The International Harvester Scout II is an excellent, but under-appreciated off-road classic car. Despite having a sizable cult following, the International Scout II has always been overshadowed by the Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Bronco.
International Harvester, an American automobile company, was once a business that made farm equipment. Even so, the Scout established the standards for an off-road SUV; as a result, off-road vehicles are now associated with heavy-duty performance.
Production of the International Harvester Scout II may have ended in 1980, but its impact continues to resonate even today. In this regard, a closer examination of this iconic SUV and what you should anticipate when purchasing it in the present day is warranted.
Summary of Contents
The International Harvester Scout II prices are high. The SUV’s average commercial market value over the past 12 months is $41,913. However, depending on the Scout II model, the lowest is $6,100, while the highest is $95,000.
The most expensive one sold in the last two years was a 1973 International Harvester Scout II that was priced and sold for $127,500 on July 9th, 2021. If you’re looking for some Scout II models in the median price range, you can find them on eBay.
In addition to the standard models, there are refurbished International Harvester Scouts on the market, and these iconic off-road vehicles are the highest in demand.
If you're hoping that the prices of Scout II will remain stable for some time, we have some bad news for you. The values of International Harvester Scout II are expected to increase, and here's why:
After the International Harvester Scouts had stopped being produced, their limited availability has caused its value to rise greatly. Not to mention, the majority of the few hundred thousand initial Scouts made rusted away due to the Scout's attrition rate.
It’s worth noting that locating Scout II parts can be very difficult, leaving restorations sometimes unaffordable since there are just a few left on the open market.
Alternatively, you can find rust-free first generation Scouts in the western states. However, the 1972–1980 Scout II is the favorite of many Scout enthusiasts. In fact, the Scout II brings in twice as many insurance quotes to Hagerty as its predecessor.
And so the market has spoken, making the Scout II's average #2 condition value currently $41,913. What’s more, is that this is a 36% increase in value over the Scout's original $30,790 price.
Another point to consider is that the Scout will be reintroduced as a fully electric pickup and SUV, and some may assume that a new model will not increase the value of the original vehicle. However, we can take the example of the 2021 Bronco's release, which caused values for the original SUV to increase by 45%. This increase occurred even after its value had already doubled five years prior.
Like the new Bronco, the Scout is expected to be available in an all-electric version when it is released in 2026, following the trend of the new Hummer. While some may think that an EV won't increase the value of the original Scout, it is worth noting that several Hummer H1 Alphas have sold for over $200,000 since the Hummer EV was unveiled in 2020.
This price point was previously unimaginable just a few years ago, indicating that there may be potential for the original Scout's value to increase with the introduction of the new electric model.
How competitor values influence International Scout values
In the past, classic car collectors focused primarily on traditional cars, such as muscle cars, sports cars, and luxury vehicles. However, there has been a recent shift in interest towards vintage trucks and SUVs, especially those with rugged off-road capabilities and unique features. As a result, prices for these vehicles have risen significantly in recent years, and it's likely that this trend will continue.
The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 was one of the first classic SUVs to gain significant attention and value in the collector market, with excellent condition values peaking at around $67,000 on average in 2015. In comparison, first-generation Ford Broncos in similar condition were worth roughly $25,000 at the time, while original International Scouts were valued at around $16,700.
The Ford Bronco, which at the time seemed like a steal, attracted collectors, which caused the market for the FJ40 to decline. Late in 2018, values began to reverse, and the Ford Bronco climbed further to reach its current average value of $78.9K, a 212% increase from the circumstance in 2015.
Nevertheless, in comparison to contemporary Land Cruiser, Bronco, and Blazer models, the original Scout remains an excellent value, priced at $30,800. Although the costs of SUVs in the classic vehicle market have consistently increased, the Scout continues to trail behind many of its American counterparts.
The average #2 condition values for the 1961-1971 Scout have risen by 38% since 2020, surpassing the renowned FJ40 at 29%, yet still trailing behind the first-generation Bronco at 56% and the Blazer at 39%.
Nevertheless, the Scout II has performed well in the broader vintage market, as it offers a balance of comfort and durability.
When the Scout II first debuted in 1970, its interior design and driving mechanics were relatively basic. However, by the end of the decade, other SUVs produced by manufacturers with larger development budgets had surpassed it.
The vehicle's decline was due to various factors, including the United Auto Workers' strike in 1979-1980 and an inability to compete with Detroit's Big Three auto producers (Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler's Jeep).
The Scout's problems were less with the car itself and more with International Harvester's business plan, which ultimately failed to turn a profit.
International Harvester stopped producing road vehicles by 1980 due to a wide range of cost-cutting measures. Although it attempted to restructure, it was unsuccessful. Later, the company sold off most of its farm-related businesses and rebranded as Navistar International Corporation, focusing on commercial vehicles.
The Scout and Scout II are highly uncommon in comparison to their more prevalent peers. Their rarity can, in part, be attributed to their susceptibility to rust, which devastated much of International Harvester's output in the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition, their lack of amenities and highly simplistic nature pose another challenge for modern drivers who are less accustomed to metal-on-metal interiors and sturdy suspension systems.
During their manufacturing period, IH produced just under 533,000 Scouts. Nowadays, the model has garnered a devoted following among enthusiasts and collectors, some of whom are willing to pay a high price for restored examples.
In 2020, Volkswagen made a bid to purchase the remaining 83% of Navistar International, previously holding only 17%. Volkswagen's reentry into the electric off-roader market is reviving the Scout brand. The Scout name, popularized by International Harvester, a tractor and truck manufacturer in the 1960s and 1970s, will make a comeback as an electric SUV and pickup truck specifically designed for the American market, with production planned to begin in 2026.
As a result of the Volkswagen acquisition, Navistar International can establish a solid financial foundation and re-enter the popular SUV sector it helped build in 1961.
It's worth noting that Volkswagen owns Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche. All of these exotic car brands are vying for an SUV presence or trying to maintain one.
Volkswagen has a track record of supporting niche automakers while maintaining their distinctiveness in the market, which could make the International Scout an excellent addition to their portfolio.
A new division of the Volkswagen Group will be named Scout, and prototypes are slated to be unveiled in 2023.
Volkswagen has released designs for a sturdy, boxy SUV and pickup truck duo, featuring an upturned window line that resembles the original models' 1960s-era rear glass.
While additional details are likely to be revealed as the designs are developed, VW has indicated that the new Scouts will be built on a brand-new EV platform.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the Scout name is indeed making a comeback.
The article revealed that VW plans to sell 250,000 Scout-branded vehicles annually in the U.S., as part of its efforts to expand its presence in the American market. Volkswagen obtained the Scout name after its Traton truck subsidiary acquired Navistar International, a subsidiary of International Harvester, in 2020.
More details about the new Scout models are expected to be released soon, as Volkswagen plans to unveil prototypes later this year.
The report added that it is likely that the Scout model will have its own factory, which will be located in the United States. Moreover, there are rumors circulating that the new venture will have a distinct listing on a stock exchange.
The electric off-roader market will likely be congested by the time the Scout pair arrives, with the electric Jeep Wrangler and other vehicles joining current players such as the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T.
In its first-generation, the Scout from International Harvester demonstrated a demand for rugged utility vehicles beyond the farm and field. The early Scouts served extensively off-road in the mud and the woods, while also proving to be a versatile family vehicle adaptable to city and suburban life.
For 1971, IH believed the Scout needed to mature and redesigned the vehicle to be bigger and more upscale. The new model, known as the Scout II, premiered in the spring of 1971. Despite having a larger and wider wheelbase than the first-generation Scout and a longer tail, the Scout II's 100-inch wheelbase remained unchanged. The Scout II maintained the quality of its predecessors, the 800A and 800B versions.
Significant door improvements made access easier and gave the space a more solid feel. Most of the additional adjustments improved the vehicle's competitiveness in the SUV market.
New doors significantly improved access and gave the space a more solid feel. Most of the additional adjustments improved the vehicle's competitiveness in the SUV market. Despite the numerous alterations, IH built on a fundamental mechanical framework that had been tried and true for the past decade.
The Scout II offered five more cubic feet of more load space in addition to power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, and an automatic transmission.
It also offered a larger clutch, a wider range of rear axle ratios, higher axle capacity, manual or locking front hubs for 4x4 vehicles, and power brakes. To fit three passengers, the back seat was widened and lowered, providing more space.
The standard 152ci slant four-cylinder engine was still in use, but other choices were also available, such as the top-of-the-line 345ci V8 that Kahn's IH has.
The 1973 Scout II was made available in two body styles: a pickup truck and removable-top Traveltop SUV. Both variants had the same 100-inch wheelbase. Buyers could opt for either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Starting prices for versions with two-wheel drive were $2,752 for the Traveltop and $2,605 for the pickup. Four-wheel propulsion costs increased to $3,549 and $3,394, respectively.
The front end of the Scout II was redesigned with a rectangular front panel featuring a single spherical headlamp at either end. Two grilles were now present between the headlamps, separated by a slim, vertical divider in body color.
In 1976, the Scout II continued with its familiar design without any major changes. That year, International discontinued all of its Metro vans, station wagons, and regular pickups to focus on its heavy-duty vehicle options.
The Scout, however, expanded its lineup in 1976 with a longer 118-inch wheelbase and the addition of the Traveler hatchback station wagon and Terra pickup models. Sadly, the Scout and the entire range of IH's light-duty trucks ceased production in 1980, marking the end of an era for both.
International Harvester (IH) has a long history of manufacturing trucks and agricultural equipment, dating back to 1902. The company also has a long history of producing light trucks.
Fast forward to the early 1960s, when the company began producing a practical and affordable vehicle for the general population. This vehicle was released as a 1961 model and was called the Scout. Over the course of more than 20 years, the IH Scout would gain popularity and undergo several model revisions.
Although there were also truck versions of the Scout, it mostly had a wagon or SUV body style. Four-cylinder to V-8 engines would be available, with the occasional diesel engine.
This was supported by conventional leaf springs and sat on tried-and-true straight axles. Today, many of the 532,674 Scouts produced by IH still exist, whether working on farms in rural areas or exploring off-road trails with their families.
Scout 80 (1961 To 1965)
When the Scout was first introduced to the public, there was only one model available, the Scout 80. It featured a small truck bed located behind the front seats and a removable glass fiber roof. The base model came with a small four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine and basic four-wheel drive.
It was a relatively straightforward model with no luxuries, simple mechanics, and a fold-down windshield manufactured until 1965.
The SUV featured a ladder-style frame reminiscent of earlier vehicles and a short wheelbase. With straight axles and a leaf-spring suspension, which were typical for the time, the Scout 80 had a payload rating of 800 pounds. The front 4WD utilized Spicer 27 or 27A closed-knuckle axles.
Spicer 27 or Spicer 44 could be used as the rear axle (starting in 1962). In addition, limited-slip Powr-Lok units could also be chosen.
Although 3.73:1 and 4.88:1 ratios were available for a few years, the factory standard axle ratio was 4.27:1. Drum brakes were installed at each corner, and manual steering was accomplished using a Ross steering box and linkage.
The 152ci engines, also known as the 4-152 Comanche, were overhead-valve slant-four engines derived from the 304 V-8 engine. A turbocharged version, which was available and produced roughly 111 hp, replaced the naturally aspirated engine's 93 horsepower gross rating in late 1964.
The Spicer 18 (2.46:1 low range) iron case, a gear-drive transfer case with offset rear output, was used with the 4WD Scouts' three-speed manual BorgWarner T-14 gearbox. During the Scout's early years, there was a PTO output at the transfer case.
Scout 800 (1966-1971)
IH unveiled the Scout 800 for the 1966 model year, even though its body shape was essentially unchanged from the Scout of the previous generation.
It had a calmer ride than the Scout 80, but still maintained the 100-inch wheelbase. To distinguish it from the Scout 80, International added suffix indicators to the Scout 800. Models produced from 1969 to 1970 were designated as the 800A, while those made in 1971 were labeled as the 800B.
The Scout 800 initially utilized the 4-152 Comanche from the Scout 80 (both the turbocharged and normally aspirated versions), but a powertrain update was required.
The turbocharged 152, phased out by 1968, was swiftly outperformed by the optional 196ci four-cylinder and 232ci I-6 offered on the 800A. Then, in early 1967, a 266ci V-8 was released, and a 304ci V-8 appeared a few years later. From the factory, a body raise was used to make room for the bigger engines.
The T-45 (a variant of the T-18), a similar four-speed transmission (4.02:1 First gear ratio), was an option for 4WD cars and was available in addition to the T-14 three-speed manual. The V-6 and V-8 variants of the 800A were available with the BorgWarner Model 11 automatic transmission.
The transfer case was a Dana 20 with a low-range ratio of 2.03:1, in addition to being quieter. It was an upgrade over the earlier Spicer 18 version with offset rear output. Although it lacked the PTO capability of the last transfer case, the factory immediately started to provide options for an electric winch.
Since its introduction in 1966, the heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axle has been popular for Scouts with V-8 options. Compared to the older Dana 44 axles, these variants were broader, and some axles came with a Powr-Lok (and later a Trac-Lok) limited slip.
The Dana 27 front axle was eventually replaced with the Dana 30 and later made wider to match the rear axle used. Once more, the gearing options were 3.73:1, 4.27:1, or 4.88:1.
Scout II (1971-1980)
Released for the 1971 model year was a completely new and improved Scout II. By the beginning of the 1970s, Scout wasn't just competing against Jeep models; it was also up against the Ford Bronco, Chevrolet Blazer, Dodge Ramcharger, Plymouth Trailduster, and Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40.
Thus, the SUV market had already been formed, and Scout was a significant player.
The range of available engines included two six-cylinders (232 and 258 cubic inches) and two V-8’s (304 and 345 cubic-inch).
Interestingly, the International provided two diesel alternatives in the late 1970s; Scout II employed 3.3-liter, six-cylinder diesel engines produced by Nissan, either with or without a turbocharger. In export markets outside of the USA, diesel-powered Scouts were common.
International released the Terra and Traveler models after realizing that the SUV market was shifting toward larger, more opulent cars. From 1976 to 1980, those pricier Scouts II models were offered. They included an extended body for additional interior space, plush decor, and a comprehensive fiberglass roof with one third-door hatch in the back.
International unveiled the SS II, a variant with fewer features for the serious off-road market (Super Scout II).
It was a direct rival to the Jeep CJ-5 and had features including a roll bar, updated suspension, wing mirrors, a plastic grille, and removable plastic inserts that looked like the doors. Although relatively simple, it was certainly effective on the trail.
If you’re a classic vehicle collector or Scout car enthusiast who enjoys taking off-road adventures, the International Harvester Scout II might just be the car for you.
Are you interested in purchasing one? Fortunately, the Exotic Car Trader website holds some excellent condition Scout II’s just waiting to be bought. With values increasing and a new Scout model on the way in 2026, there’s no better time than now.
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