Our neighbors invited us to come out and play trivia with them at a local restaurant on Monday night, and because we really like them and we love trivia, we readily agreed. They have a big banquet room below the main bar where tables were set up, and by the time Jen and I got there most of them were full with big groups of people. Our team was just the four of us—but we were a pair of Trivial Pursuit veterans and a pair of internationally educated British expats. We started out strong, and the sports-related questions were some easy softballs I was able to field. We took a few hits midway through the game, but wound up tied for first place after the final question. The woman running the event held a tiebreaker and because we were able to estimate the shoe size of the Statue of Liberty, we won a $20 bar tab!
I drove out to my friend Dave’s house in Flintstone Sunday morning to see if there was anything else I could pick off the Scout II and Scout 80 he’s got beached up on the hill behind his house. Picking parts is fun but also like walking into a loop in the time-space continuum: after the first two hours, you think you’re ahead of the game. By 4 o’clock, you’re racing the setting sun and scrambling to do a cost-benefit analysis to gauge what’s worth pulling before you have to leave, and you still have to figure out how to stuff it all in the vehicle you brought.
Both times I’ve been there before I scrambled for the whole day to pull as much as I could in the time that I had, and I always left thinking, “dammit, I meant to grab ____ and ____ and ____.” Looking over the photos before I left, I knew there wasn’t a ton of stuff left, but there were some things worth going back for. Scouts on the East Coast are getting rarer and rarer on the ground, so I’m trying to get what I can while it’s still available. Dave is a nice guy and knows his stuff isn’t going to roll across the stage at Mecum, so he’s fair on price and happy to lend a hand or grab a tool.
Originally I was going to drive the Scout, so I put the traveltop back on Friday night and prepped a set of recovery tools. When that was done I installed the liftgate gas struts from IH Parts America and marveled at how much nicer they feel than the old mechanical lift. I also put the pod on the roof of the CR-V to hedge my bets. The forecast was wishy-washy about rain and I didn’t want to drive out in the Scout if I was going to get caught in a downpour.
The morning looked lousy so I loaded up the CR-V and hit the road a little after 8. Dave hasn’t sold anything since the last time I was up there, so I was able to pick up right where I’d left off. I walked around both trucks and hit all of the target areas with PB blaster before I busted out the impact driver and a new set of bits. Over the course of the day I was able to grab:
- The entire dash assembly with all wiring and mechanical switches
- The windshield glass (the frame is beyond toast)
- Both slider windows
- The rear liftgate with glass—it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the spare I have, and has hinges
- Both door strikers (I’d tried to get these last time, but the impact driver today was clutch)
- The A/C box
- The hood catch/release mechanism
- The passenger fender—it’s crispy in areas but might be worth repairing in the future. This took too much time to remove.
- An entire Scout 80 folding windshield with glass (score!)
- Other bits and bobs I can’t remember
I had the hood off the 80 and ready to load up, but Dave asked to keep it over the engine to keep the rain off. I also asked him about the 80 doors but he was keeping those for parts for his running truck.
On the dammit, I meant to list:
- I tried my best to pull the dashboard from the 80 but it’s fastened with some of the largest, stickiest Phillips-head screws I’ve ever dealt with. I want the IH speedometer BAD but couldn’t figure out how to get that without destroying it.
- I also tried to get the steering wheel assembly out but was stymied by several bolts down at the steering box and one up under the fender.
- The cowl was cut for a plow years ago, but I tried to get that too. There are several bolts inside the fenders that were rusted solid. If I ever go back I’ll ask Dave if I can Sawzall it off the front.
- On the Scout II I got stuck pulling the emergency brake assembly off—the brakes are likely frozen and I couldn’t get any slack to release the cable.
- The transmission tunnel cover—the automatic shift lever assembly gave me fits
- I meant to grab the power steering pump but ran out of time there as well.
I was pretty amazed that I was able to fit it all in the CR-V; if I’d taken that hood and door it would have been a very tight fit. As it was the pod came in super-handy: I put both the liftgate and the 80 windshield up there, freeing up space for the other bulky stuff in back. Driving home, covered in grease, PB blaster and dirt, I was happy to have gone back out and grabbed some of the last best junk before the snow started blowing and it all rusted away even further.
Oh for the love of all that is holy I want this 1960 Buick station wagon. This design was directly after the apex of tailfins and right before the shift to boxy, crisper lines of the mid-60’s. The wraparound windshield is still present, the way the eyebrows over the front headlights curve around the fenders and swoop all the way back to the taillights are beautiful. Those curved rear windows! Those round taillights! So much good stuff here.
The first thing I’d do is remove all of the stupid faux lettering and pull the surfboards off the roof; then I’d source some new door cards, yank the swamp cooler, polish what’s left of the paint and drive the wheels off that thing.
I ran across an auction for a Scout in Gold Poly the other day, and grabbed the photos while they were online. This is exactly what my tub looked like from the factory complete with a true ’75 grille:
Minus the west coast mirrors and black aftermarket wheels, of course. This rig even has the chrome trim strips, which mine was drilled for (Chewbacca did not have this exotic decoration). This one also has a factory step bumper, which Peer Pressure did not.
As much as I despise the purple, I think I like it better than Gold Poly. And I’m much happier with a ’72-73 grille than the odd ’75 grille design.
I also saw this gold ’75 at Nationals this year, parked several rigs down the line from me:
Gold with a white top and Rallye wheels—I like that look a lot more. And interestingly the grille surround is silver as well, something they did on the ’71-’72’s from the factory.
She’s almost as tall as me now. Thankfully, she still sleeps with Ox and sometimes Kasoogi (the purple guy by her knee). Looking at this makes me wish I could still pick up that little squirt and hug her for the rest of the week.