We found a first generation International Harvester Scout and its happy owner on Sunset Boulevard in the swanky/funky Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles that lies east of Hollywood. He was disappointed that his ’62 Scout had chosen this location to dislodge the linkage that connects the accelerator to the throttle and, for the first time in memory, we had no bailing wire to offer to remedy the situation. Nonetheless, this Scout’s owner was confident he’d get it going in short order as a wire coat hanger from a nearby dry cleaner was sourced.
Truck maker International introduced this rival to Jeep’s eternal CJ in 1961, the very embodiment of simplicity in terms of “styling” and technology The motor was a 304 cubic inch International V8 that had been, essentially, sawed in half. The resulting 4 cylinder motor was slanted (half a “V”) and displaced 152 cubic inches (152+152 = 304). All Scouts were built in Fort Wayne, Indiana just in case you wondered.
The interior is as spartan as possible but the real attraction of these, as opposed to today’s opulent SUVs, is actual utility. See those four shift levers sprouting from the floor? That gives you some indication of what International had in mind: the one with the wooden knob offers 1st, 2nd, 3rd and reverse, another is overdrive and the other two sticks control front axle engagement and hi/lo range. It’s no wonder that very few of these survive — they were used for rock climbing and tend to shake themselves apart from that kind of mountain goat-style treatment.
A near perfect topless example, built some years later, should convince you that these have the potential to be stunning vehicles, albeit a bit angular in affect.
Here’s a second generation Scout out on the town. We like its straightforward elegance and command of the night.
International Harvester built its last Scout in 1980 but we’ve found more than a few haunting the streets and roads of urban and rural America. And here’s one getting a ride with some contemporary vehicles we probably won’t be discussing 52 years from now.
There are still some of these to be had though the price is entirely dependent on condition. Here’s one on Ebay you may wish to consider if you have some cash to spare.
Urging you to click on this commercial for a ’68 Scout if you like Beagle puppies. You do like Beagle puppies, don’t you?
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