The International Harvester Scout

By Brendan Moore

SCOUTS were made by International Harvester (I-H) from 1961 until 1980. The Scout was a short-wheelbase rugged-use vehicle built as a competitor to the Willys (later AMC) Jeep. The I-H Scout was much beloved by its owners, with an extremely strong brand image, and many people considered it to be a tougher vehicle than the Jeep, with Scout sales exceeding all Jeep sales throughout the Sixties. And a 1977 I-H Scout finished first in the 4WD Production Class in the Baja 1000, a grueling off-road race through Mexico, with the closest finishing Jeep coming across the finish line over 2 hours later.

1966 I-H Scout Half-Cab (sometimes referred to as a Scout Pickup)

Available in both 2WD and (mostly) 4WD, the Scouts came with four-cylinder engines, then sixes and eights, with the four cylinder option making a comeback in the fuel-crisis Seventies. Even a diesel engine (sourced from Nissan) was available in its last years. It was for naught as I-H made the decision to end production in the 1980 model year, citing low sales figures, and their belief that the market for these types of vehicles was slowly disappearing in the face of high fuel prices. If only they could have seen the near future, but of course, they couldn’t. Chrysler bought the rights to the Scout model name a couple of years ago, but hasn’t slapped it on anything. Yet.

Hopefully it will be a vehicle worthy of the name.

COPYRIGHT – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

Share This Post On


  1. I had a 1977 Scout and let me tell you, it was like a mountain goat. What a tough little vehicle! Wish they still made them.

  2. My family had two Scouts, and would have bought a third if I-H had not decided to pull the plug. Very dependable and very rugged 4WDs.

    Yep, if only they could have seen the future demand for SUVs and pickups. It looks like an incredibly dumb decision now, but it probably seemed logical at the time.

  3. Who cares? This is just a jeep made a long time ago by a company that doesn’t exist anymore. Only an old person would remember this. Ypu would get more readers on your site if you had stories about cars people actually have, like Acuras and SUV’s and Toyota’s. Do a story on a slammed Eclipse, or a blinged Bently and I guarante you’ll get lots of readers that are import tuners.

  4. joelb, you’re an idiot. Leave the “slammed eclipses” and “blinged bentleys” to XZibit and MTV. Don’t these cars owners realize that 95% of the driving population is laughing at them?

  5. I’m not a 4WD follower, but I remember the Scouts. I always thought the Scout was a good looking vehicle, too. More attractive than the Jeep or the Ford Bronco, and on par with the Land Rover.

  6. That Scout pickup is what Jeep needs now. A hardtop with a little bed would sell a lot ofWranglers, let me tell you. Maybe that’s what they should use the Scout name for.

  7. We had a Scout when I was a teenager AND a Jeep at the same time. Both good at what they did, but I much preferred the Scout. I don’t know if that would still be the case now that I’m older, since your memory tricks you sometimes, but at that time my brother and I would fight over who would get the Scout to drive, with the loser getting the Jeep. And the Jeep was a couple of years newer.

  8. The above article is NOT correct the Scout name was NOT sold but is still owned by International Truck and Engine Corporation and Scout/Light Line Distributors,Inc.

  9. It’s possible both of you are right, sort of. Or, sort of wrong.

    I can tell what I know about the rights to the Scout model name.

    In 2003, when I still lived in the U.S., a PR minion of DCX publicly stated they were thinking about going with ‘Scout’ for the vehicle that became the Jeep Compass if it went to production. Whomever at DaimlerChrysler that thought that was going to happen should have done some due diligence beforehand, because DCX certainly did not have the rights to the Scout name at that time, although it’s entirely possible that at that time they thought they had a deal done with International for the model name rights.

    A year later (2004) International made a point of saying that they still owned the Scout name and were thinking about putting it on a new vehicle that would launch their triumphant re-entry into the consumer market, ccording to an article in Truck Trend, Motor Trend’s truck magazine. Nothing was ever heard from International about this triumphant re-entry into the consumer market again.

    In 2005, DCX noted in a sort of offhand way that they had a licensing agreement to use the Scout name on an SUV, if they wished to pursue that option. They did not say this time that they owned the Scout name. Therefore, it could be that they merely have an agreement to use it if they want to do so, presumably at some agreed-upon price. This leaves open the possibility that International still has the rights to the Scout name in the U.S., AND, also has sold those rights on at least a potential temporary basis, to (formerly) DCX, which is now Chrysler. Neither Chrysler not International has commented on this situation since. It’s kind of murky.

    What is also kind of strange is that Skoda, VW’s subsidiary in the Czech Republic, uses the Scout name for one of their Octavia AWD station wagons sold worldwide except for the United States, and doesn’t pay International any licensing fees of any kind. The Skoda Octavia Scout is an AWD sport-utility wagon that is pretty capable off-road as a result of it’s Haldex AWD System. It looks like a typical crossover. Google it and you’ll see what the Jeep Compass probably should have been, with or without the Scout name. The Skoda Octavia Scout is well regarded here in the U.K.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.