International Harvester has been out of the light-duty truck market for almost thirty years, but their products live on through a community of hard-core fans. You can count Chris and Carolina Adams in that number, as their '62 Scout 80 is clearly the work of devoted fans. True, the purist might cringe at anything short of an original restoration of what many consider to be the original SUV, but we're sure that this Scout doesn't mind that it has been completely transformed into a sporty runabout. As Chris explained, International Harvester was known for its tractors and farm implements, including the obvious harvesters and balers that would fasten hay into tight bales. That's how IH garnered the nickname "binder", which explains why the Adams' Scout, which is so far from the norm, was nicknamed, "Unbound".
The Adams' Scout started as a four-cylinder 2WD model with a bench seat and leaf springs at every corner, so they had a long way to go to get to what you see on these pages today. The foundation of the build is an Art Morrison chassis custom made from 2x4-inch rectangular tubing. The rear suspension is a five-link, while the front is Morrison IFS, and the whole truck rests on adjustable coilovers that nestles the truck over the perennial-favorite 20x10-inch American Racing Torq Thrust wheels. Just like the wheels are modern versions of a classic, so are the tires, as the Adams' chose 265/35ZR20 BFGoodrich T/A KDW rubber for the front and 294/45ZR20 tires for the rear. Marty Schreiber at N2 Hot Rods in Arizona, was responsible for the build, while Chris lent his eye to the design and aesthetic choices.
Chris knew that there had to be something about the body of his Scout to set it apart from the rest. There isn't much adornment on the factory body, so the focus went to the top, which was chopped four inches with the windshield laid back to match. The other major modification was done to the tailgate, where the hinges were removed and the gate was solidly welded to the body. The exhaust system also makes its appearance in the rear, as the exhaust exits via round tips frenched into the rear panel of the Scout on either side of the roll pan. N2 did the bodywork, with Tim Chesher handling the final sanding that left the 4th Dimension Cortez Silver metallic and Nocturne Blue metallic paint looking fantastic.
Inside, the Spartan interior seems to hold true to its roots, but there's more to be found with a careful investigation. What appears to be a factory dash in its normal location is actually filled with Auto Meter gauges and is mounted an inch closer to the passengers to make room for an air conditioning unit, as A/C wasn't even available in Scout 80s. The audio duties are handled by a Pioneer head unit and two 10-inch shallow-mount Pioneer subs mounted in compartments that were designed for the original fuel tank and utility box. The long-gone factory bench seat was replaced with power leather Infiniti G35 buckets. Also taking the comfort up a notch is Porsche carpeting laid over a foundation of Dynamat.
Even with all of the upgrades, both dramatic and subtle, the one that truly grabbed our attention was underhood. International was renown for its heavy-duty engines that lasted forever, but they weren't known for power. The Adams' Scout came equipped with a 152ci four-cylinder, which was essentially the driver side bank of International's 304ci V-8. The engine moved the compact Scout around, but with only 83 hp, and remember that was the old gross-hp rating, that engine just wouldn't do. Instead, Turnkey Engine Supply was sourced for an LS6. The 5.7L engine breathes through an Airaid intake and out through Doug Thorley headers. With five times the horsepower and a paddle-shifted 4L60E, the powerplant was just the thing to bring the Scout into the 21st century. Power is routed into a Strange Engineering Ford 9-inch housing filled with 3.50 gears and a limited slip.
The Adams' Scout is the kind of unique, sporty ride we love to see. It's not every day that you see a Scout, and we've never seen one quite like this. Our hats are off to Scott for designing, and Marty and his crew for building, such a complete hot rod.
Rich Maldonado upholstered G35 buckets to match the Scout's paint.
An LS6 provides fives times the power of the original ih four-cylinder and keeps the fun g