reaped the benefits of the “yuppie 4×4 status” as in 1980, they were gone. One site suggests, be careful with Scout ll’s, as restoration costs can quickly exceed actual value. This was a sad end to IH’s small truck market as pickup’s ended a few years earlier. Some of the best trucks ever were IH.

    • The Walrus

      It wasn’t the products that killed IH, it was the union strikes. If you had told someone in the early 70’s that International Harvester would be out of business in 10 years they would say you were crazy. It would be like saying GE or Microsoft or Google will be gone soon. There was a time when they had their own steel mills, made their own paint and vinyl, etc.

      • Dave Wright

        IHC is the largest truck manufacturer in the world, they only left the light duty market. The Unions were a large factor in cutting out the light duty line.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Patrick Foster tells the story quite well in his book: International Harvester Trucks. The unions did a lot of damage to IH but Binder also lost out paying huge dividends when they should’ve been reinvesting in upgrading facilities and getting its debts under control. It seemed that every year, even though Binder showed a profit there was still some unpaid debt. The late 70s/early 80s high interest rates hurt everyone with Binder far worse with the debts.

  3. Dan

    I’ve owned several of these over the years….loved them all….

  4. JW

    Cool find, love the orange exterior and that plaid interior even works for me.

  5. Dave Wright

    I have a 75 being done right now. Have owned many, they used to be cheeper than the comparable chevrolet, ford or jeep and much better quality. This one has great options. I tried to buy a brand new one about the time this one was built, it was 50% more than a Blazer……..so I bought a used one, a 1979 Traveler with a 345. I could never get it to go straight down the road. We changed everything in the undercarriage several times, it took constant correction to keep it in a lane. It was the only truck I had that trouble with…..never figured it out. (Travelers had a long wheelbase) My 75 is also a nicely optioned truck but it has a AMC 258 in it from the factory. It was built in the years when IHC was building engines for many other manufacturers and ran out of production space and installed the AMC engine. I would prefer a nice 266 or 304 V8. The biggest advantage to IHC’s besides there heavy truck roots is the use of Positraction. They used it early and often allowing them to outperform the competition. Every light IHC truck I have owned built since 1959 had Positraction. They are great trucks that had an available options list of something like 5 single spaced pages. They have had Diesel engines since the late 50’s starting with Perkins and ending with the disasterous Nissan. I do love my IHC’s

  6. Fred W.

    I’m surprised at the condition considering it was apparently parked in more of a shed than a barn, on bare dirt, inches from rain and snow. The front bumper didn’t do to well but looks good otherwise. Maybe it wasn’t there that long.

  7. Bruce

    My ex father in law had one .It rode and drove great Even thru the deepest N.J. snows {I now live in east T.N.} That was the problem was the rust. He always tried to keep up with it but the rust won out. Bruce.

  8. JD

    All time favorite vehicle. I had the chance to jump on one of these 25 years ago for about $2k in better condition than this one with about 30K miles on it, and I’ve regretted not doing it ever since. Now they’re $20k. Hope it goes to a great home that loves it well.

  9. racer99

    Take a look at the driver’s side below the belt molding, the passenger’s side rocker and both rear wheel arches — they have all been poorly repaired and painted a not-so-matching color. The pictures show a very nice truck but would really need to see some underneath pics before getting real excited. There’s also some hints of rust peeking out of the engine compartment pics. My guess would be there’s a lot of work hiding underneath.

  10. Jubjub

    Great looking, quintessential Scout, even if it does have some rot in the usual places and some scuzzy cover ups. The body still sits high and square. Hope whoever buys it appreciates and retains its originality and correctness.

  11. Neal

    I am living the Scout life vicariously these days because of constraints of time, money, and a family (with small children). I just haven’t taken the plunge yet. I’ve been tracking craigslist ads and ebay for a few years now. I’ll have to wait a few more to realize my dreams of keeping a Scout in this world, but I can always feel it just around the corner.

    I grew up in Philly with and learned to drive in my mom’s tahitian red ’79 Ralleye. It was a perfect color to match all the rust that was to come as a northeast daily driver. We were all so proud to own that truck! Never wheeled with it except in snow. Trailered our camper around Lancaster County with the 345/ 727. Parents kept it through ’92. I’d come home from college in the later years and pop rivet scales of roofer’s aluminum over all the new holes to keep her going. Loved it then and guess part of me still does. Anyway, someday I hope to have another of my own. As the license plate holder on my family’s Scout said through all those years: “Keep on Truckin” (Does that date us?!?).
    –Neal

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