Barn Find 2

Update: The seller couldn’t find the VIN plate that goes with the truck, and I was unwilling to buy it without a title that matched the chassis, so I passed on the sale.

I was fortunate enough to be the first person to respond to a Marketplace listing the Tuesday before Christmas for a ratty-looking 1969 Scout 800. What caught my eye was the fact that it was listed in Baltimore; turns out it’s right up the road in Owings Mills. The seller and I set up a time to look it over right before the holiday on the coldest fucking day of the year. I bundled up as warm as I could, figuring I’d be out in a field somewhere, but the cold got into my bones quickly the minute I was outside.

He’s got it in a shed behind his house with minimal clearance on either side to see the driver’s sheetmetal, but the pictures online tell most of the story. It’s an 800 with a 6-cylinder AMC 232 that’s been disassembled for structural body work. He cut and formed new floorpans on each side, claiming they’re 12 gauge, and had a guy weld them in place.

He claims the inner rockers were done, but I couldn’t get underneath to see how the stringers or rockers looked. The rear bed floor was replaced, and the side walls and tops were in good shape, but he welded angle steel on the tops of the corners. There’s also a low bulkhead welded in across the rear bed.

From what I could tell the work was done well; it all looks solid and the welds aren’t garbage. There’s no hard top for it, but that’s not a dealbreaker; I’d put a soft top on it and leave it alone anyway.

The only outward rust I see is on the driver’s side rocker behind the B pillar, and the thought of cutting that out and repairing it doesn’t frighten me. The tailcaps are both bent, so I’d need to pull those dents out.

As mentioned before, it’s an AMC 232, a mid-60’s to late ’70’s engine IH offered as an alternative to their homegrown 4- and 8-cylinder options. I didn’t test to see if it spun, but that would be one of the first things to look at on my next visit. For some people this might be a dealbreaker; I don’t mind as long as it’s not either missing or locked up.

He said he had a bunch of parts to go along with it—a hood, two cowls, two extra doors, maybe a front fender, and boxes of parts—but they were in two other locations. We talked it over a bit and he told me I was first in line; he had family obligations after Christmas break but would be available after that. I told him I was definitely interested but wanted to look over the other parts—that’s a big part of the sale—and that I’d want to see the truck out in the sunlight so I can crawl over it.

I drove up to Mt. Airy today to look over the parts he’s got; he’d returned from York with two spare doors and a grille on his flatbed.

On a trailer in a storage lot he’s got two hoods—one rough, with lights cut and mounted to the surface, and the other a patina’d blue in better shape. Under that was a step bumper in good shape.

Next to those was a tailgate which was pretty well rotted at the bottom—more art than functional at this point.

Inside an adjacent trailer was another tailgate in much better shape; apart from a section on the right side the metal looked to be in good shape.

Next to that was the original 1969 cowl, which was pretty much crap.

It’s definitely a project but a lot of the hard stuff has already been done. It looks like hot garbage but that’s never stopped me before; I’d look at buffing off the rattle-can black first to see what’s underneath, and painting it after pulling the dents later. For the price he’s asking it’s a good deal, especially after being cleaned up and made to run again. However, there’s a saying about buying someone else’s project; you never know what’s going to be there and what won’t. For this truck it’s not like there’s a ton of expensive chrome trim or unobtanium plastic that can’t be found; he might not have the original seats but I’m sure I could source some over the next couple of years.

The biggest question now is that of the VIN plate; it’s not present on the firewall of the truck. He has a title but if there’s no VIN plate, I really don’t want to mess with the DMV to sort that mess out. So he’s looking for that and hopefully he can lay hands on it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

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