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We got to climb through another restoration shop like spider monkeys to check out a 1976 International Scout II that’s been brought back to life! Retro Designs Speed & Custom rescues a lot of classic models like the International Scout to restore them to their former glory and make them even better. 

Retro Designs gave a 1976 International Scout a second chance 

1976 International Scout II by Retro Designs
1976 International Scout II by Retro Designs | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to many automotive enthusiasts with attractions such as the Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nascar Hall of Fame. It only makes sense for Retro Designs to set up there, and it’s been rescuing models like the 1976 International Scout for nearly a decade. 

The Scout wasn’t the only attraction to see. We got to check out classic Ford Bronco, Ford Mustang, Land Rover, Porsche, Jeep Wrangler models, and more. But the finished Scout project was the main attraction. 

You can contact Retro Designs with your own project, or they can help you find a diamond in the rough. The team will work very closely with you to make your dreams come true, even if it means hunting down a vintage fabric to give your ride a unique, classic look.  

How was the Scout restored? 

The 1976 International Scout II owner wanted more of a traditional build. But this involved going back to the basics. Retro Designs will strip your vehicle down to get rid of rust. Bondo is used to fill in dents and repair damage. 

The team uses an in-house paint mixer to create custom colors. This helps to match classic shades of paint too. They can whip up any color you want. Soon a classic Ford Bronco will match a brand new model with the same color. Only they are 50 years apart. 

Updates are made to bring vehicles into the modern age. This is pretty convenient as it allows owners to work on their rides. The original V8 engine and four-speed manual transmission were replaced. 

Now it features a Chevy L96 6.0-liter engine which is rated at 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. 

You get to choose the interior too! The seats are hand-stitched in-house. This model kept the classic light brown leather seats, dark wood grain trim, and the classic shade of Harvester blue. A custom compass was added, and a small infotainment screen. 

You can have the Bluetooth connections and modern tech hidden, or you can trick your ride out. Go for it if you want heated and ventilated seats or a head-up display. 

Also, this Scout had a custom after-market roof rack hat the owner picked out. Retro Designs built a custom tire rack to hold the tire above the rear bumper. Originally, the tire would be stored in the cargo hold. 

How does the Scout drive? 

This International Scout II maintained its classic suspension setup. However, you can have your ride equipped with a modern build. Anyways, the Scout drove like a tractor, which is close to its original purpose. 

It was built for farmers. It’s supposed to be durable, and the solid rear axle felt a bit heavy, but we would trust it to get through mud and ruts. The ride was bumpy, but it reminded us of a recreational vehicle for the outdoors. 

We wanted to take the hard top off, but that would have been a whole process. It’s pretty heavy. The turning radius was better than expected, and the climate controls were strong. The cabin was quiet aside from the delightful engine roars. 

The acceleration had a bit of a delay, but once it got started, this beast had enough power to take off. We can see it being a fun daily driver or an exciting ride for special occasions. 

We don’t know what the owner has planned for it, but we hope it doesn’t sit and collect dust. It’s ready to dominate the roads and the wild again. Plus, we can’t wait to see what leaves the Retro Design garage next.


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