Little Known Facts About the International Harvester Scout

Created as the Competitor to the Jeep

76 International Harvester Scout II
76 International Harvester Scout II. By Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA [ CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The original Scout was created as a competitor to the Jeep. It was developed and ultimately produced in less than two years time -- a remarkable achievement in the automotive industry in the 60's.

The Scout line was formally introduced to the public on January 18, 1961. The first one to roll off the production line was available in both 2WD and 4WD versions. The engine was a 93 hp 4 cylinder engine, with 3-speed, floor mounted transmission.

In 1967, the first Scout V-8 was built, powered by a 266 cubic inch engine.

Scout 80

Scout 80 was the model designation for the early model Scouts (1961 to mid-1965). They had sliding windows, a 152 4 cylinder engine, a fold-down windshield, vacuum windshield wipers at the top of the windshield and an IH logo in the center of the grill.

Scout 800

Scout 800 was the model designation for Scouts produced from late-1965 to mid-1971. They were manufactured with more creature comforts and had a fixed windshield, fancier bucket seats, windshield wipers located at the bottom of the windshield, an optional 196 4-cyl., 232 Inline-6, 266 V-8 or even a 304 V-8 in the 1969 and newer models, and an International nameplate versus the IH logo on the grill.

Scout sales through the 1960's exceeded total sales of all Universal Jeeps.

Scout II

The Scout II debuted in April of 1971 and incorporated vehicle improvements that engineers had determined necessary during manufacture of the original Scout.

The last Scout rolled off the assembly line on October 21, 1980. All 1980 Scout models were 4WD.

In 1973, the 196 4-cylinder engine was dropped from the Scout line. However, the energy crisis caused International to reintroduce the 196 4-cylinder engine to the Scout line in 1974.

In November of 1977, a Scout S.S.

II driven by Jerry L. Boone of Parker, Arizona, finished first among 4WD production vehicles in the Baja 1000 -- one of the most challenging of all off-road competitions. Boone crossed the finish line almost two hours ahead of his closest competitor -- a Jeep CJ7. Boone completed the run in 19 hours and 58 minutes.

In October 1978, IH developed a policy entitled “Take a Stand to Save the Land” to promote ecologically minded 4x4 driving practices.


The SS II (Super Scout) model debuted in 1977 as a soft-top, soft door, open air grill edition that was popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Nearly 4,000 SS II's were produced between 1977 and 1979.​​