When mapping the history of International Harvester, known today as Navistar International Corporation, you don't so much draw a timeline dating back to the mid-1800s, but create a tree with branches sprouting off in countless directions. The company's roots lie in the farm equipment developed by Cyrus McCormick, which morphed in the early 1900s into International Harvester when McCormick's son merged his father's business with other agricultural machinery manufacturers.
Along with agriculture implements and, later, the iconic, Raymond Loewy-designed Farmall tractor, International Harvester got into the truck business, producing a diverse range of medium- and heavy-duty work vehicles. They also built light-duty pickup trucks from the early 1930s and the Travelall wagon from the 1950s. When the Jeep's no-nonsense, all-terrain utility stuck a chord with post-war ranchers, fire departments, utility companies and others whose professions didn't necessarily include paved roads, International Harvester took notice and developed the Scout.
Like vintage Ford Broncos and early Chevy Blazers, Scouts are growing in popularity with enthusiasts and collectors. They're much more affordable than muscle cars of the same era, while offering distinction that's sure to be noticed at a car show or cruise event. They're also pretty easy to work on, although replacement parts aren't as plentiful as for, say, a '70 Chevelle SS.
Two generations of the Scout were produced, the first introduced for 1961 and running through early 1971 and the second running from 1971 through 1980. We're examining the first-generation models in this story: The bare-bones 80 models built through mid-1965 and the more comprehensively equipped 800 models succeeded them. We'll tackle the second-gen Scout II models in a subsequent story.
Like the Jeep CJ, the Scout 80/800 were minimalistic steel boxes mounted on a four-wheel-drive chassis (2WD models were also offered). They rode on a comparatively long 100-inch wheelbase, which was 17 inches longer than the Jeep
Published Dec 7th, 2015
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