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1973 International Scout II Pickup - Backward Glances

Posted in Features on June 5, 2015
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The second-generation Scout started production in April of 1971 but wasn’t available for sale in large numbers until June. When Jerry Shook’s Scout II Cab-Top was built, almost exactly two years later in June of 1973, it was still a pretty new deal for International but one that was paying off with a big boost in Scout sales.

“Cab-Top” was International’s name for the pickup version of the Scout. The Travel-Top (or Traveltop) was the station wagon and Panel-Top was the panel. You could also order a topless Roadster, and the bodies were essentially the same for all. The difference was a removable bulkhead behind the seats, and either a short cab or full-length top determined whether you had a pickup or wagon. You could also put the bulkhead in the wagon if you wanted to divide the front compartment from the back.

It’s a short 1⁄2-ton pickup with a 5-foot bed and a 1,000-pound payload. If the owner wanted to change things around at a later date, he could remove the cab and bulkhead and install a full-length top (with or without side windows) or install a soft top. A true “convertible!”

The Cab-Top left you with a fairly roomy cab and a 5-foot bed. The standard ’73 GVW was 4,600 pounds, and the standard 3,500-pound curb weight Scout (base six-cylinder model) offered a payload of 1,100 pounds. A 5,200-pound GVW was realized when you ordered the optional $49 Dana 44 front axle that came with heavy-duty front springs. The optional V-304A V-8 reduced the payloads by 144 pounds, and the V-345 reduced it by 169. That’s definitely in the light 1⁄2-ton category (a big market then and now), but International didn’t sell many Cab-Tops. From the ’73 through ’75 model years, when the Cab-Top 100-inch wheelbase units were discontinued, they were only 3.3 percent of total production (both 4x4 and 4x2), and they are rare birds today.

For the ’73 model year, International dropped from a four-engine lineup to three. The 6-258 six-cylinder became the standard engine and International dropped its own 4-196 four-cylinder as the base engine. The 6-258 was an AMC engine that’s very familiar to Jeep fans. International had been using AMC sixes since ’68, with first the truck line and then the next year in Scouts starting in ’69. The four would come back for the ’75s and the AMC six would then be dropped.

With the optional dual exhaust, this 304ci two-barrel V-8 makes 139 hp. The V-304A was in the International “short block” family. It shared the V-345’s 3.875-inch bore but had a shorter 3.218-inch stroke versus the “long block” V-345’s 3.656-inch stroke. Carburetion came from a Holley 2300 two-barrel. The “A” in the designation indicates a “cost-reduced” engine. Until 1970, all of International’s V-8 engines were the same, whether they were used on a 2-ton truck or a Scout, which was a bit of overkill for a Scout because they were built for medium-duty use. To save manufacturing costs, some of the heavy features were removed from the light-duty engines. Among them, the hardened crankshaft and heavy-duty bearings, positive valve rotators, Stellite exhaust valves, alloy intake valves, steel top piston ring insert, and alloy steel exhaust seat inserts. Emission controls for ’73 included an air injection reactor and EGR.

Next up was the International V-304A two-barrel, which in the ’73s made 137 hp and 233 lb-ft with single exhaust and 139 hp and 239 lb-ft with the optional dual exhaust. The top dog was the V-345 two-barrel ($118.69), which cranked out 144 hp and 263 lb-ft with the single exhaust and 157 hp and 287 lb-ft with duals.

There were several choices of transmission to back up the engines for the ’73s. Standard for the six and the 304 V-8 was the Warner T-90 three-speed stick. The V-345 was a bit too strong for that gearbox so it came standard with a close-ratio Warner T-18C four-speed. The four-speed was a $100 option for the other engines, as was a Borg-Warner Model 11 automatic for all. For the ’73s, International introduced a single-speed, chain-drive transfer case as standard, with the Dana 20 two-speed as a $40 option.

The base interior with a vinyl floor cover added. The radio delete plate is still in place. The automatic is an unusual option on a base model. Most often, dealers bought floor models from the Gold Star catalog, which offered pre-chosen options combos.

Standard axles were a flanged Dana 44 in the rear and an open-knuckle Dana 30 up front. Power drum brakes were optional, and power discs didn’t come until ’74 models. Axle gears ranged from 3.31, 3.73 or 4.27 and were at no extra charge if you ordered a Scout. A Trac-Lok limited slip was optional in back. Street tires in E78-15 size were standard, with many other types and sizes optional. The typical factory “off-road” tires were Firestone Town & Country, General Gripper, Goodrich Silvertown Trail Maker, or Goodyear Suburbanite.

Several interior and exterior trim options were available, though Shook’s Cab-Top has none and only one interior and a couple of exterior options. There were four interior colors with the Deluxe or Custom option, Sage, Blue, Red, or Black. The base interior was black vinyl. The Deluxe interior on a Cab-Top got you vinyl floor mats, styled door panels, a seat with nylon inserts, courtesy lights, lighter, and a parking brake warning lamp. Custom added carpeting (color keyed), tinted glass, and dual horns. The Deluxe exterior got you a bright grille, along with bright windshield, side window, front and rear lamp trim, dual chrome mirrors, stainless wheel covers, and a chrome front bumper. The dealer had a plethora of optional accessories, but you could get a Ramsey 200R-599 8,000-pound PTO winch or a Ramsey DCB200R-597 8,000-pound electric installed at the factory.

This combo doesn’t show up in the Gold Star book and was likely chosen by the original owner. Yeah, those are the original miles.

This stunningly original ’73 Cab-Top belongs to Jerry Shook, who bought it from the original owner in 2001 with 15,995 original miles on it. At the time it was shot at the 2011 Scout and Light Truck Nationals in Ohio, Shook had cranked it up to a whopping 16,205 miles. Everything’s original except for the battery, tires, and mufflers. The Scout is a virtual time capsule and an interesting one at that due to its particular combination of options. If you like Scout stuff and want to learn more about them, look for a comprehensive new book due out in the summer of 2015 from Octane Press, “Scout: The Authoritative Guide to International Harvester’s Classic SUV.” Jim Allen and John Glancy have combined their respective talents and connections to create the end-all, be-all book for Scout enthusiasts and collectors.

The Details
Vehicle: 1973 International Scout II Cab-Top
Owner: Jerry Shook, Alto, Georgia
Estimated value: $20,000
Engine: 304ci V-8, dual exhaust (IH V-304A)
Power (hp): 139 @ 3,600
Torque (lb-ft): 239 @ 2,400
Bore & stroke (in): 3.876 x 3.218
Comp. ratio: 8.19:1
Transmission: 3-spd automatic, BorgWarner II
Transfer case: 2-spd, Dana 20
Front axle: Dana 30
Rear axle: Dana 44
Axle ratio: 3.73:1
Tires: G78-15, General Gripper 780
L x W x H (in): 165.8 x 70 x 65.8
Wheelbase (in): 100
GVW (lbs): 4,600
Curb weight (lbs): 3,650
Fuel capacity (gal): 19
Min. grd. clearance (in): 6.9
Approach angle (deg): 43
Departure angle (deg): 23
Ramp breakover (deg): 24

Resplendent in Ceylon Green (paint code 5882), Shook’s low-mile ’73 Cab-Top is a cosmetically base-level machine with a nice array of à la carte options useful to someone who wanted a go-to-work Scout. Base price for a ’73 Cap-Top 4x4 was $3,306.02. The V-304A V-8 was first on the options list ($84.69) plus dual exhaust ($36.50), followed by the BorgWarner automatic ($235) and two-speed Dana 20 transfer case ($40). The heavy-duty Dana 44 front axle was not ordered, but the standard Dana 30 got Warn hubs ($73). The 3.73 gears were no extra charge, but the Trac-Loc rear axle cost $60. The two-tone paint was $60, and the stainless steel wheel covers were $24.50 à la carte. The stripe was a dealer-installed accessory that cost about $58. The truck originally came shod with G78-15 General Gripper 780 mud and snow tires ($11.25 over the base street treads). On the inside, the vinyl floor mat could also be ordered à la carte ($6.50). All told, the full list price was $3,995.46, which translates to about $22,000 in 2


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