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In the late 1950s US agricultural and truck manufacturer International Harvester (IH) began a design plan to produce a vehicle to compete with the Jeep CJ. The 'Scout' line was formally introduced to the public on January 18, 1961. Like the Jeep of the time, early Scout models featured fold-down Windshields. The first generation Scout and second generation Scout II were produced as two-door vehicles with options of a half cab pickup truck or a removable full hard or soft top. Scouts were manufactured from 1961 to 1980 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.

1961 scout brochure

The first Scout models to roll off the production line were available in both 2WD and 4WD versions. The engine was a 93hp 4 cylinder engine, with a 3 speed, floor mounted transmission.

Scout 80
Scout 80 was the model designation for the early model Scouts (1961-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 grille.

Scout Advert

Scout 800
Scout 800 was the model designation for Scouts produced from late-1965 to mid-1971. The 800 was produced from 1965 to 1969, the 800A from 1969 to 1971, and the 800B model was available in 1971 until the Scout II became available.

In 1967, the first Scout V8 was built, powered with a 266 cubic inch engine.

Scout 800

The Scout 800 was 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-cylinder, 232 6-cylinder, 266 V8 or even a 304 V8 in the 800A and 800B models, and an International nameplate instead of the IH logo on the grille.

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

Scout II


The Scout II is most identifiable by its different front grilles. The 1971–72 Scout II shared the same grille, three horizontal bars between the headlights and chrome rings around the headlights. 1973 Scout II's had 14 vertical bars between the headlights, a split in the middle, seven bars on each side surrounded by chrome trim pieces and an "International" model plate low on the left side. 1974–75 Scout II grilles were the same as 1973, with the addition of a vertical bar trim overlay. The 1975 had chrome & black square trim rings around the headlights. 1976 had the same headlight trim rings as 1975, a chrome center grille of 15 horizontal bars split into three sections was used in this year only. 1977–79 Scout II's used the same grille between the same headlight bezels the new chrome grille had two large horizontal bars with three vertical support lines and the "International" nameplate moved up to the center of the grille on the left side. In 1980, the final year of production for the Scout II, the grille was a very distinctive design, available with black or silver, a one piece grille with square headlights, made of ABS plastic. Both grille color options had imprinted chrome trim around the headlights and an "International" name located on the left side. Starting with late 1974 Scout IIs disc and power brakes were standard features. Early 1974 models had disc brakes as a rarely selected option.

The last Scout rolled off the assembly line on October 21, 1980. All 1980 Scout models were 4WD, and All 1980 Diesel Scouts were turbo-charged and were manufactured only with manual transmissions.

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.
The Nissan Diesel engine was introduced in the 1976 model year.

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