Junkyard Find: 1974 International Harvester Scout

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

With so many IHC Scouts here in Colorado, many of them wear out, rust out, get crashed, or get replaced by trucks with modern conveniences such as sub-100dB interior noise levels and air conditioning. In this series, we’ve seen this ’70, this ’71, this ’72, this ’73, and this ’74, and now today’s well-used ’74. I saw this truck when I went to a Denver yard to celebrate Half Off Everything Day on the first day of the new year.

If this is the original engine, it’s an AMC 258-cubic-inch straight-six. Given how Scout owners tend to mix-and-match engines, though, this could be just about any AMC six.

There’s rust. Oh yes, plenty of rust.

One good thing about trucks of this era is that there wasn’t much soft material in the interior to smell bad. Still, this Scout’s final owner decided that the truck needed That New Car Smell.

Complicated heater controls aren’t needed— just good old cable-operated levers.

Scout production made it into the 1980s, just barely.

One of my accomplices at the Half Off Sale party grabbed the grille for hanging on his living-room wall. Only $12!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Pastor Glenn Pastor Glenn on Jan 29, 2015

    International Harvester's own "Black Diamond" 220 cid and 240 cid OHV long-stroke inline sixes were TRUCK engines, and weighed more than a big-block Chevy V8 engine (750 pounds). They were also too long for the Scout chassis. To save money (I presume), IHC began buying AMC sixes for their full-sized pickups in 1969 and added the option to the Scout, since the engine fit and some folks wanted something other than the very rough slant-four, or the super-tough IHC V8. Yes, these were indistructible - except against rust!

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jan 29, 2015

    I actually just remembered that there is a Scout for sale, not too far from here, that is the rarest of them all! A 1980 Scout II with a Nissan SD33T turbodiesel! Now that's something Murilee should try and find.

    • See 3 previous
    • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jan 30, 2015

      @NoGoYo There was also a stripped down soft top and vinyl door model designed for off-roading. The Rubicon of Scout II's.

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.