Launched over fifty years ago, the first generation of the International Harvester Scout is understandably becoming a rare sight on today’s roads. We photographed the 1966 800 model featured below in the Sugar House district of Salt Lake City, Utah, on a hot Sunday afternoon.
The Scout holds a very important place in the history of the sport utility vehicle: It can arguably be called the first modern SUV. Designed to compete against the Jeep CJ-5, it used a rugged body-on-frame design but adopted a much more modern appearance that inspired the first-gen Ford Bronco (launched in 1966) and, to a lesser extent, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer that debuted in 1969. The Scout was often an underdog on the market, but the Bronco and the Blazer played a sizable parting in transforming off-roaders from work horses to leisure vehicles.
We missed this Scout’s owner by a couple of minutes so we were not able to get more information about it, but a close look reveals that it has had some minor bodywork done in the past on the rocker panels and on the driver-side door. It is otherwise largely original and it is even wearing its 1966-issue plates, a tell-tale sign that it has spent its life garaged and/or driven sparingly. The salt that is poured on Utah’s roads during the winter annihilates rocker panels at a jaw-dropping rate.