Rare Gold Key Edition: 1968 International Scout 800

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This is one of the nicest International Harvester Scouts ever to be featured here on Barn Finds. It’s from the seller’s personal Scout collection and is being advertised as “an ultra rare, low production, Limited Edition Scout “V” model with an option that has very little known history called a “Gold Key” model.” There’s documentation to show it was ordered from the factory as such and a gold key is included. This nicely restored 1968 Scout 800 is currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona and is for sale here on eBay. As I’m writing this, 24 bids have been placed, but the top bid of $39,000 hasn’t met the seller’s reserve. 

The seller says that in 20 plus years of restoring and collecting Scouts, he’s never seen another one with this particular option. With some detective work, I read on some Scout Forums that the Gold Key “Model” was something dealers could order from the factory. It sounds like the dealer had the discretion to order a Scout (or other International models) loaded or plain and a gold key and dash badge were part of the package.

The seller doesn’t share the Scout’s history but says that the Scout has been “a long, labor intensive soft restore over the last six years” and that “a few areas of new sheet metal were addressed in the past which mainly included floor and fuel tank areas.”  The attractive Aspen Green paint is shiny and the contrasting white bumpers, removable top, and powder-coated original steel rims looks sharp. There isn’t any rust visible and the Scout’s minimal trim, glass, lenses, and tires all look good.

The Scout’s simple and period-correct interior is as attractive as the exterior. The front bucket seats and rear bench seats look great as do the vinyl door panels. The padded dash and instrument panel looks good (although that doesn’t appear to be the original steering wheel) and aftermarket gauges can be found hidden inside the glove compartment. This Scout wasn’t ordered with a radio and the Gold Key badge is visible above the floor shifters.

Three engine options were available in 1968, and this Scout’s very clean engine bay houses the largest power plant: a 266-cubic inch, 155-horsepower V8. The seller describes it as “very stout and robust that runs and sounds amazing and the 3-speed manual tranny works as it should.” The odometer is listed at 86,080. Other work and upgrades mentioned in the ad includes a new wiring harness, electronic ignition, exhaust system, and drum brakes all around. The radiator has also been recored. Yes, this is one nice-looking 55-year-old Scout and the seller’s reserve price reflects it. Happy Bidding!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Todd Zuercher

    A really good looking Scout! And with the V8, it’s a lot more tractable and practical than most of the 4 cylinder trucks we see here. Looks like it’s probably not far from my house.

    Like 4
  2. geomechs geomechsMember

    Just load this one up and take it to my place. This is almost the perfect way I would want a Scout. I would prefer a 4-speed but I sure wouldn’t hold this one hostage over that. A V8 shows that the ENTIRE engine is there instead of just half. I’ll bet the fuel economy won’t be much different. A V8 just played with the truck while a 4-banger had you run with your foot in the radiator…

    Like 16
  3. HoA Howard AMember

    “Gold key” edition,( whistles), Ron is right, there isn’t much, except this “Binder Planet” has info. Apparently, the “Gold Key” promotion went back to the 800, and included all IH light duty trucks. One person had a Gold Key Travelall. This was pricey, at $4150,(ish) for the 4 cylinder, a grand more than the regular Scout( and a CJ5 or Bronco cheaper yet) and one didn’t get much. One person said they could be ordered up to the 9s, or plain, like this, with the exception of the V8.
    I don’t know( or care) if an old Scout is worth $40grand. The “key”, and outstanding condition apparently is the cheese, ( and cheesy dash decal) and I bet the keys wore out and were thrown away just like the silver ones,,,D’OH!!!
    Cool find.Why so rare? Nobody wanted one. A Scout was for plowing snow or pushing a non-running beater. Like the CJ and Bronco, utility use only. They got shanghaied into public use they were never created for.

    Like 4
  4. Connecticut mark

    Is key gold or just a gimmick? Gold almost 2000.00 dollars an ounce, key would be worth 15000 or more alone!

    Like 2
    • Todd Zuercher

      Just a gold colored key.

      Like 4
  5. Yblocker

    What an absolutely beautiful Scout in every way, but my God, these PRICES!!! Whew!!! I bought a real nice 62 Scout 80 in 73, paid $500 for it, yeah I know, pretty irrelevant now. Can’t imagine hanging a snow plow on the front of this one, or trudging in the mountains during huntin season, I’d be scared to drive it around the block. But she is a rare beauty.

    Like 7
  6. Ray Pockalny

    I called on Walmart in Bentonville working for Kendall Oil mid 80’s so I cold called on a trucking company that used IH freight trucks (JBHunt I believe). In their entry was what was claimed to be the last one build. Spotless museum piece.

    Like 1
  7. Joe Haska

    Let me see Howard ,you think short box P/U’s are over priced and not worth the money ,but you want a $40,000 dollar Scout! Granted it is probably the best one on the planet. You aren’t biased are you?

    Like 5
    • HoA Howard AMember

      It’s imperative to read the post carefully, Joe. I never said I wanted a $40K Scout. You actually approve of this foolishness? May as well buy an old dragstrip while we’re at it.

      Like 0
  8. William Slivka

    I think a buyer at this price point is going to be disappointed. Look at the rs floor shot. someone poorly overlayed the floor with some metal, and the doghouse is rough. The axles and wheels are from an older Scout, possibly a 63. How did that happen?
    We had a dealership back in the 60’s. Gold key was mostly a marketing talking point. There was little special about it, and there were many that came through in that time frame. It certainly was far from rare.

    If the floor was shot, other parts are too. The rocker panel under the doors Is a separate panel that had distinct lines. It’s been patched and bondoed. Yes, it looks good on screen, but I don’t think it will stand up to scrutiny if you see it in person. Caveat Emptor.

    Like 6
  9. John Frazier

    I’ve owned 5 Scouts, and this is the nicest that I’ve ever seen.
    geomechs is correct – I saw very little difference in gas mileage between the 4 cyl. and the 345 c.i. that I owned.
    Depending on the reserve, this may be worth it. I don’t understand the current interest in Broncos. Back in the era of this Scout, Jeeps and Scouts ruled off-road. Some day in the future Scouts should catch up in value to what Broncos are selling for.

    Like 4
    • Yblocker

      Broncos were better all around. That’s the difference.

      Like 7
      • Jeff

        – and uglyer all around. That’s another difference.

        Like 2
  10. Greg Gustafson

    Beautiful… I question the gauges being hidden from view in the glove compartment. So when the engine starts knocking or smoke and steam starts coming up around the hood, you can pull over, pop the glove box open and verify the engine did a patty-melt?

    Like 7
    • A.G.

      The auxiliary gauges seem to be redundant. The binnacle already contains gauges for water temperature, oil pressure and amperage.

      Like 2
      • Yblocker

        The auxiliary gauges are probably manual, the ones in the instrument cluster, or “binnacle”, as you call it, are electric, and not as accurate.

        Like 3
      • Christopher Gentry

        Never owned one and doubt I ever will their so rare now. But grew up around these in the 70s and 80s when they were CHEAP. The 800s are my favorite. Don’t care what color the key is. This one is gorgeous.

        Like 1
      • A.G.

        Accuracy is right there with precision. When it comes to analog gauges neither one really matters. Accuracy is a snapshot of current conditions which does not capture trends. If monitoring the trend of water temperature shows the gauge reading increasing over time, does accuracy matter? If oil pressure decreases over time the question is the same. Accuracy aside, if the auxiliary gauges are a better choice, why not replace the OEM gauges in the field of view rather than hide them in the glove box?

        Like 3
      • Greg Gustafson


        Like 0
  11. macvaugh

    Gold was a marketing ploy for International Harvester from the 1950s onward, tractors and trucks: https://www.ihpartsamerica.com/store/DECAL-GOLDKEY.html

    Like 0
    • Yblocker

      I guess A.G. figures steam rolling out from under the hood, or clattering lifters, are a better monitoring device than any gauge.
      But yes, it would have made more sense to install aftermarket gauges in the dash, rather than the glove box.

      Like 1
  12. Big C

    Sort of a cheesy promotional device, at best. And I see Scout’s have caught that “stupid money” disease, like all the rest. Good luck to all those folks who are “banking” on this egg shell economy to remain solvent.

    Like 6
  13. dogwater

    I think most of the scout’s I’ve seen over years were junk but this one looks nice someone dumped a lot of $$$ in the old girl

    Like 0
  14. Christopher Gentry

    You could buy the drag strip and use the scout as a push vehicle on vintage night

    Like 1
  15. Mark

    Shouldn’t a 68 have the federal mandated side marker lights like every other 68 vehicle?

    Like 0
  16. Eric P Akins

    Nice scout…wait til something breaks and need a part for it…SHAZAAM!!!!

    Like 0
  17. Matt

    My 68 800 has a 304 from the factory, 266 was not the largest engine option for that year.

    Like 0

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