In the world of automotive orphans, there’s no SUV that’s more cherished than the International Scout. Built by International Harvester, a conglomerate better known for its agricultural equipment, between 1961 and 1980, the Scout stood as an alternative to the Big Three in the still-nascent sport-utility scene, going up against rivals from Ford (the Bronco), Chevrolet (the Blazer, Jimmy, and Suburban), and Dodge (the various guises of Power Wagon).
This 1977 International Scout II available in Amos, Quebec, represents the second generation of Scout (if the II in the name didn’t get that across). In addition to a number of styling changes made to the SUV’s template, including an all-new grille, headlight trim, and beefier body work, the Scout II also brought a slew of functional upgrades to the table, including such niceties as interior carpets, door padding, air conditioning, and disc brakes.
The Scout II was celebrated for its go-anywhere attitude, made possible in part by its standard low-range four-wheel-drive system and rugged body-on-frame construction. In fact, in 1977 an International Scout II won the production class at the gruelling Baja 1000 desert race, beating the second-place Jeep CJ 7 by close to two hours.
Engine choices for the Scout II included four-, six-, and eight-cylinder options, although the four-cylinder (essentially a V8 chopped in half) was phased out of production early in the decade. There was also a diesel model available, although the vehicle for sale here is gasoline-powered. Don’t expect great acceleration out of the Scout II – they were designed to offer low-end torque for tackling rocky mountain passes and thick mud, and 182 hp was as good as it ever got from the vehicle’s mightiest V8 – but you won’t embarrass yourself out on the highway in modern traffic either. Available gear ratios ran a spread from 2:72 to 4:09, and transmission choices included a three-speed manual and a three-speed automatic.
This 1977 International Scout II is claimed to have undergone a complete restoration, and judging from the photos we are inclined to agree that it turns heads wherever it goes. The unique convertible body style is gorgeous, but even more important to potential buyers is just how complete the vehicle appears to be. That off-road prowess mentioned earlier made the Scout II a target for being hacked and modified by amateurs seeking to push the limits of where the trail could take them, and this in combination with the tin worm that afflicts all International Harvester vehicles has decimated the ranks of enjoyable classic car candidates.
The International Scout II pushes all the right buttons for classic sport-utility ownership, and it’s unlikely you’d be able to complete your own restoration for less than the $25,000 asked for by this particular seller. An open-top SUV that’s rare enough where you won’t meet yourself coming and going at the next cruise night, but with parts affordable and common to the point where you don’t have to take out a second mortgage if something brakes? Where do we sign up?
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