You may not remember me, but we crossed paths in the Citgo parking lot about two years ago, sitting in a ’78 Scout about the same color as yours. It turns out I live around the corner from you.
I’ve owned my Scout since 1997, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. I bought it from a nice fellow in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who gave me a thick folder with all the receipts he’d collected while he owned it. It’s taken me to the beach, to the Outer Banks, camping, and to the Home Depot, and has always been a dependable truck.
Unfortunately, in the last two years, I haven’t been able to spend the money or the time on my Scout that it deserves, so it’s been sitting quietly in my driveway. As a result, the A and B pillars have finally given way to rust, and the front quarters have gone from OK to dissolving. I haven’t turned the engine over in a year, but she ran after I cleaned the fuel line and added some new gas to the tank.
I’m writing this letter to see if a fellow Scout owner would be interested in giving mine a good home. While it’s not in turnkey condition, and needs a good deal of work, I know that it’s got plenty of good parts, and I’d rather see somebody use it to keep a Scout running than cut it up for a Jeep. Here’s a breakdown, if you’re interested:
304 V-8, unknown number of miles (I’d guess somewhere in the 150K range)
3-speed Borg-Warner T-19 with a low 6-1 granny gear
Dana 44 axles (rear at 3.54)
Dana 20 transfer case
Aftermarket 3-piece rollbar
Steel top with pinhole leaks around rear corners, in relatively good shape, and a steel hatch. Sliding window glass, decent headliner.
Hi-back bucket seats and a good fold and tumble rear seat, all in green/brown vinyl
Kayline softtop in Nutmeg, with all accessories, in good shape-no leaks or tears.
Tuffy locking center console in black
I’ve also got a tub of parts, including a set of backup headlights, four steel quarter patches, and a second steel windshield with minor rust.
I don’t have a price set, but if you’re interested and would like to make an offer, or have any questions, please give me a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX and we can set up a time to talk or take a look at it.
* * *
I stopped off to deliver this letter last weekend to a neighbor up the street, and wound up meeting him on his way out the front door. As it turns out, he was going to approach me about buying his Scout. While I was half tempted to buy it from him, it still wouldn’t get me to the place I’d like to be—a working, viable truck with no rust, so I turned him down.
My second option was to call my local Scout repair guy yesterday, only to find that he’d closed his shop six months ago and moved to Pennsylvania to be a welder. While I’m happy for him to be moving on, this also feels like another chapter ending in life. The close proximity of his shop was one of the reasons I decided to buy a 20-year-old truck. He was the first stop I made to have a rollbar installed and some carb work done, because he knew Scouts in and out, and suggested a number of things to make the truck run better (which he did, thankfully.) We struck up a funny kind of aquaintance, the kind that I usually have with mechanics and tradesmen, where they don’t quite know what to make of the skinny little guy who knows how to clean a carb or sweat pipes or hang joists. I wound up doing a little work in trade with him, and he kept my truck running, but begged off on the bodywork.
He had a few ideas for who might be interested in my truck, but cautioned me that rigs and parts on eBay aren’t moving as fast as they used to, with gas prices being where they are now. I thanked him for his time, wished him well, and hung up the phone.
I thought about it on and off for the remainder of the evening, and my feelings were mixed. While I’m glad to finally have resolved myself to selling my truck, I’m still torn by the emotional attachments I have to it. For awhile, I felt like I was making room for something better (perhaps this will make room for some work to be done on the garage, or a more efficient vehicle?), but now I’m discouraged. I think maybe getting the karmic wheel spinning is going to take a much bigger push than I’d hoped.