Rusty Driver: 1979 International Scout II

This rugged project/driver is a 1979 International Harvester Scout II. It looks pretty good upon first glance but there will be some work to do here, lots of work, structural work on rust issues underneath. The rust that you can see is the least of your worries. This one is listed on eBay with a current bid price of just over $2,000 and there is no reserve. It’s located in Rosalia, Washington. The seller says that it works great, so if a person were handy with a welder this could be a good project.

I touched on the rust issues probably too much there, and who doesn’t love an IH Scout?! All sorts of parts are available for anyone who would want to restore this one, or just keep it safely operating for years to come.

The Scout II was the last gasp, unfortunately, as IH stopped making the Scout in 1980. This particular Scout II came from the Spokane, Washington area where they get their share of snow, maybe that’s where the initial rust came from. The seller mentions that the “heaviest rust being on the drivers side quarter. Floors seem to be very solid. The frame is solid with no rust.” But, from looking at the photos of the underside, I see lots of rust on the body mounts.

The interior looks good overall, but a seat cover or replacement upholstery would be in order for anyone wanting to restore it. The “A/C does not have a belt, and I’m sure it would need charged. All of the lights work, heater, windshield wipers and works..old vintage CB radio works too.”

This is International’s V 345 A (304.6 cubic-inch) V8 which would have had around 122 hp when it was new. The seller says that this “Scout runs very nice. It sounds beautiful and is a pleasure to drive. I would feel comfortable driving this across the country.” Have any of you owned an IH Scout II? Would you restore this one or just fix the structural rust and drive the heck out of it?


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  1. Dan

    I’ve owned 5 scouts over the years and loved them, but they were bad to rust…..

  2. Steven

    Alot of of original body parts are available online for Scouts, try J.C Whitney they have everything beside a parts warehouse California does for Scouts and Jeeps!

  3. Dave Wright

    You need a new Wikipedia, a 345 is not a 304. Both built on the same block with many common parts but different engines. I had a 79 for many rears, very civilized, lots of power, good disc brakes, lots of smog equipment, poor fuel economy. Off course, these are a body on frame construction so if someone is ambitious, could be nicely restored. We were in Rosalia today on the way back from Spokane with the Maserati.

    • Dave Wright

      Scouts were built beyond 1980 but only in a pickup configuration.

    • Scotty Staff

      Which part of this engine description is incorrect, Dave?

      Everything I’ve read about Scouts (Jalopnik, Wiki, Binder forums, etc.) says that 1980 was the last year, where did you see that they were made after that point?

      • Dave Wright

        A 345 is not a 304 cu inch V8…….

      • Dave Wright

        That reference has no information about a 345…………..My Dad had 2 ton IHC’s in one of his truck companies with 345’s the same as the ones I had in later Scouts and my 68 Pickup but with different smog equipment. Used them over the road loaded to 30,000 lbs. They are a really high torque engine. All the internals are forged, sodium cooled valves, Holly carbs, rebuildable water pumps, ball bearing pilot bushings, equal length exhaust headers, high rise manifolds, balanced pistons and rods, greasable throw out bearings. Many features shared with the 304……………..also makes them expensive to rebuild.

  4. KevinW

    Before the days of internet, I tried to find a set of the factory chrome rally wheels like this one has for my own ’77. I would love to own this one, it would be a great running, driving, project. Oh yeah, never found those wheels, ended up putting on the old white wagon wheels.

  5. Jason T

    The Ebay seller lists it as having a 304 and not the larger displacement 345.

  6. Todd Zuercher

    I’d like to see some information on Scouts built after 1980 as well.

    • Dave Wright

      I had an 1982 long wheelbase Scout bodied pickup built after the passenger Scouts finished there run. It was the last type pickup made by IHC and got around some of the smog requirements for a passenger vehicle. There was an article about them in the Wheels of Time magazine (the American Truck Historical society publication)

  7. Todd Zuercher

    So it was a Scout Traveler? Would love to see a picture or a copy of the article.

    • Dave Wright

      It was the same length as a traveler but did not carry the Scout name…….it was the standard IHC Pickup at the time. I think it was a non removable hardtop, a 2 wheel drive that I bought from a charity resale yard near Fresno. Someone had donated it……..the resale yard sold vehicles for many charities….always had interesting stuff. I got to know the owner of the yard pretty well……he was charging a 50% commission on the sales………not bad work.

  8. Tom

    Man, this brings back memories.

    Back in high school, I was really into 4×4’s and the Scout II was the one I lusted after the most. Being from NJ, I never found one for sale (the rust got them) and when I got my license, I was given my mom’s old Saab 9000.

    That ended my love affair with 4×4’s XD

  9. XMA0891

    My dad bought one new car his entire life – A ’72 Datsun wagon. The only other car he came close to buying new was an ’80 Scout II. I can not imagine how long he futzed with the poor dealer on final negotiations, but I do clearly remember him returning home one night to announce he would not be buying the car, “because the company had gone out of business”. I was 12, and crushed.

    • Mike

      …and International is still going strong today.

      • Dave Wright

        Largest truck manufacturer in the world.

  10. idiotking

    I’d stay away from; they are overpriced. There is an excellent alliance of vendors called the Light Line Distributors who deal in OEM parts and modern repro steel and have been doing so since IH got out of light trucks in 1980. Dave, if you had a 1982 Terra pickup I’d bet it was titled incorrectly; the last one was produced in October of 1980, and the last true IH pickup (cab separate from bed) was produced in 1975.

  11. Neal

    Happy to see lots of Scout action here on Barnfinds of late.
    If anyone is in the Boston area with a Scout, I’d like to connect.
    Here’s my mom with hers in the late eighties or early nineties. Notice the aluminum door caps and quarter patches.
    And some sweet chrome rallye wheels for KevinW.

  12. CJ

    Scouts were notorious for being rust buckets! Around and above the fenders, panels below the doors, everywhere…… IH never seemed to care about the rust issues, just kept making Scouts…… This said, always thought they were cool looking, better than the Ford Bronco. Knew several guys who owned them always had at least three setting around for parts……

  13. Ralph Robichaud

    Look at this tub, from a state well known for its rust free/minimal rust vehicles. Not at all impressive, not takng anything away from the drive train, which was outstanding.

  14. Jubjub

    Love these Scout IIs. Had a gray ’78 Rallye with those wheels for many years. Tough and decent driving rigs. I’ve seen many nicely customized Scouts but never as cool as a nice original or detail correct restoration. IH knew what they were doing as far as styling and color schemes go. These looked good in the sticks, the hood, the suburbs or at a country club.

    I remember chasing the rust with panels and metal. If I were to do it again, I’d do a frame off body rebuild.

  15. RS

    This is the one I’d want…

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