In 1961, when International Harvester Company introduced the Scout, the concept of a “sport utility vehicle did not exist. In fact, four-wheel drive technology was still in its infancy. IH, a company best known for making hard working trucks and farm equipment, launched their two-door Scout into a category with only a single competitor, Jeep. Over the span of two decades before being discontinued in October 1980, the Scout helped create a demand for an off-road capable vehicle and daily driver in one, and in doing so helped spur on America’s interest in outdoors recreation. All of this and much, much more is chronicled in incredible detail in International Scout Encyclopedia, a new hardcover title from Octane Press.
The book is in the truest sense of the word an encyclopedia, detailing literally every model and its variants to roll off the assembly line—including many the public never saw. Written by veteran journalist and 4x4 historian Jim Allen with assistance from acknowledged Scout expert and collector John Glancy, the 384 page book—complete with over 500 images and 100,000 words—goes beyond the usual vintage 4x4 image porn and dives into unbelievably nerdy territory, in the best of ways.
From preliminary design sketches before the Scout even had its now iconic name, to camper iterations made only in the double digits and Baja ready race rigs, the Scout took on more personalities than one would think possible, and every single one is covered in more detail than most anyone would care to know. But the fact that the author put in the hours, interviewed former IH employees, and dug through dusty files, is beyond impressive. The Scout was decades ahead of its time, and though still largely unknown to the general population, at least its history now has a definitive home in print.