On a whim, I decided to post an ad on my local Craigslist (and several surrounding cities) offering to trade straight up, my trusty '83 F100 for a decent Scout 80/800. A few days later, low and behold I had a reply. It turned out there was a farmer out in the sticks, about 45 minutes away that had purchased a '69 800A a few years previous with the intent to fix it up and use it around the farm. He had never gotten around to it, and there the Scout had sat. He needed a farm truck, and I wanted a Scout. It appeared to be a match made in heaven. After a few emails back and forth, and the obligatory exchange of pictures, a tentative deal was struck.
The following Sunday, I was headed West, me in the F100, and my buddy Stephen following in his Dodge diesel dually pulling a trailer to drag the non-running Scout home on. Upon arrival, we spotted the Scout, wiling away the days tucked under a pair of giant cedar trees. It was, as promised, a '69 800A, with full hard top, rear seat, 196 I4 engine and 3 speed manual.
After chatting a bit with the owner about it, I learned it had been purchased new and put to work on the Anheuser-Busch farm in St. Louis, Missouri. It had been sold to a former employee, and then sold to my new farmer friend who lives just outside of Charlottesville, Va. After all these years, it was sporting less than 49,000 original miles! My farmer friend told me had only driven it once, down the road and back. During that trip, he had blown out the rear main seal. He had had it replaced, but never could get to to run right after that, and under the cedar trees it had sat.
I spent some time exploring the Scout while he looked over the Ford, and after some friendly chit-chat, a deal was struck. With the help of the farmer, a John Deere tractor, a come-along, and much sweat, the Scout was loaded up on the trailer, Titles were swapped, and we were headed home with my new prize!
My wife, who had been less than impressed with the ugly pickup, was absolutely horrified by the Scout. Add to the fact that it didn't run (a fact I had judiciously failed to disclose before heading out to make the swap), and, well, I got the cold shoulder from her (and the kids, and the dogs, and the neighbors) for a few days. Totally worth it.
Now that the Scout was home, it was time to set about getting it running.
More to come in Part 3.