Built as a competitor to the Jeep CJ, International was looking to create a bare-bones vehicle that was at home on the ranch as it was whisking away a family to that far-off camping spot way off the beaten path. It can be argued that the Scout was the very first SUV and carried several features that would be eventually be integrated into vehicles such as the Bronco and Jeep CJ. As interest in the vintage vehicle market continues to grow, finding International Scouts for restoration purposes has become more and more challenging. Not to worry though, we’re here to help!
So, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind and explore the place to buy the International Harvester Scout of your dreams:
- General Guidelines
- Online Classifieds - Non Auction
- Auction Sites
- Restoration Builders
If you’re ready to begin the journey towards finding your ideal International Scout, so are we. Let’s get into it!
Before even jumping into the best places to buy an International Scout, we need to talk about the basics of shopping for a vintage vehicle online. Unfortunately, today’s modern world is full of fraudsters who misrepresent themselves as owners of particular vehicles and scam buyers out of thousands of dollars.
Here are some of our top tips to avoid being taken advantage of online:
- Never (and we do mean never) provide any sort of deposit or guarantee to “hold” a vehicle that you’re interested in. Just because a vehicle is listed online, doesn’t mean that the person who owns it is actually on the other side. Unless you’re working with an established and reputable shop - do business in person only.
- Keep your options open! It may be tempting to look for that “perfect” ride but remember, you’re working with a limited inventory of options out there so you may not get exactly what you’re looking for but it doesn’t mean you can’t create the perfect ride with the right builder.
- Set a reasonable budget. The market for International Scouts is hot right now and will be for the foreseeable future so be sure to keep your expectations on track.
- Have fun! Don’t get so stuck on the details that you forget to enjoy yourself. After all, it doesn’t really get much cooler than the International Scout.
Online Classifieds - Non Auction
Anyone who loves vintage vehicles has no doubt done the deep digging to find that “perfect” candidate for their next build on classified sites such as Autotrader, Autotrader Classic, or Craigslist. While we’re not necessarily against using this time-tested method of finding your perfect International Scout, each method had a distinct set of challenges that can wreak havoc on your nerves and your wallet. Let’s dig into the most popular options for a little more context.
Originally starting off as a print publication, Autotrader Classic boasts one of the widest databases of vehicles out there. Unlike options like Craigslist, owners must pay a nominal fee to be listed on Autotrader Classic, therefore the likelihood of obvious fraud goes down quite a bit. Overall, a great option but perhaps a little long in the tooth compared to some of the more modern options.
One of the largest depositories of Vintage Vehicle Listings out there is classiccars.com. How large? Over 30k listings currently live on this booming website! You’ll find posting from established restoration builders, all the way down to some random person who’s offloading their dad’s retro Scout. You may see some crossover between Autotrader and Classicars.com but you’ll be sure to find some gems that are listed here.
Ah, Craigslist, by far the most infamous of localized classified listing sites. Unlike sites like Autotrader or ClassicCars.com, listing on Craiglist is completely free. While this may seem great, in reality, it can be a cesspool of fraudsters who are looking to take advantage of unwary buyers with scams of all kinds. We’re not going to say that Craiglist is always a bad idea because clearly not everyone is a scammer but as a buyer, you’ll have to be extremely cautious when looking through the pages and pages of listings at Craigslist. Who knows, you could get really, really lucky but don’t count on it.
Although automotive auctions are as old as the industry itself; today’s selection of automotive auction options is better than it’s ever been. Industry originators like Mecum, Manheim and Barret - Jackson mix with new-school contenders like eBay, Bring A Trailer, and Cars & Bids to create a plethora of options to find the ideal International Scout for your unique build. Here’s the best of the best.
Professional Automotive Auctions
There are several great auction companies that fall into the category of professional automotive auctions such as Russo & Steele, Mecum, Manheim, and Barret - Jackson. While traditionally an in-person activity, these popular auction houses have moved towards the 21st century with online bidding opportunities if you can’t attend in person. Keep in mind, the vehicles that make their way through these auction houses are often extremely rare or extremely customized. If you have a substantial budget, you may be able to find an incredible International Scout at any one of these legendary auctions.
In recent years, Bring A Trailer or BAT, has become an incredibly popular source for all things vintage and classic. You’ll find everything from beat-up barn finds that are missing half a body to pristine, restored classics that look like they belong in a museum. One of the best things about BAT is the wide range of vehicles, prices, locations, and conditions available to the buying public. The platform is easy to navigate and everything from payment to shipping is seamless.
A newcomer to the market is Cars & Bids; a unique site that specializes in cool vehicles that may not fit other traditional niches. Started by Youtube phenom Doug De Muro; Cars & Bids is a great place to browse for that ultra-unique ride.
In truth, sites like BAT and Cars & Bids may have perfected the art of the online automotive auction but it was industry giants eBay that really started the trend. Today, eBay boasts a huge inventory of options that range from your standard family sedan to (perhaps) the ideal International Scout. You’ll need an eBay account to bid, and as an eBay member, you’ll be offered buyer protection as well as easy shipping options to get your Scout to your door.
The reality of purchasing an International Harvester Scout via one of the methods mentioned above is that you always run the risk of the vehicle not living up to your expectations or becoming a giant money pit if you decide to embark on restoring it yourself. This situation isn’t unique to International Scouts, as any vintage ride can turn from a dream purchase to a rolling nightmare in a heartbeat. There is, however, a sure-fire way to not only avoid the potentially troublesome process of restoring a vehicle but get a vehicle that is truly one of a kind and will last for many years to come.
Restoration builders like Velocity take International Scouts and turn them into modern machines that include performance, luxury appointments, and technology that was only a dream when the Scout first roamed the streets in the ’60s and ’70s. The look and attitude are all Scout but everything from the chassis to the interior is completely modified by Velocity to perfectly suit the owner’s needs. From our custom chassis that’s designed and engineered in-house and bespoke interiors with hand-stitched materials to screaming LS motors that give the build blistering performance; every ounce of a Velocity build drips with attitude.
Going with a restoration builder like Velocity ensures that you get exactly what you want out of a build, and also ensures that the vehicle is handed over with a level of fit and finish that meets or exceeds anything that rolls off a factory production line today. This is a modern classic done the right way.
An Easy Choice
At the end of the day, finding the perfect International Scout should be a fun process. Whether you’re buying one that needs a bunch of work or one that’s already been restored; it’s an awesome choice for your next vintage ride. If you’re looking for that once in a lifetime ride, the kind of vehicle that will stop traffic in its tracks, a vehicle that you can pass along to not only your children but your children’s children; go with a restomod from a renowned builder such as Velocity Restorations. Going this route eliminates nearly all the risk from buying a vintage vehicle and ensures that you get exactly what you want.