What will the Scout EV mean for classic International values?

Dean Smith

Though it has a strong cult following, the International Scout has always lived in the shadow of the Ford Bronco and Toyota Land Cruiser. Perhaps that will soon change. Volkswagen is apparently resurrecting the Scout as an all-electric pickup and SUV, making use of the brand it acquired as part of its purchase of Navistar International in 2020. Setting aside the potential pitfalls of VW mining this storied American brand for its off-road pedigree, will classic International Scouts finally find themselves in the mainstream?

Though it’s unlikely that a fresh-faced Scout will displace the Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco as kings of the vintage SUV segment, it could accelerate values—especially if the retro styling teased in the press release pushes the right nostalgia buttons. You may recall that once the new Bronco was released early last year, values for the original increased 45 percent. What’s more impressive is that this jump took place after values had already doubled in the five years prior.

While the new Bronco was launched with a choice between two internal-combustion powertrains, the Scout (due in 2026) will follow in the footsteps of the new Hummer and be electric-only. Don’t assume, however, that an EV won’t help push up values for its fossil-fuel-powered predecessors. Since the Hummer EV was first announced in 2020, we’ve seen several Hummer H1 Alphas sell for over $200K—a figure none of us a few years earlier would have guessed was possible.

VW Volkswagen Scout bring back resurrection EV
Twitter | Volkswagen Group

Fortunes can change quickly in the classic car market, especially when a trend gains traction. Remember that until relatively recently, SUVs and trucks were overlooked in the collector space. The Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 was the first to take off, with #2-condition (Excellent) values hitting their peak at nearly $67K on average in 2015. At that time, first-gen Ford Broncos in similar condition were about $25K, while the original International Scout was around $16.7K. The market cooled on the FJ40 as collectors turned to the Ford Bronco, which back then looked like a steal. Values inverted in late 2018, and the Ford Bronco continued to climb to its current average value of $78.9K—a 212 percent increase over the state of affairs in 2015. Meanwhile, the original Scout currently sits at $30.8K and remains a steal compared to the contemporary Land Cruiser, Bronco, and Blazer.

Original Scout values have been steadily increasing but are still lagging behind many of its American counterparts. Since the start of 2020, average #2 condition values for the the 1961–1971 Scout increased 38 percent, besting the legendary FJ40 at 29 percent, but falling behind the first-gen Bronco and Blazer at 56 and 39 percent increases, respectively.

The original Scout was victim to a high rate of attrition, with the majority of the couple hundred thousand produced rusting away. Restorations can be uneconomical with parts being hard to source, which leaves a limited number available for purchase on the open market. You can still find first-gen Scouts in the rust-free western states, but the 1972–1980 Scout II has become the favorite. In fact, Hagerty receives twice as many insurance quotes for the Scout II as its predecessor. The market has spoken, as the current average #2 condition value for the Scout II is $40,866, which is 33 percent higher than the original Scout at $30,790.

1979 IH Scout Rallye II Mecum

The Scout II is more livable, but still rugged, so it has fared better in the classic market at large. Since the start of 2020, the average #2 condition value has increased 46 percent, beaten only by the second- and third-generation Bronco and the Toyota FJ60 Land Cruiser at 110, 55, and 51 percent increases, respectively. With #2 values around $40K, the Scout II is just barely behind the 1978–1979 Ford Bronco, the most expensive of its competitors, at $51K.

It bears mentioning that without younger collectors flying the flag, the Scout and Scout II would go largely unnoticed. Gen-X and millennials account for over 70 percent of insurance quotes. This, and the fact that it could be bought at a discount compared to the alternatives, was our primary reason for adding the Scout II to the 2020 Hagerty Bull Market list. Since then, in line with our predictions, average #2 values have increased 48 percent from $27,688 to $40,866. As Gen-X and millennials will presumably be the target audience of the new VW Scout EV, perhaps they will remind the rest of the classic car market that classic Scouts are an excellent alternative to more traditionally popular classic SUVs. Once that happens, we’ll see how long the discount lasts.

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