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Tire-Shredding HellScout™

By on January 1, 2020

Winner Takes Possession after SEMA Debut

“Run with the white-tail, the bighorn and the rainbow trout in a four-wheel-drive Scout II.”

With the above headline, the 1979 International Scout II sales brochure identified this unique-for-its-time vehicle as a forerunner to modern-day, off-road/SUV combinations. An almost all-there, 40-year-old ’79 Scout II was reborn by the talented team members at Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) in Dallas, Texas. Born with a desire for off-roading, this ’79 Scout II was transformed into a 707-hp tire-shredding HellScout.

Monkeys See, Monkeys Do

The GMG team grappled with a ton of restoration ideas that were sifted and sorted, ultimately bringing the Scout II back to life as a one-of-a-kind hot rod. Once this GMG project car was found, the Monkeys wasted no time creating an ambitious wish list for the ’79 Scout. A 6.2-liter MOPAR® Hellcrate engine paired with a Hellcat 8-speed transmission, a Dutchman rear end and an Aeromotive fuel system became the heart, soul and muscle of this aptly named ride.

Although fitting the massive 400-pound powerplant into its new Chris Alston chassis was a challenge, the Monkeys worked their magic. Wanting to make sure this classic was as comfortable to ride as it was powerful, a coil-over, 4-link suspension was installed. To achieve the just-perfect exhaust notes from idle to the redline range, a MagnaFlow custom-built system was added.

Applying all that power to the ground while looking good doing it, the HellScout is fitted with staggered REVO RX10 wheels, 18-inch fronts and 20-inch rears, mated to Nitto NT555 skins. Wilwood discs on all four corners provide awesome stopping power. The custom front grille, machined at GMG using Haas Automation machine tools, fronts the Ron Davis aluminum radiator and the Vintage Air A/C system that respectively cool the beast and its occupants while cruising around town. 

A side-to-side, front-to-back, top-to-bottom interior refresh—retaining the same look and feel of a vintage Scout—provides the finishing touches. Hi-tech gauges from Red Line Gauge Works monitor the HellScout’s vital signs. The special orange and striated caramel and white paint scheme accent the clean exterior lines. The slammed chassis-body combination and the low-profile tires provide a ground-hugging appearance compared to the high ground clearance of the original Scout II.

HellScout SEMA Debut

When the paint dried, and the Gas Monkeys finished their assembly work, the HellScout was dispatched to MagnaFlow in Oceanside, California for installation of the custom exhaust system. From there, it was shipped to Las Vegas for its first public showing during the November 4 to 7 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The HellScout photos illustrating this story were taken in the MagnaFlow booth on the SEMA Show floor. More than 2,300 exhibitors rented over 11,000 booth spaces (10×10) covering more than 1.1 million square feet. The show was attended by more than 60,000 buyers of automotive aftermarket specialty equipment.

The HellScout Winner Is…

Mark Rouille

Thanks to all of you who submitted the more than 2.5 million entries in the TravelCenters of America (TA) created and sponsored Gear Up Sweepstakes to win the HellScout. The winner is Mark Rouille of Genoa, Illinois, about 65 miles west of Chicago off of I-90. He’s a 51-year-old pipefitter of 31 years, married with three children. Mark learned about the HellScout by watching two segments of a TV show, featuring the Gas Monkeys building the car. He learned about the Gear Up Sweepstakes when he visited the TA Travel Center at Janesville, Wisconsin. Connecting the build to the sweepstakes immediately piqued his interest to the point of submitting 787 online entries during the 101 entry days from August 1 through November 9, 2019. He earned some bonus entries when multiple gear levels appeared on the online spinning wheel. The 787 entries improved Mark’s odds of winning to approximately 1-in-3,200.

With guidance from his grandfather, Mark grew up as a self-taught DIYer, working on bikes and cars. He’s taken to watching automotive shows on TV that focus on building and maintaining cars and light trucks. Until the HellScout came into his life, his dream car was a Mustang Mach I. Recently, he also had thoughts of restoring a vintage pickup truck from the ‘40s to the ‘70s, so the HellScout sneaks in just under the wire. Proving it never hurts to dream, Mark had strong feelings about his chances of winning the HellScout, even bordering on a premonition.

“With special thanks to TA, my family and I are very excited about winning the HellScout,” said Mark. “I was intrigued by watching the build process on TV and ultimately the possibility of winning the Gear Up Sweepstakes. That motivated me to max out my entries virtually every day. We’re looking forward to visiting the Gas Monkey Garage on December 13 and seeing the HellScout close up. The full impact of owning the HellScout probably won’t be felt until its home in our garage, and we’re able to drive it. With the onset of winter weather, that’s not likely to happen until spring arrives.

“We’re very familiar with TA and Petro locations, including nearby Petro Rochelle (IL) on I-39, TA Janesville (WI) on I-90 and Petro Portage (WI) at the I-39 and I-90/I-94 junction. We’ve stopped at those locations for gas, beverages, food and convenience items on our way to and from fishing destinations and other outdoor adventures. TA and Petro locations are always clean, staffed by friendly people and have a great selection of merchandise.”

You’ll see more pictures and learn more about Mark Rouille, his family, the HellScout and the December 13 visit to GMG in the March-April issue of RoadKing.

About Warren Eulgen

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