Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe International Harvester looks to be a good Scout. Despite that, you'll still need to decide if this Terra's price is not too terrible.
Whenever I see an International Harvester I always get hungry. That's because the brand's logo - the interlocking i and H - always seems to somewhat remind me of IHOP and due to that similarity seeing one makes me want to eat pancakes.
Sadly I don't get to have that Pavlovian response all that often any more - to the financial loss of the International House of Pancakes - as there just aren't that many IH products on the road anymore. In fact, the last time I saw one - and I do look - was a massive Traveler in my local Pick-Your-Part yard. Unfortunately for me and IHOP I had already had breakfast that day before trolling the yard.
Well, I may just have to get my Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity on this morning because today we have a 1978 International Scout Terra tearing it up on the Craigslists.
The seventies were not kind to International Harvester. The company's Farmall agricultural products division was falling far behind both John Deere and invasive import brands, and the heavy truck business wasn't faring much better.
The compact Scout and more commodious Traveler served as IH's only light duty offerings in the second half of the decade, and one of the Scout's derivations was the Terra, a combo cab and bed pickup created through the clever addition of a cab cap that mulleted all the way down to the bed.
That bed was over 6 feet long and could carry a full ton of whatever you wanted to put back there. If what you wanted to carry was a ton of plywood you should know that with only 42-inches between the wheel arches in back, they wouldn't be riding flat.
The Scout-based Terra was built on a ladder frame with semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension at all four corners. The Scout - and its Terra twin - were complete analogs to the contemporary Jeep, early Ford Bronco, or hell pretty much any compact off-roader from the era you could name.
This Terra isn't equipped to go very far off the well-beaten path as it is only a 2WD edition. That's okay though because it does come with a couple of other options that make it worth a look. One of those is the IH 345-cid V8 under the hood. This was the top engine choice back in the day, the others being an 86-horse four, a 144-pony 304 V8 and a Nissan diesel with 98 horses to offer.
The 345 put out 163-hp in this guise, and here it's mated to a manual transmission. The gear count remains a mystery as the ad does't say and the Terra was available with both a 3-speed stock and a 4-speed as an option. Either way driving this truck will make you feel like Jethro Bodine, and I don't mean that in a bad way.
The body looks to be in fine shape which is an important consideration as these things have a reputation for rust like Donald Sterling has a rep for liking the white meat come thanksgiving. This one also comes with a push-bar on the front bumper, just like the Highway Patrol, so it would be an excellent choice for a commuter if you're vexed by inattentive drivers sitting too long at green lights.
The interior - with working heater and AM radio, fawn-say! - looks to be equally serviceable, and you could get three abreast in there on the split bench if the mood hits you. One bit of humor in the ad is the note that the removable cab cap has… wait for it... never been removed.
What it's now time for is for you to decide if this Tera is worth someone removing $8,000 from their bank account for its purchase. What do you think, is that a price that should make this Terra firma? Or, is that just a bitter International Harvest?
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