Our valuation experts weigh in.
2020 Hagerty Bull Market selection: 1971–80 International Harvester Scout
The 2020 Hagerty Bull Market list showcases the top vehicles that our valuation experts project will appreciate in the coming year. For the full list of 10 vehicles (and one motorcycle!) click here.
International Harvester’s light-truck division was all but dead by 1979. The company known for providing tractor and fleet vehicles was feeling the pinch of the energy crisis, and the Metro and the Travelall got the ax, leaving the Scout to carry on as the company’s sole consumer offering.
Desperate to keep their beloved truck relevant in a sea of Jeeps, Blazers, and Broncos, International continued to gussy up the last child in the house with a panoply of options. The result: a choose-your-own-adventure sport-utility vehicle available in four body styles—a softtop, a hardtop, a removable steel top, and a pickup. The Scout also offered four engines, numerous fabrics, different bumpers, different tires, various wheels, and an array of decal packages.
Despite the long menu, more than 90 percent of Scouts sold had four-wheel-drive running gear and a V-8. Hagerty member and valuation editor Colin Comer supplied our Scout II Traveltop, having found the one-owner truck in Arizona last year and brought it back to his stable of vintage off-roaders in Milwaukee. Outside, optional wood-grain “shadow stripes” adorn a glossy white top coat. Inside, original Russet Orange plaid cloth and vinyl upholstery tightly hug the springy bucket seats and matching bench in the back. Familiar General Motors bits, such as the steering column, are scattered throughout. The interior feels like the inside of a log cabin in aesthetic and space. However, measuring about a foot shorter than a Blazer, and possessing a two-foot-tighter turning radius than a CJ-7 from the same year, the Scout is relatively compact and nimble, capable of thrashing a tight trail or nuzzling into any mall parking spot without worry.
The Scout is the last of the affordable classic sport-utes. American rivals such as the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer have out-appreciated the Scout, but its values are on a steady climb, the result of enthusiasts realizing they can have the same amount of fun and curb appeal for a fraction of the Bronco price. Low buy-in, high ceiling. To steal from a slogan from an old Scout advertisement: “There are times you just don’t compromise.” This could be one of them.
[+] Like a Bronco but cheaper; tough enough to survive a zombie apocalypse, with enough graphics and paint to match your favorite sweater.
[–] Parts can be difficult to find; frat-bro thirst for fuel.
1979 INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER SCOUT II
Engine: V-8, 5654 cc
Transmission: 3-speed auto
Power: 168 hp @ 3800 rpm
Torque: 288 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Weight: 3800 lb
Power-to-weight: 22.6 lb/hp
Brakes F/R: disc/drum
Price when new: $7212
Hagerty value: $25,500–$32,500
THE HAGERTY VALUATION TEAM SAYS:
The vintage-SUV craze has been going strong for eight years, but Scouts haven’t really popped yet like FJ40s, Broncos, and Blazers have. Most Scouts rotted away, but you’re starting to see them being restored. Gen X is 56 percent of the quotes, and if Gen X likes it, the values are going to go up.