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This Is The Coolest Tow Vehicle in the U.S.

This Is The Coolest Tow Vehicle in the U.S.

This Is The Coolest Tow Vehicle in the U.S.

Are you looking for a tow vehicle as cool as your rig? Look no further than the International Harvester Scout.

This thing gives off the all-American vibe, maybe even just as much as camping or that apple pie in your oven.

Let’s take a look!

What Is the International Harvester Scout?

An off-road classic, the International Harvester Scout is one of the original SUVs. Its iconic design is a mix between a station wagon and a truck.

This 4×4 could haul your cargo, tow over rough terrain, and fit your whole crew in there all at the same time. You can even tow your camper with a Scout.

Who Is International Harvester?

International Harvester was originally an agriculture company making farm machines and construction equipment. The founder, Cyrus Hall McCormick, was a well-known industrialist in the 1800s. He developed a horse-drawn reaper to harvest grain.

Decades later, his company, McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, merged to form International Harvester Company.

International Harvester later went on to make other vehicles, like light trucks as well as WWII vehicles for the military. In the early 1900s, the company was the fourth largest industrial company in the U.S., ahead of Ford, General Motors, and General Electric.

Man posing on beach next to his International Harvest Scout.
An International Harvester Scout is a cross between a station wagon and a truck.

Coolest Features of the Scout

Aside from the Scout being the inspiration for the modern SUV, it offered many cool features that set it apart. The features vary by model, but some early ones include its removable sliding side windows, a fold-down windshield, and even windshield wipers that function top to bottom.

It came with the option of a removable hardtop, a soft top, or a full-length roof.

And International Harvester offered various seating options in the Scout so you could choose which layout worked best for your situation.

The Scout had an adjustable roof luggage rack to carry all your belongings. Plus, it featured selective four-wheel driving and an electric winch, both of which came in handy while off-roading. The early Scout also came with the option of a V8 engine.

For the second-generation Scout IIs, disc and power brakes became standard. This was also the fastest model; it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 17 seconds. It also came with a larger fuel capacity of 19.3 gallons. The standard horsepower for this model topped 111, whereas the original Scout generated only 93 horsepower.

But what set the Scout II apart from its predecessor was its special edition packages, like the “Midas Edition” or the “Patriot.” These aesthetic updates separated your Scout from the others on the road.

When Did They Start and Stop Making the International Harvester Scout?

The original International Harvester is the Scout 80, built from 1960 to 1965. Beginning in 1966, manufacturing transitioned to the Scout 800.

Finally, from 1971 to 1980, International Harvester produced their last model of the Scout, the Scout II.

Towing Capacity of the Scout

You can expect a Scout to tow a light trailer or small camper. The 1975 Scout’s GVW is 6,200 pounds, and it can pull up to a 5,000-pound trailer, plus occupants and cargo.

If you’re lucky enough to come by a Scout, there are plenty of RVs on the market today that are under 5,000 pounds. The Airstream Sport travel trailer, Keystone Passport, or the KZ Sportsmen Classic Ultra Lightweight are just a few.

Pro Tip: Before you start towing, make sure you know your vehicles towing capacity. This is How to Find Towing Capacity for Your Truck Or SUV.

Yellow International Harvester Scout in a museum.
International Harvester Scouts can pull up to a 5,000-pound trailer, plus occupants and cargo.

Are International Harvester Scouts Rare?

The unfortunate part is that if you want an International Harvester Scout, you’re going to have to do some research. They’re no longer produced, and they were only manufactured for 20 years.

Still, International Harvester manufactured over half a million Scouts, so you can snag one if you’re patient and diligent.

The rarest Scouts of all are their special edition Scout IIs, like the Patriot, Spirit of 76, or their final special edition version of the Scout II. Certain trim packages, like the Shawnee Scout, are also hard to find since they made only a handful of these.

How Much is an International Harvester Scout Worth?

Today, the International Harvester Scout’s value is about $40,000-$50,000. The average sales price is about $46,000.

You can find restored versions for upwards of $300,000, and the lowest price we found was $8,000.

Closeup on international harvester scout logo.
Tow your rig with this cool vehicle.

Where Can You Find Them for Sale?

Wherever you can find vehicles online, you can find a Scout. Check Autotrader, Classic.com, and eBay for listings throughout the country.

There’s a handful of companies customizing old International Harvester Scouts, too, like Velocity Modern Classics or New Legend. New Legend takes the original body and pairs it with a modern frame, suspension, engine, and drive train technology to give you a reliable SUV.

Are They Bringing The Scout Back?

There’s certainly an interest in Scouts. It brings with it a sense of nostalgia for the Gen X crowd and is a retro throwback that’s very on-trend.

There’s speculation the Scout will make a comeback, but it’s truly speculation at this point. Volkswagen — the brand that now owns the rights to Scout — said they might bring back the Scout, but there are no solid plans right now.

Pro Tip: Tow with ease by using our RV Trailer Towing Checklist.

The Scout is the Coolest Tow Vehicle in the U.S.

Be the talk of the campground, and your neighborhood, with the coolest tow vehicle for your rig. The International Harvester Scout is a 4×4 that you can rely on and turn heads with.

The only problem you’ll have after buying one of these is how to get your rig to be as cool as this tow vehicle. Have you ever ridden in a Scout?

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Buck Zilla

Saturday 16th of October 2021

The short wheelbase of the scout would not be ideal to tow anything larger than a small utility trailer in my opinion. I am a commercial driver and have logged millions of miles towing trailers in all types of weather and driving conditions. Trust me you want to have the best stability when pulling any trailer with any weight and mass and a high ground clearance, short wheelbase vehicle does not offer that. I own a Toyota FJ Cruiser and can legally tow just over 5,000 pounds but I would not go over 3,500 for safety's sake, sure I could do it but when things get real you are most likely going out of control with a rig like that. A Toyota Tacoma or Ford F150 would be a better tow vehicle. Dont get me wrong, I love those old Scouts and early Broncos but to say they are the best tow vehicle is just silly.

Bill Norquay

Saturday 16th of October 2021

Having worked for International Harvest Australia from 1963 to 1982 I remember the Scout well. It was without a doubt one of the greatest heaps of crap the company ever produced. I spent may miles driving them when they were almost unsalable and we had to use them as company vehicles. One of the last jobs I did was to go to Tahiti to inspect Scouts there. The rust in them was incredible, it looked like sharks had taken bites out of them. The original four cylinder engine was great as was the later V8 but very thirsty . As for the rest of the vehicle it was a nightmare .

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