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A Boy’s Scout


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I wrote on this particular vehicle briefly a few years back, but I wanted to revisit it since its birthday is today, mine is on Wednesday, and I had a particular attachment to this truck in my childhood. On November 30, 1960, the International Harvester Scout was born.

My dad owned a metallic gray Scout II - silver, some might have said - with a white top. In my grandpa’s driveway sat a nearly identical yellow Scout that never really ran but was used for spare parts if anything on the good Scout ever needed replacement. Honestly, that was almost never. The Scout was darn-near bulletproof and could take on the toughest terrain anyone could imagine. There was no carpet on the interior, and it had a full skid plate underneath, so it could easily dig through swamps and marshes and triumph over impressive rock crawls with ease.

My dad was a big deer hunter when I was young, and he taught me to drive it when I was only 8 or 10 years old - long before the days of cell phones for emergency calls - in case we were ever in a bad situation out in the wilderness. I still remember the smell of diesel every time he would fire it up. I still remember the way his huge mug of coffee would slosh about from the bumpy ride while I tried to hold onto it since there were no cup holders, and he was hauling ass to get me to elementary school on time. I still remember when he refused to sell the Scout after he bought a brand-new ‘89 Silverado, and it turned out to be a blessing because that brand-new truck with all of its amazing features still got stuck in mud all the time, so I used the Scout’s wench to haul it out.

The Scout II was a true Jeep-killer, and it’s a shame that none were ever produced after 1980. It’s an even bigger shame that International Harvester never went on to produce anything comparable before being bought out and rebranded to push out long-haul trucks. If I could get my hands on one today, it would be the perfect project for my son and me since he’s just now getting to the age where I first appreciated trucks and engines. So, dear readers, thanks for following me down memory lane and letting me share a slice of my my life with you on the IH Scout’s birthday!

-Trey Fennell

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