I know International Harvester was toying with a new design for the Scout in the late ’70s, and the pictures I’ve seen of it turned my stomach in disgust. Today I stumbled upon this article, which contained pictures of a prototype I’d never seen before:


Not as ugly as the SSV, but about as bland as a cheese sandwich. Still, if I squint, I can see the Scout II windshield; it looks like they stuck an Astro van nose on the front and just sketched in the rest. And they took the Hoffmeister kink out of the rear window.


Date posted: February 11, 2016 | Filed under History | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to The Scout that Wasn’t

  1. Mike Carey says:

    The 80s have to be the absolute bottom of the trough for American automotive design and manufacture.

    Just a bit boxier, obviously redesigned lights, GM inspired front, Range Rover back, stretched glass lines on the sides and back, but much of the same Scout is still there to mine eyes. I wonder how different the interior was supposed to be…did they manage to figure out actual heating/AC vents with controls that could be seen in the dark? If so, trajedy that it never rolled off the Ft Wayne lines!

  2. bill says:

    Agreed. It looks like every other vehicle that came out of the U.S. in the late 70’s/early 80’s, and yet, nothing at all like anything else. Funny how the rear hatch glass looks like the side glass of the Bronco II. I wonder how that was actually supposed to open?

  3. Mike Carey says:

    Well…the back end of it looks more like Traveler so I am going to with hinges that are high on the glass/roof line. The single liftgate/tailgate design of the Traveler is a winner to me. The back end of the Scout II is a pain in the arse. Ambulance doors like the FJ40s or the single door like the Traveler are both prefered over the Scout II. Maybe when I take the top off next month, I’ll have a different opinion of the tailgate, but with the Traveltop on, and especially with a nonOEM spare tire bumper, getting in the back is at least one step too many. I think I’ve taken this comment down a rabbit hole….

  4. bill says:

    Having dealt with a Traveler liftgate, I’d have to disagree. It’s big enough that you need a lot of clearance to get it open, and getting the top off and back on correctly, so that the striker/latch assembly meets up correctly, is a pain in the ass. Now, barn doors would be interesting, or a single swingout door maybe. I do like the ability to put the glass up and have air circulate through the cabin on warm days.

  5. Mike Carey says:

    I can see that…a Jeep back end is definitely a good way to go and they have been dealing with the same issues (large spare tire, etc) for a while. It would be interesting to see if a Scout’s tailgate could be retro-fitted with right side hinges (step one) and could a tire also be included on the tailgate so everything moves out of the way with one action (step 2). Im curious enough to consider buying an AutoCAD license and start fiddling.
    The hinges would have to be heavy duty for sure…

    Re: Travelers…I like the extra length of them for room inside, but I have never been a fan of their Traveltops – I much prefer the window profile of the Scout’s to the Traveler’s. Fiberglass vs steel…I don’t know. I saw some Travelers in the junk yards of Colorado but never knew anyone who had one to know how functional they really were (or weren’t).

    Last item: lifting the “liftgate” I guess is a good idea for hot days, but I would have been more impressed if it had an electric motor like the Jimmy or later Broncos, or Toyotas and you could roll the glass down from the driver’s seat. I dont see how this prototype could have had that given the bend/angles, but then I am no auto engineer/designer.

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