Here's Why The Price Of Classic Scouts Could Go Through The Roof

International Harvester's Scout line of passenger trucks and SUVs occupy an interesting place in the history of American vehicle manufacturing. For much of the 20th century, the American car industry was dominated by three major conglomerates: Ford, GM, and Chrysler. The so-called "Big Three" all put carmaking at the center of their business model.

At the same time, the U.S. has plenty of manufacturers and an abiding love for motorized gadgets of all kinds. Strictly on an engineering basis, there was no reason a company like farm-equipment-maker International Harvester couldn't diversify — bringing the lessons of building tough, reliable, well-loved tractors and combines — to tough, reliable, hopefully well-loved consumer vehicles.

That was the Scout brand: a range of working and outdoor-focused consumer vehicles that strove to out-Jeep the Chrysler Jeep itself for a respectable 19 years. The last Scout rolled off the assembly line in 1980. International Harvester would follow the Scout into oblivion just five years later, leaving a gap in the marketplace, and plenty of love for the company's big bruising trucks and 4x4s of the 60s and 70s.

In fact, there's enough love in the marketplace for the Scout that the brand's current owner, the Volkswagen Group, intends to bring it back. VW also plans a major change to Scout's brand that could make surviving Scouts valuable collector's items

VW intends to keep much of Scout's brand identity the same as it was in its heyday. The focus will be on trucks and SUVs suited for daily driving, as well as off-road and working applications, and all Scouts will be made in America. The big change? All Scouts will be battery-electric designs.

By itself, that's not a surprise. A number of manufacturers are betting heavily on electric vehicles excelling in working roles: from Ford and Chevy delivering major towing numbers for their electric F-150 Lightning and Silverado trucks, to Tesla looking to electrify fleets of 18-wheelers as well.

It does, however, represent a serious opportunity for lovers of used cars and trucks. Per Torque News, the price of vintage Ford Broncos spiked more than 400% after Ford announced it would be bringing back the classic brand. As Motorious reports, the online car market in particular has been seeing enormous gains over the pandemic years — Bring A Trailer alone grew by more than 50 percent year-over-year in 2022 — with new opportunities for owners of classic cars.

In short, classic gas-powered Scouts are likely to become sought-after collector's items soon. With Gen X and Millennials buying into the vintage car market according to Capital One, getting a Scout could be a major opportunity for collectors.

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