This is a 1979 International Scout SSII, or “Super Scout II.” It’s a factory-built, stripped down version of the Scout II inspired by the successful off-road racing Scouts of the 1970s.
The SSII is now one of the most prized and collectible Scouts of the 1970s however many have been lost to rust, junkyards, or accidents. The example you see here was delivered new to Greece where it spent its entire life, and it has been recently refurbished.
Fast Facts – The International Scout SSII
- The original Super Scout II (SSII) was released by International Harvester in 1977 as a stripped down, off-road racing focussed version of the Scout with removable fabric doors, a fabric roof, and a number of other features designed to keep it light and nimble.
- The first Scout was introduced in 1961 as a competitor for the Jeep CJ, it proved so popular that Ford soon launched their own Bronco model, and others followed shortly after.
- Scouts use a simple body-on-frame design with a front-mounted engine, either a manual or automatic gearbox, and four-wheel drive via a central transfer case.
- It was recently announced that the Scout would be coming back as an all-new electric SUV, the styling of the teaser image shows a clear link to the Scout II, and the first deliveries are said to be due in 2026.
The International Harvester Scout II
The Scout II had big shoes to fill when it was released in 1971. The original Scout which had been unveiled a decade earlier in 1961 had helped to shape the rapidly evolving world of American four-wheel drives, what we would now call SUVs, and it had inspired Ford to develop the Bronco.
The Scout II would be larger than its predecessor, following the industry-wide trend for larger SUVs that was also being followed by the Ford Bronco and Chevrolet Blazer.
Though still simple the interior was more refined and less agricultural, engine and transmission options were expanded, and a slew of sub-models were offered with different features including the Scout II Terra, Scout II Traveler, and the Super Scout II or SSII.
The Scout II, or more specifically the Scout SSII, would make a name for itself in the world of off-road desert racing. A modified SSII driven by Jerry Boone would win the 1977 4×4 production vehicle class in the Baja 1000 finishing almost two full hours ahead of his closest competitor driving a Jeep.
Boone won again in 1978 at Riverside in California. In the same year Sherman Balch would take a class victory in the Baja 1000 and the Mint 400. Balch’s successes would continue well into the 1980s, he was still taking victories in the Baja 250, the Baja 500, the Baja 1000, the Mint 400, and the Parker 400 in 1982.
The Scout II would leave production in 1980 with no planned successor. Many believed this was the end of the line for the much-loved 4×4 and it was for forty years until an announcement in May of 2022 by the VW Group.
The announcement stated, among other things, that they are going to bring back the Scout as an electric production vehicle, the styling will be closely influenced by the Scout II, and early reports indicate that it will have genuine off-road ability.
The International Scout SSII
The Scout SSII was developed as the off-road racing version of the standard Scout II. It was lightened through the use of removable fabric doors, a fabric roof, plastic door inserts, a plastic grille, and it was given a roll bar for safety.
Many Scout SSIIs were raced in events like the Baja 1000 though all were modified from stock, the SSII did offer a good starting platform and it proved highly successful.
Much like the Scout II the Scout SSII has live axles front and rear on leaf springs, body-on-chassis construction, and a front-mounted engine sending power back through (either a manual or automatic) transmission and through a two-speed transfer case to all four wheels.
The SSII featured bold styling and it sold well based on its success in desert racing, but not well enough to save the model which only remained in production from 1977 to 1979.
Surviving examples are now highly collectible and there are clubs online that help bring together owners, offering advice, parts, and meet ups.
The 1979 International Scout SSII Shown Here
The Scout SSII you see here is unusual in that it was delivered new to its first owner in Greece. Not that many Scout IIs were delivered in Europe and few of those that were have survived.
It’s had three owners since new, all in Greece and the second owner completed a full restoration on the vehicle which included a full engine rebuild, a gearbox replacement, a suspension upgrade including a 3″ lift, and an interior re-trim.
The vehicle is now being offered for sale on Collecting Cars out of Athens, Greece on Collecting Cars and you can visit the listing here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
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