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Firing Order: Photos Found and Body Tubs Lost

Posted in Features on August 6, 2018
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Thank you to everyone who has emailed regarding my past few Firing Order columns! Many of you have shared stories and photos of your 4x4s. We’re publishing several of those in the current Inbox department and will continue to do so in future issues.

Many readers have noted that I talk about my old ’77 Scout II, which I owned for decades, but hardly ever show in pictures. The reason is simple: I didn’t know where the photos were. All photographs of the Scout were taken in the pre-digital days and were in a box somewhere. Or in an album, which was in a box, somewhere.

Surprisingly, my wife found a bunch of old Scout photos, so for those who have asked, and even for those who didn’t, here are some images of the Scout and some of its faces during its transition from rust bucket to less of a rust bucket. Thank you for reading Firing Order, and please keep your stories and photos coming!

—Ken Brubaker

On visuals alone, you can see why I bought the Scout. IH’s decal game was strong in 1977. This photo was taken in 1985, shortly after I purchased the rig. If you can tear your gaze away from the sexy decals, you’ll notice that rust was staging a riot on the driver door, rocker panel, and rear quarter-panel. Oh, and yes, those are whitewall street tires covered in mud.
Here’s the Scout after its first rehab. It pained me greatly to remove the decals, but it had to be done. At this point, my rig was sporting new fiberglass rear quarter-panels (attached to the heavily patched factory tub), a set of inexpensive wheels, and a set of BFG A-Ts.
In 1987, my wife and I drove the Scout in all its mismatched-paint glory from Illinois to Colorado for a wheeling vacation. This was the trip that inspired “The Attraction of Ugly 4x4s” Firing Order column (Nov. ’18). People along the way were fascinated with the Scout, no doubt in part due to the tires chained to the roof (see “The Price I Paid for Free Tires” Firing Order, Apr. ’17).
Here’s the finished product a few years later. It wasn’t nearly as cool without the factory decals, but it did have front and rear fiberglass quarters and a ’79 tub to replace the original one that corroded to oblivion. The Scout was a reliable machine that served me well for many years after the resto, until Midwest road salt destroyed body tub #2.

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