International-Harvester Scout III (1979)
International-Harvester had ambitious plans for a third generation of their pioneering Scout model, aiming to reclaim the SUV crown from Ford.
Internally known as the Scout Supplemental Vehicle (SSV), the Scout III could have made its way to showroom floors as early as the 1981 model year. The design featured a modern look, characterized by a newly styled front end with vertical slats and square lights.
Additionally, it boasted a fastback-like roofline, a cutting-edge innovation at that time. This design would have positioned it as one of the early adopters of the emerging coupe-SUV trend.
The 1980s saw a strong demand for SUVs. If executed successfully, the Scout III could have ensured the survival of International-Harvester’s car-building division well into the 1990s.
However, company executives made the pivotal decision to discontinue SUV manufacturing and redirect their focus towards other areas, particularly heavy-duty trucks. As a result, the project was shelved, gradually fading into obscurity.
The legacy of International-Harvester now lives on within the realm of CNH Industrial, a major machinery conglomerate, and Navistar, a prominent heavyweight truck manufacturer.