An Owner-Built, Cummins-Powered, Camper Equipped Scout Traveler
The International Scout was one of the dominant SUVs of the ’60s and ’70s. Scout production ended in 1980, but that didn’t deter true Scout fans. Even today, 33 years later, the Scout still has a strong base of supporters and surprisingly strong parts support. Moreover, Scout owners and enthusiasts still flock to events such as the Ohio-based International Scout and Light Truck Nationals (www.midnitestar.org), which has been held annually for the past 24 years.
Mike Ismail is a Scout fan, and he is the owner/builder of this unique camper-equipped ’80 Scout Traveler. Ismail and his wife Debbie own IH Only, which bills itself as the original West Coast supplier of hard-to-find new and used International Scout, pickup, and Travelall parts since 1994. As a matter of fact, Ismail says, “Some parts we build here are built nowhere else in the world.”
I drove Contraption to the 51st Annual Tierra del Sol Safari in March. I was the only person on the trail four-wheeling a camper.
When we say that Ismail is the builder of this Scout, we mean he actually built the rig from the ground up, starting with a chassis from his frame pile. What was the catalyst for this rig? “I had been driving the same ’72 Scout II for about 21 years. When the price of gas got overwhelming I got tired of the 10 mpg thing. I heard a Cummins 4BT got up to 30 mpg, so I set out to find an engine,” he says. Ismail began work on the Scout in January of 2012 and finished about six months later. One would think that Ismail would be taking it easy on the rare Scout, but that is not the case. The machine, which he calls “Contraption,” is his daily driver as well as his main camping and traveling vehicle. It’s also his trail vehicle. “I drove Contraption to the 51st Annual Tierra del Sol Safari in March. I was the only person on the trail four-wheeling a camper,” he notes.
Since he built the Scout, Ismail has logged over 13,000 miles with it both on- and off-road, and the miles continue to accrue.
At A Glance
Vehicle: 1980 International Scout Traveler
Owner: Mike Ismail
Stomping grounds: Lancaster, California
Build time: 6 months
Engine: Cummins 4BT 4-cyl turbodiesel, Mitsubishi intercooler
Transmission: Chrysler A518 4-spd auto, Hayden cooler
Transfer case(s): NP205
Low range ratio(s): 1.96:1
Crawl ratio(s): 19.7:1
Front axle/differential: Dana 44, IH manual hubs/4.10 gears, Dana/Spicer Powr-Lok
Rear axle/differential: Dana 60, Dutchman Motorsports 35-spline axles/4.10 gears, Dana/Spicer Powr-Lok
Front: Skyjacker 4-in-lift leaf springs, custom SOA conversion, Rancho RS9000 shocks
Rear: Skyjacker 4-in-lift leaf springs, custom SOA conversion, Rancho RS9000 shocks
Steering: Scout pitman arm, IH Only Blastproof drag link and tie rod
Tires: 35x12.50R15LT Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Wheels: 15x8.5 Western aluminum
Armor: Front winch bumper, factory Scout rear bumper
Cool stuff: Warn 8274 winch, Four Wheel Pop Up camper