Deep down we all know a project car is a dangerous proposition. But the “ran when parked” siren song can be hard to ignore when you’re looking at a rusty version of your dream car. Let us be the devil and the angel on your shoulders here... Do it. Here’s what you’re in for.
This story has everything: space, romance, an International Scout II, and a first-gen Ford Bronco!
At the end of the 1970’s International Harvester had a choice to make; abandon their efforts in the SUV game or revive the “Scout” brand a third time. Allegedly some wild prototypes came out of those brainstorming sessions, like this 1980 Hurst Shawnee which you can have for $175,000.
It’s finally happened: the most talented artist making bespoke R/C trucks has finally done his take on the best one ever: the International Scout. Watching this 100 percent scratch-built masterpiece come together is a privilege, seeing it hit the trail is just awesome.
The roof of my 1964 International Scout is pretty rough; massive dent where it connects to the hatch, which is rusted to hell. Thing weighs about as much as a modern car's frame anyway. Then I thought, why not replace it with something... lighter.
Looks like there was a factory or extremely clean aftermarket camper conversion for the first-generation International Scout, and I think it's just dethroned the Toyota Chinook as the most adorable microcamper sold in America.
International Harvester offered a 100,000 mile warranty in 1980. It was either a spectacularly misplaced declaration of confidence or last-ditch effort to win the attention of consumers... That same year, International went out of business as a light truck and SUV dealer.
Classic car restoration is a challenging but fulfilling– OH MY GOD, THERE ARE SO MANY BEES.
So you've spotted a prime project car; owner will let his tragic heap go cheap and maybe it's even got a title. But it's wedged deep in the depths of some hoarder barn with no power and no brakes. Don't worry, getting it home isn't impossible. Just an incredible pain in the ass. Hop in, let's do this.
Project Car Hell isn't so much a place, as it is a state of mind. Actually, it sort of is a place. A place where you're damned to be wrenching and fighting rust until the end of eternity against a restoration project of impossible odds. Well, I've just swam across the River Styx.
As returning readers will recognize, I'm pretty much obsessed with a little 4x4 called the International Scout. Mostly because they're just delightful looking, so I've spent all week pawing through these pictures from the biggest annual gathering of the trucks anywhere– generally known simply as "Nationals."
"I was told this is an International Scout... Some type of 4 cylinder engine." It's enough to make an enthusiast weep. I'm all for an "extreme-makeover" level restoration but I'm pretty sure this thing is at the point where the owner pays someone to haul it off, not the other way around.
A Mecum auction from a few months ago in Indianapolis is on TV right now; where I just watched a Hagerty rep say he's seen an "average 65% price rise in the vintage SUV market over the last four years."
So there I was, standing at the SEATAC airport with one thumb up on my iPhone and the other proverbially up my ass, nauseated by the feeling of failure and flailing for a backup plan. Another International Scout had just slipped through my fingers.
I'm trying to buy a $2,000 truck on the other side of the country. This has proven an exceedingly difficult exercise, not only because the truck I want is hard to find... but nobody I talk to believes I'm for real.
Turns out buying an International Scout is tougher than I'd thought it'd be. When I finally land on one that feels right, a buyer flakes or somebody scoops it. But the biggest obstacle to getting a Scout has been my own indecisiveness; I can't decide which body style I like better!
Screw the SCCA and their rules forbidding trucks from auto-cross events, this slammed Scout is seriously tearing it up! You're supposed to annihilate all the cones and cover the course in a smokescreen of tire residue, right?
International Scout II Terra scales grassy rocks on enormous tires [Andrew Collins, 2014]