The International Harvester Scout was a car ahead of its time, in many ways, an SUV from the days when the only people who bought SUVs needed SUVs. The Scout was made from 1961-1980 in two generations, and these pictures seem to suggest a 1980s Scout future that never quite happened.
These images are from the collection of Dick Hatch, a former International employee, and were originally posted to an International-based forum. They’re especially interesting because they’re radically different from a separate Scout-into-the-’80s International project, the Scout SSV, which International built as a concept car in 1979.
This alternate-timeline Scout is quite different from the more radical SSV, and seems a much more likely candidate for production in the 1980s. In fact, it really resembles Jeep’s partially Renault-designed Cherokee, which went on to great success in the decade of Pac-Mania and non-musclebound Joe Piscopo.
The prototype Scout, usually referred to as the Scout III, looks to have a front end that’s a dead ringer for a first-generation Chrysler Town & Country minivan, and in side profile really has the crisp, clean-lined look of a Cherokee.
Of course, International stopped Scout production in 1980, and hasn’t really been a player in the general-public passenger vehicle game since. Still, it’s interesting to look at these drawings and clay models and wonder. A Scout III like this looks like it could have been a real Cherokee competitor, and perhaps today, with a re-vitalized SUV/CUV market, maybe there would still be International-branded non-commercial vehicles you could buy today.
Then again, maybe they would have been bought by AMC and Daimler and Fiat, too.