It was somewhere near 90˚ today so Finn and I got the top off the Scout today in record time; about an hour and a half. It took a little longer to get the soft top on, but when we were done we took a celebratory ride: her first in the front seat. I also took about 20 minutes and scrubbed 20 years of dirt off each of the fiberglas inserts and hung them up on the lift next to the top. It’s good to feel wind in our hair again.
When we came back out of the grocery store someone had scrawled, “NICE RIDE!” on an envelope and dropped in on the passenger seat. That made me smile.
Here’s a quick video of a drive I took in the Scout last fall (it was stuck on my GoPro) sped up about 15X normal speed. There’s not too much that’s special about it; I just wanted to get it off my desktop.
As a brand and marketing professional, I’m not sure if this is a failure or a success: The guys behind Anything Scout, an old-school Light Line dealer in Iowa, are also behind New Legend 4X4, an upscale restomod fabricator specializing in Scouts. I wouldn’t have know this if I hadn’t recognized some of the people behind the scenes on the NL website (I met a couple of them at the IH Nationals this summer). On further reflection, I think it’s probably more success than anything else; these trucks are priced firmly in ICON territory, catering to the kind of people who don’t build anything themselves and want a turnkey refurbished truck with a modern Chevrolet powertrain and a JK-based chassis. 9/10 of the guys at Nationals are like me; we’re average people with average incomes who are scraping and saving to keep our existing trucks on the road. So I guess it makes sense to separate the brands completely. I am glad a shop with a solid IH history is in the restomod business now, because they will do the rigs justice.
They do build pretty Scouts, that’s for sure.
My cousin sent this to me last week, and I recognized the rig after seeing the custom rear bumper. It was featured in a build thread on the Expedition Portal that wound up lapsing. Now it’s being offered for $70-90K at auction. Unreal. There are things I would have done a little differently (the wheels sit strangely offcenter in the wheel wells, a casualty of the lift they installed) but overall it’s a nice build.
I went into the project convinced I was going to be a ace wrench in no time, though. Surely, even a clumsy and sheltered city boy like myself could learn how to repair and maintain a machine as basic as a tractor.
Andrew Collins over at Jalopnik totals up what a year cost him to own a Scout that he traded for a high-mileage Toyota Tundra. I’d say he made out pretty good.
I thought I might get out and shoot a couple of pictures of the Scout with the changing leaves in the background before they all got blown away. It was a good thing I did, because they all got blown away today.
Amazon just delivered this huge tome to the house: the International Scout Encyclopedia, co-written by the owner of Super Scout Specialists, the preeminent IH Light Line dealer. I’ve skimmed the first chapter so far, and it’s a trove of amazing pictures, history, and trivia.