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Rare HO: 1980 International Scout CVI

Over 500,000 Scouts were produced from 1960 to 1980. It was one of the first SUVs with rugged looks and 4WD. This example is a 1980 International Harvester Scout II CVI. The “CVI” stands for Custom Vehicles Incorporated, a company that specialized in modifying and customizing vehicles, particularly the Scout series, in the early 1980s. It is listed here on eBay with 2 days remaining in the auction. These customized Scouts from Custom Vehicles Incorporated often underwent various modifications and upgrades, which could include enhancements to the engine, suspension, interior, exterior, and other components based on customer preferences. This Scout II is located in Dallas, Texas and is bid to $7,500 after 14 bids.

This particular example has an “HO” designation which likely stands for “High Output,” indicating that this variant might have featured performance enhancements compared to the standard Scout II models produced by International Harvester. The Scout was equipped with a 152 cubic inch inline four-cylinder engine that was rated at a mere 93 horsepower by International Harvester. As later models were introduced, they had bigger and more powerful engines including a larger inline 4 cylinder, an inline 6 cylinder, a 266 cubic inch V8, a 304 cubic inch V8 engine, and a 345 cubic inch V8 engine. In 1979 and 1980, International Harvester offered the Scout II equipped with a Nissan-built 198 cubic inch turbocharged diesel inline 6 cylinder rated at 101 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque from the factory. The ad for this Scout II just says that this vehicle has a non running V8.

The interior is blue and is well worn. The dash is cracked and there is some rust on the lift gate. This Scout II is equipped with an automatic transmission and is said to roll and steer despite not being a non operable project. The seller thinks that only 44 of these vehicles were produced. Overall the Scout II looks to be in unrestored condition. There are dents and surface rust on the exterior and a significant dent in the front driver fender.

This vehicle might be a great opportunity to purchase a rare example of the last year of the Scout. The first generation Scout was called the Scout 80. It was manufactured from 1960 to 1965 and was a bare bones 4WD. The next generation of Scout was called the Scout 800 that was produced from 1966 to 1971. The final generation of the Scout was called the Scout II (like this one) and was built from 1971 to 1980. Who knows more about these special Scouts?


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Oh, me, me, ( waving arm in air like in grade school),,I had to look THIS one up. I too would have though “HO” stands for high output, HOWEVER< t'aint so, it stands for Houston Oilers, I kid you not, and is a VERY rare truck. According to Red Power magazine, only 3 are known to exist. They all had 304s and automatics and were nothing special except paint and trim. CVI did several tributes and had a deal with IH that obviously didn't last too long. They were done as a promotion to the Oilers, and a prototype and 2 others are known to exist. I wonder if the seller knows that? Unbelieveable find here folks, not just for the nicest Scout made, its NFL ties could make it soar into the MILLIONS!!!!,,,um, time for another cup of Joe, whatchutink?

    Like 24
    • Driveinstile Driveinstile Member

      Wow Howard. Im thinking youre a Walking Encyclopedia of cars and trucks. Thank you for sharing all that. And thank you Bruce for the really nice write up. I had a high school teacher in the mid 80s with a Scout a Blue Ralley if I remember correctly. And sadly, in the state of NJ, we all know about the weight reduction and Ankle Vents vehicles get due to the road salt taking place in just a few short years. I think I wouldnt restore it being as how rare it is. Just keep it original.

      Like 8
      • HoA Howard A Member

        Thanks, pal, but just a guy with not a lot going on. Anything IH usually interests me, they were the greatest trucks in the world.

        Like 7
    • Stan

      Howard remember the awesome Oiler RB Earl Campbell 🦵💪🏃‍♂️
      The Tyler Rose 🌹

      Like 3
    • Comanche Motors

      If 3 are only known to exist then I have had all 3 and still have 2 of the 3 and restored the third one and owned it twice. 2 years I had to sell it at mecum and it brought 50,000 back then. According to Jim Allen, the guy that wrote the Scout encyclopedia there is no evidence that HO stands for Houston Oilers. I actually talked to Richard Nesbitt this week, the designer of all CVI Scouts and he could not even remember this special edition.

      Like 0
    • Comanche Motors

      I would be really curious as where you got your info Howard. I have owned 3 of these HO and still have 2 of them and the third I restored, sold, bought back and sold again. I think it may be called Houston Oilers because that’s what I call them but according, Jim Allen, the guy that wrote the Scout Encyclopidia, he can find no evidence of that and only calls it HO.

      Like 0
    • BleedNRed

      Howard is correct… if this is an HO it was rare. More than three were manufactured (at least 40 were built with automatic transmission.), but in 2021 three were known to still exist. IDK if this is one of the three…

      Like 2
  2. Casey

    Even though this is extremely rare I don’t think it’s worth very
    much. Even in mint condition I don’t think a whole lot.
    Still cool !

    Like 3
  3. Jim

    Would take a lot of money to get it looking like this one:

    Like 0
  4. Ike Onick

    I never would have guessed HO’s are rare in Texas.

    Like 5
  5. Jim Allen

    Allow me to make some corrections here. HO is for Houston Oilers, a regional special built by CVI for the Southwest IH Sales region late in ’79 (as an ’80 model). There are five survivors I have recorded and my estimate is at least 25-50 were built. Not all had 304s, as two of the five survivors have 345s. A recently found variation is blue under white vs the normal white over blue. They were built between late August and early September of 1979. Jim Allen

    Like 16
  6. Chrisco

    Wow.!! I’m dropping my telenovela..! This is getting good here with this HO/CVI situation. Mysterious V-8 lurking up front, and all these new details being unearthed about this project.! Woah..!! Interest and price will probably escalate after this… Howard A.. kudos to you for helping the cause and sharing.!!

    Like 0
  7. chrlsful
  8. Tony_C

    I swapped out the valve cover gasket on my scout; driving down the highway someone motioned to pull over and they had their lights flashing. I pulled over, rolled my window down and the fella said, ‘your engine is on fire, flames are shooting out the bottom.’ I left the scout where it died, went back later and the engine was melted, appears it was an aluminum block. Sold it ‘as is’ to a car dealer; he had an engine ready to drop into it.

    Like 1
    • Christopher Eakin

      Maybe somebody had swapped in an Olds 215?

      Like 0
  9. scottymac

    Does it say Oilers under the black paint on the passenger door bottom?

    Like 0
  10. Skibaron

    Sold for $16,700. Seems like a bit much for a non runner in this condition. Maybe the rarity makes it worth it.

    Like 0
  11. Yblocker

    Never heard of a Houston Oilers Scout, but maybe so, there were a number of special edition vehicles through the years, some were regional, some were confined within a state. I worked for a Ford dealer in Wyoming, that special ordered a limited number of John Elway “Broncos” in the late 80s, I don’t know if any still exist. I like Scouts, had a 62 years ago, bought a 75 Scout II in the early 90s, good runner, but but badly rusted in areas, later traded it for a 60 F100

    Like 0

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