Rust Restraint: 1972 International Scout II – $29,500

by | Apr 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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I grew up riding in backseat of not one, but two, International Scouts through most of the 1970s. I learned to drive in the second one. That experience taught me two key things about Scouts. one is that they are tough as nails. Built with many of the same components Jeep CJs of the period, Scouts could tackle just about anything placed in front of them straight from the factory. The second however is that you can watch them rust in front your eyes if they are exposed to road salt.

Unfortunately, living in the snow belt of Western New York meant that both the 1974 and 1977 Scout IIs my parents owned were rusted by the time they completed the 36-month payment loan book for each. Poor quality Japanese steel conspired with lousy quality control and zero factory rust prevention to ensure rust belt based Scouts were doomed for a short life. The 1977 Scout was particularly bad.  The factory replaced the rear quarter panels under warranty when that Scout was just two years old and despite my parents spending several hundred dollars to have it “Ziebarted” right after taking delivery!

This experience makes it easy for me to understand why there are so few Scouts left anymore.  The only examples still featuring their original body panels are likely sourced from the dry west coast.  A prime example is this Ceylon Green Metallic 1972 International Scout II For Sale, first spotted on Craigslist in San Diego, California in April 2024, is a restored example that benefits from what the seller describes as being a “Life Long California Car.” The seller notes that while their Scout features all of it’s original rust-free sheet metal, it benefits from a five-year-old repaint in the original Ceylon Green Metallic.  That color brings back memories as my parents’ ’74 Scout was the same color.  Unlike my parents’ V8-powered Scouts, this example for sale features and AMC-sourced 258 cubic inch inline six engine back by a three-speed floor shifted manual transmission. This engine provides legendary durability as long as you keep it filled with oil, so the 72K miles traveled to date means this Scout’s engine is barely broken in.

Currently offered for $29,500,, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the low end of this guide’s six-month results for all 1972 Scouts and powertrains sold in an auction recently.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $24,800 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $40,000 before making adjustments for powertrain and convenience options.

The 1972 International Harvester Scout II stands as an enduring icon of rugged American automotive design. Equipped with an inline six-cylinder engine and a three-speed manual transmission, this vehicle epitomizes the spirit of adventure and utility that defined the era. In this technical description, we delve into the key features and specifications that made the Scout II a formidable presence on and off the road.

While a four-cylinder engine was standard equipment,  the first option was a robust inline six-cylinder engine. International Harvester offered various engine options during the production of the Scout II, but the inline six was a popular choice due to its reliability and power delivery. The engine featured a displacement of approximately 258 cubic inches (4.2 liters) and was known for its torquey performance, making it well-suited for both highway cruising and off-road maneuvering. With a cast-iron block and cylinder head, this engine was built to withstand the rigors of demanding terrain and prolonged use, embodying the rugged durability that enthusiasts have come to expect from International Harvester vehicles.

Mated to the inline six-cylinder engine is a three-speed manual transmission, providing drivers with precise control over gear selection and power delivery. The manual gearbox enhances the driving experience, allowing enthusiasts to fully engage with the vehicle’s capabilities and tailor their driving style to the terrain at hand. With a straightforward gear layout, including first, second, and third gears, the transmission enables seamless acceleration and smooth shifting, whether navigating city streets or conquering rugged trails. Additionally, the manual transmission offers a level of engagement and connection with the vehicle that is often lost in modern automatic counterparts, appealing to drivers who value a hands-on driving experience.

One of the standout features of the 1972 Scout II is its capable four-wheel drive system, which enables confident performance in diverse driving conditions. Whether traversing rocky terrain, navigating muddy trails, or braving snowy roads, the Scout II’s four-wheel drive system provides enhanced traction and stability, ensuring that drivers can tackle challenging environments with ease. Equipped with a two-speed transfer case offering selectable high and low-range gearing, the Scout II allows drivers to tailor the power delivery to suit the specific demands of the terrain, providing maximum torque for climbing steep inclines or traversing obstacles. Combined with its rugged construction and ample ground clearance, the Scout II’s four-wheel drive system cements its reputation as a versatile and capable off-road vehicle.

The Scout II features a sturdy ladder-type frame constructed from high-strength steel, providing a solid foundation for the vehicle’s chassis and suspension components. This robust frame design enhances durability and torsional rigidity, ensuring that the Scout II can withstand the stresses of off-road driving without compromising performance or safety. The suspension system comprises leaf springs at the front and rear, along with heavy-duty shock absorbers, delivering a balanced blend of comfort and capability. Whether tackling uneven terrain or cruising along the highway, the Scout II’s suspension system provides a smooth and controlled ride, enhancing driver confidence and passenger comfort.

The 1972 International Harvester Scout II equipped with an inline six-cylinder engine and three-speed manual transmission embodies the rugged reliability and adventurous spirit that defined the era of American SUVs. With its robust construction, capable four-wheel drive system, and versatile drivetrain, the Scout II remains a timeless classic cherished by enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

The haikarate4 YouTube channel features this popular 1974 International Scout commercial:

Based on the pictures, this Ceylon Green Metallic International Scout II for sale appears to be a rust-free restored example featuring all of it’s original body panels.  During the restoration, we’re fairly certain the seller took some liberties in tasteful modifications.  In addition to featuring a modern component headlight conversion, the seller added up-level “Rallye” stripes recreated in black, a package that did not come out until several years later with only white stripes. A nice, but very subtle touch.

If you are serious about buying this Scout II, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their restored International Harvester SUV featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“If you have any questions or to set up a viewing. Please call or text me. I can provide additional videos and photos upon request. I’m located in La Jolla, CA.

This is a beautiful Dark Green International Scout II that has been a Life Long CA Car.

Clean and clear CA title, with current registration. Smog exempt.

Lived in California for all of its life. Floors are very nice. No rust, no scaling and no patches.

Body and paint are beautiful! All original sheet metal. 1 repaint 5 years ago and garaged since. The body is laser straight, no accidents and absolutely no rust. All of the doors, hood and trunk align and close perfectly.  All the glass are in immaculate condition.

Inline 6 cylinder, with a 3 speed manual.

It has 72,000 Original miles. Always starts right up and settles into a smooth idle. Does not overheat. No smoke, no leaks and no funny noises. Cruises effortlessly at 70mph. Fun turn key classic Scout that’s ready for the open road. 

Interior is in good condition. The dash, seats, and carpet are very nice.

The gauges are in working order. Including the gas gauge, temperature gauge, oil pressure and alternator gauge.  All the lights work, including the dash lights, headlights, brake lights and turn signals.

Nice Good Year All Terrain tires 235/75R15, steel wheels with OEM caps.

All in all.. This is a spectacular example of a well cared for, honest 1972 California International Scout.

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1972 International Scout II for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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