By 1971, competition within the off-roader market was heating up. Ford’s Bronco, the new Chevy Blazer, and Jeep’s CJ and Wagoneer were all vying for buyers in the fast-growing segment. International Harvester, playing the role of underdog, responded with their new Scout II. The Scout II was larger than the Scout 800 it replaced, with fresh new styling that was more modern yet still retained the Scout’s basic, rugged appeal. International lacked the development budget of GM and Ford, instead relying on a number of special appearance packages to keep buyers interested. Model such as the Patriot and Sprit of ‘76 celebrated America’s bicentennial with bold blue and red graphics over white paint, while the delightfully vulgar “Midas Touch” edition featured eye watering graphics, shag carpet and swiveling plaid seats. But perhaps the most successful of the Scout specials had to be the purposeful, stripped out, bare-bones SS II.
The SS II (Super Scout II) was built for sheer off-road enjoyment. Standard steel doors were eschewed in favor of Bronco Roadster-inspired fiberglass inserts and removable, soft-sided doors like a Jeep CJ. The fiberglass top was replaced by a simple, removable soft vinyl canopy on a light frame, and a roll bar was mounted behind the front seats. Outside, distinct ABS plastic inserts are fitted to the grille and tailgate along with a graphics applique package and white painted “wagon wheel” rims, with raised white letter off-road tires. Tough and basic, the Scout SS II proved very popular with off-road racing enthusiasts and was the truck of choice for a number of champion National Off-Road Racing Association competitors.
We are very pleased to offer this outstanding 1978 Scout; an eye-catching truck that has been impeccably restored by a marque expert. During restoration, a standard Scout II was upgraded to factory correct SS II specs. It is rare to come across an International Scout that has been given the care and attention of a concours-quality restoration, and this is the finest of its kind we have ever encountered. Freshly restored, this truck has been painstakingly researched and assembled using original and new old stock parts.
During the restoration, the body was found to be incredibly solid and accident free. It was expertly prepped and painted inside and out in the factory correct shade of Omaha Orange. Original-style door inserts were then fitted – correctly presented in bare satin black with exposed hardware. The paint quality is outstanding, and the panels are exceptionally straight. We love the exquisite details such as the pinstriped wheels with tiny hand-painted IH logos. Original graphics were reproduced and applied to correct locations on the quarters and front fenders, and other correct SS II parts such as the flares, ABS plastic grille and tailgate inserts, and complete soft top and door set were sourced from noted IH Scout experts.
As with the rest of the truck the interior is properly detailed and beautifully finished. Bare painted floors, correct for the SS II, are protected by correct IH branded rubber floor mats. The bucket seats, center console and tilt steering column are also part of the SS II package. The only deviation from standard is the plain black seat upholstery; a correct material and pattern for standard Scouts, and a more attractive option than the lurid plaid originals.
The frame has been fully media blasted and refinished in correct satin black powder coat for a long lasting and durable finish. Under the hood, International’s virtually bomb-proof 345 cubic inch V8 is fully and correctly detailed; backed by a freshly refurbished Torqueflite automatic transmission and integrated transfer case. Power disc brakes and power steering help make it an easy and enjoyable drive while, for safety and usability, a poly fuel tank replaces the original steel tank. Nearly every accessory, fitting, piece of plumbing or hardware is new, new old stock or painstakingly restored and presentation of the engine and undercarriage is outstanding.
The level of care that went into this restoration truly astounds us. Included receipts document more than $13,000 spent on parts alone. This is a super cool, audacious period piece that is a great alternative to more commonplace classic off-roaders, and a fabulous expression of late ‘70s style. Few International Harvester Scouts have been restored with such attention to detail, and this outstanding truck is absolutely fresh and ready for show or enjoyment on and off the road.