A Lifelong Dream and a Short Build Schedule
This ’79 International Scout II was a lifelong dream built on a short schedule
In 1960, International Harvester created the Scout in order to compete with the very popular Jeep. The initial model featured a fold-down windshield and a removable top. During the 20year period (1960 to 1980), only 532,674 Scouts were produced, which makes finding one today quite difficult. Zach Pennock of Potosi, Missouri, has always enjoyed the life of trucks, owning multiple top builds over the years. One day, while taking a new route to his father’s house, he saw a beat-up, dilapidated ’79 International Scout on the side of a house. After stopping and negotiating a price, he dragged the classic back to his residence by chain.
“I always wanted this truck as a little toy,” Zach tells Truckin. “Something to take to the river and have fun with.” The first step was to get the classic running again, so he began investigating the original 304 V-8. To his surprise, it was just the timing, and once corrected, it started right up. The next step was to solidify the frame and body and alter the stock suspension. With the help of Nick and Devin Vallejo at Heartland Fab, Zach got the coilovers and axles and started the suspension work.
They started by centering the axles in the fenderwells using lots and lots of measuring. The inner fenderwells had to be cut out to fit the 16-inch-travel coilovers. Zach started sharing the buildup of the Scout on social media, and Hostile took notice and contacted him to see if he’d be interested in displaying it in a SEMA booth. A SEMA invite is one of those things you don’t turn down, but Zach knew he still had tons of work to make the Scout SEMA-worthy.
It took two days just to write the list of things that needed to be done, but the truck was immediately torn down, the frame was sent to the sandblaster, and the body was sent to WildBoyz Customs in Bismarck, Missouri. Zach chose the ’17 Ford Magnetic Gray paint based on his previous truck colors, and the frame was powdercoated by X-Pert Powder Coating in Farmington, Missouri. The axles, suspension, and all motor parts were stripped off, and Mike Glidwell at MTG Powder Coating ensured everything was completely coated. The axles were rebuilt using Yukon gears, bearing, and seals, and the frame and suspension were assembled.
The motor was still stock, so Zach tore it down to the bare block and cleaned and rebuilt the entire thing. A Comp cam, new lifters, and all new bearings and seals were installed for better performance. The motor, transmission, and transfer case were installed next, and Driveshafts Unlimited in Imperial, Missouri, built new driveshafts for the Scout. Once the body was put back on the frame, allnew brake lines, fuel lines, and a new fuel cell were added. Zach built a custom 2.5-inch stainless steel exhaust and had Jeffco Polishing polish it along with the fuel cell.
The International was completed just two days before Zach needed to leave for the Las Vegas show. Prestige Detailing added ceramic pro to the Scout to handle the weather on the drive to the desert. After working 10 hours a day and then going directly to building the International for SEMA, problems were bound to pop up. Zach and his team worked tirelessly and rapidly to create his masterpiece in time. Zach remembers one night pulling off the track bar and the frame falling over and bending the coilover.
Zach wants to thank his beautiful girlfriend, Lacey Blair, for all her hard work and support throughout the build. The Scout isn’t a common vehicle to build, and finding parts and making things fit was certainly a challenge, but with Hostile on his side and pushing him to get things done, Zach rose to the challenge, and we can say it’s one of the most impressive lifted Scouts we have ever seen.