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A 1962 Scout 80 With Some Super-Secret Off-Road Modifications

International Super Star

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

Sometimes a vehicle is more than just the sum of the parts. That is certainly the case with this 1962 Scout 80. Tom Prendergast builds tube buggies at Patriot Fabrication and in fact has one of his own. His wife, Rosalie, wanted a Scout, so Tom put a bunch of buggy-worthy parts under this International so Rosalie could go all of the same places that he goes.

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“We actually have another Scout 80 at home that I will be restoring for her daily driver,” Tom says.

We were lucky enough to catch up with the couple in Moab for the Scout’s maiden voyage. It tackled everything that Rosalie pointed it at—and looked great doing it. The combination of a 1-ton drivetrain, link suspension, and classic sheetmetal is a winner

International engines weren’t exactly powerhouses, but at least they were heavy! Tom Prendergast swapped in a big-block Chevy with TBI fuel injection that is lighter than the International engine and makes more power, even with stock internals. The throttle-body fuel injection is simpler than multiport fuel injection yet still runs at any angle. A Summit Racing Equipment aluminum radiator and Derale electric fan keep the engine cool.

Up front, Tom swapped in a high-pinion Dana 60 from a one ton Chevy. The axle is filled with 5.38 G2 gears, a Yukon spool, 35-spline Yukon chromoly axleshafts, and Warn Premium hubs. Steering comes from a PSC double-ended ram on an Artec truss connected to Artec steering arms that use a bolt through the factory knuckle location for double-sheer mounting strength.

The front suspension uses 2 1/2-inch, 14-inch-travel Fox coilovers with remote reservoirs. The spring rates for the coils are 250 lb/in over 350 lb/in. The front axle uses an Artec truss to mount the four-link and Panhard bar. The links are made from 2x0.250-wall DOM tubing and fitted with Steinjäger 1.25x1-inch chromoly rod ends.

The frame was notched in order to provide room for the Fox coilovers. Patriot Fabrication added a significant amount of tubing to the chassis to ensure that it remains stiff and straight with the 1-ton axles and coilover suspension.

The rear suspension is a double-triangulated four-link with Fox 2 1/2-inch-diameter, 14-inch-travel coilovers and 200-lb/in over 300-lb/in coils. An Artec truss reinforces the 14-bolt and creates a framework for the suspension links to attach to. The axle uses 5.38 G2 gears, a full spool, and disc brakes.

The interior is functional without being cluttered. The steering wheel is on a quick-release hub and controls the PSC orbital valve for the fully hydraulic steering. The metal dash holds Auto Meter Phantom II gauges that monitor oil pressure, rpm, water temperature, transmission temperature, fuel, and voltage. A Winters shifter between the Corbeau Baja XRS seats rows the gears in the transmission, while an Offroad Design twin-stick kit was added to the NP205 transfer case for the ability to front dig.

While the one ton Chevy drivetrain and suspension would be at home in a buggy, wheeling a full-bodied rig means that Rosalie has enough room for a cooler and tools in her Scout. Patriot Fabrication built the custom rollcage from 1.75x0.120-wall DOM tubing and tied it into the frame in six locations. With tube clamps, the cage safely holds a fullsize spare tire and a Hi-Lift jack.

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Tech Specs
1962 International Scout 800
Engine: 454ci V-8
Transmission: TH400 4-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP205 with twin stick
Front Axle: Dana 60 with 5.38 G2 gears, Yukon spool, Yukon 35-spline chromoly axleshafts, Warn Premium hubs
Rear Axle: Corporate 14-bolt with 5.38 G2 gears, Yukon spool, disc brakes
Springs & Such: Fox 2 1/2-inch 14-inch-travel coilovers, Artec truss, 4-link (front); Fox 2 1/2-inch 14-inch-travel coilovers, Artec truss, double-triangulated 4-link (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 14/42-17LT Super Swamper Iroks on 17x9 Raceline beadlocks with Patriot Fabrication IH beadlock rings
Steering: PSC double-ended steering ram, orbital valve, pump, and reservoir
Lighting: Truck-Lite LED headlights, Putco LED taillights
Other Stuff: Warn VR 10,000 winch, Optima RedTop battery, Summit Racing Equipment aluminum radiator, Derale electric fan, Winters shifter, Auto Meter Phantom II gauges, Corbeau Baja XRS seats, MasterCraft Safety harnesses, Hi-Lift jack, Front Range drivelines