International Scout SUV

We are stepping back in time here at The Cottage Chronicles, back to the heady days of the 1970’s to talk about my Sports Utility Vehicle of choice back then, a 1973 International Scout….my blogger friend Jennifer Robin, of Robins Woods commented on yesterday’s post that she learned to drive in an International Scout in response to my mention that I owned a Scout ii at one time. It is Cottage Vehicle Week here at the Cottage Chronicles so I figured…what the heck let’s talk about the International Scout!

The Scout I owned was a 1973 model, actually termed a Scout II as it was the second generation style of the vehicle. Bigger than the original Scouts which began rolling off the assembly line in 1961.

The International Scout II had several engine options, I had the inline 6 cylinder, 258 ci (4228 cc)engine mated to an automatic transmission. Mine was unfortunately a 2 wheel drive which meant I was stuck a lot…a lot…once had to be towed out of a mud hole by a front end loader…that was embarrassing…

Scouts were made by International Harvester who made trucks and machinery mainly, but delved into the SUV market for a couple of decades.


The original International Scout was created as a competitor to the Jeep. It was successful because Scout sales through the 1960’s exceeded total sales of Jeeps.

The first Scouts made their debut January 18, 1961. It was referred to as an International Scout 80 and had sliding windows, a 152 4 cyl. engine, a fold-down windshield, vacuum windshield wipers at the top of the windshield and an IH logo in the center of the grill.

Scout 800 was the model name given to Scouts produced from late-1965 to mid-1971. They were a little fancier than the original with more engine choices and options.

The model I had, the Scout II, debuted in April of 1971 with a lot of improvements both mechanically and structurally. It was bigger for one thing…

My Scout was the first vehicle I owned, and I loved it. I only had it for about a year before I blew the engine, but it was fun while it lasted. If I close my eyes real tight I can still see the interior of my green and white International Scout, with it’s big steering wheel, console shift and grey fabric seats. If I close my eyes even tighter I can still see the first girl I took parking in that Scout….oh my….ok ok ok…I gotta open my eyes now…

The last Scout rolled off the assembly line on October 21, 1980.

And Jennifer in answer to your question about when we first started using the term “SUV” it apparently was coined by General Motors in the 1970’s in reference to their GMC Sprint Pickup Truck, which later on became the El Camino, which we know was a cross between a pickup truck and I believe, a Chevelle car.

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