I ran a bunch of errands in the Scout this weekend, taking advantage of the lovely 70˚ weather, and toward the end of Saturday I decided to pull the top off with Finn’s help. As with years past, it’s been getting easier and easier to pull off with practice, and we had the whole thing removed in a half an hour. The part that takes the most time is winching it up into the rafters, but even that went quicker than last year. The soft top is now in place, and Jen and I enjoyed a breezy drive out to the Home Depot on Sunday—life is good!
While at the HD I sourced a 8/32 hex head bolt and brought it home to fit into a spare rearview mirror. The one that Peer Pressure came with (bottom) is somewhat narrow and is beginning to delaminate at the top and the bottom, so I thought I’d replace it with a larger, cleaner one (top). The only drawback is that the replacement doesn’t have a daytime/nighttime refractor tab at the bottom—but I do about 2% of my Scout driving at night, so it really doesn’t matter much anyway.
We’ve made it through over a month of quarantine, and having been stuck in the house this long, I’m thinking more and more about driving and road trips and being outside in the sunshine behind the wheel of a wheezy rattling old truck. We originally had plans to drive out to the Harvester Homecoming this year, but given the current state of the virus, I wonder if that’s going to happen. Which sucks because I was really looking forward to the adventure.
With the eventual resumption of long road trips in mind, I’ve been thinking about locking security on the Scout. I’d like something larger and more spacious than the Tuffy, and something I could ideally put in and remove at will. Since the days when I was parking my Mazda pickup in Baltimore City, I’ve thought of a locking box of some kind with an open slot in the bottom that would accept a round loop welded to the bed of the truck. The loop would extend up into the box and lock in place with a padlock or some other device, and thus be attached to the truck from the inside. I’ve looked at mass-produced boxes for a while, but the majority of them are custom made for Jeeps and thus are engineered for specific uses and locations, like mounting under seats or across the back bed. Tuffy makes several standard boxes for basic applications, but they look either too small or too big for what I want to do.
The second problem is where to put it. There are specialty boxes made for Scouts that mount in the bed wall behind the rear wheel arch on the passenger side, but that’s where I’ve currently got my Rotopax, and until I get the fuel sender sorted out and the rear bumper rebuilt, my spare gas can isn’t going anywhere. The spare goes on the driver’s side most days, and especially on road trips. The next best logical solution would be directly behind the rear seat on the driver’s side, and it would ideally be large enough that I could stack something on top of it to use the space wisely. Something 12″H x 2″W x 2″D would be a good start: tall enough to hold a backpack, wide and deep enough to put other bins or boxes on top of. I normally keep basic stuff like engine oil, coolant, jumper cables and small parts in a milk crate in the back, but for longer trips with the top down I’d like to have someplace to secure a full toolset.
I’ve also been thinking about how to organize all of the tools, parts and recovery gear in some kind of bag or container so they’re easily carried and padded from vibration. The roll-up tool pouch I’ve got is great but there are a bunch of other things rattling around the bottom of the Tuffy, like a spare coil, distributor cap, ignition wires, plugs, and filters. I suppose the first order of business is to collect the recovery gear contents and then figure out how big a bag I need. Then I have to track down a locking box in the size and shape I want, and modify it to my needs.
I saw this Scout on Instagram a week ago, and I really like the look of it. The indoor lighting is a little funky, but I dig the combination of a dark green paint job, traditional 1972 grille (with a silver surround), a white travel top, and blacked out steelies with narrow tires. This is a really traditional look, which is something I’d like to get Peer Pressure back to someday.
I saw a post on Instagram a couple of days ago featuring a mint-colored Scout with an interesting roll bar setup. In the comments, the poster mentioned he’d used a Jeep TJ rollbar as a base, cut it down, fabbed his own mounting plates, and made it all work. I commented that I would love to see more pictures of his setup, and it turns out he’s actually on the Binder Planet in a thread I’ve looked at before. He bought the whole cage two years ago for $100 and had the whole thing mocked up a month later.
What I like about it is that it’s a square cage that surrounds the passenger area—the rear of the cage fits over the rear seat so there’s more protection, and the whole thing has built-in shoulder belts. I like the look of it, and I love the fact that there are a ton of aftermarket products for the TJ bars—padding, speaker bars, new belts, and lights.
Our local junkyard has a Wrangler in stock every once in a while, and “large rollbars” are listed at $100.
I really think I’m going to be purchasing a welder this year…
Hagerty released its 2020 Bull Market List, a wrap-up of classic vehicles they predict will rise the most in value in the coming year. Smack in the middle of that list is the 72-80 Scout II. Some takeaways:
- They say the usual dumb stuff—”parts can be difficult to find.”
- Also: “Gen X is 56 percent of the quotes, and if Gen X likes it, the values are going to go up.”
- “American rivals such as the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer have out-appreciated the Scout.” Really? I don’t see Chevy Blazers anywhere. Early Broncos are everywhere, but I fail to believe a second-gen squarebody Blazer is more valuable than a Scout. Maybe a mint condition K5.
- The comments are divided, but I see more than one person saying they’d only take the Scout and the Ferrari from the total list of 10 vehicles.
- I’ve owned two of the other vehicles on this list: the Honda CRX and the Jeep Cherokee.
It looks like Scouts are popular on Instagram; my feed was topped with Peer Pressure this year.
Hey, would you look at that! Scrolling through the Instagram feed of a Scout acquaintance, I noticed he’d taken a picture of a magazine spread about the 2018 IH Nationals in FourWheeler magazine. He’s the fellow grilling lunch on the front bumper of his Scout.
But if you look carefully behind him, you might notice a particular purple-and-red-and-yellow Scout.
I’m going to order a back copy of the magazine just to say I’ve been in FourWheeler.