Old Scout, New Scout on Blythewood Rd

William Holler says the Scout 800 has been immobile on the property at least since his childhood, when he played in it at his grandparents’ home. | Barbara Ball

BLYTHEWOOD – Just across the road from where Scout Motors plans to build its new auto plant is a spot where Scout’s long-ago namesake once made an impact.

A car produced by an older subsidiary of the auto company that owns Scout – a mid-1960s International  Scout 800, as best as owner William Holler can figure it – has been sitting on the Holler family property for decades.

“I had to look and kind of do some digging to figure out what would make the most sense, and it looks like a Scout 800,” says Holler, 35, who says the car has been immobile on the property since his childhood, when he remembers playing in it while visiting his grandparents.

“It had a hard top on it. It doesn’t anymore. And there used to be a third-row bench seat in the back. That’s gone, too.”

The vehicle, purchased new in the 1960s by his grandfather Dr. David Holler, was an off-road model produced through 1980. The current parent company of its manufacturer is Volkswagen, which also owns Scout Motors EV – a new electric vehicle brand named for the historic Scout.

“They were really popular, and they looked like a lot of fun to drive,” Holler says of the old car, “just kind of like a big, wide-open 4-wheel-drive kind of vehicle.”

Holler says neither his dad nor his uncle has any memory of driving the car – they were both children when it was operational – but they remember riding in it. Their father was apparently enamored with it.

“They would drive up to Waynesville, North Carolina, where it would start snowing, and go drive around in the deep snow. That was pretty much the only story that everybody would agree on remembering,” he says, with a laugh.

“And it sounds like… there was only story that everybody would agree on remembering,” he says, with a laugh.

“And it sounds like… there was a sand pit somewhere that my granddad would go and drive around in, and kind of scare the kids a little bit. Scared my grandma for sure.”

He says that the vehicle fell into disuse sometime around the 1970s. He’s not sure exactly what prompted his grandfather to store it in a barn on the 23-acre property – but, once it was stored there, it wasn’t driven anymore.

“I think it had a little something wrong with it, and my granddad always had in mind that he was going to fix it soon, and then kind of never did,” he says. “There was probably some simple thing that needed to be fixed, and they just never got around to it.”

Eventually, the barn where it was stored was torn down – so his relatives moved it to another barn on the property. That barn, also out of use for decades, eventually collapsed, partially on the car – and that’s where it is today, pinned under the tin roof.

Holler says his grandfather died in his early 50’s in 1983, and his dad and uncles moved away, and so the car just continued to sit there until his grandmother died in 2016 and has remained there since. Now that he and his fiancé are buying the property and are fixing up the house, he’s been reminded of the Scout.

He says he took the key from the non-operational vehicle back when he was a kid – and he wonders if it might still be with items from his childhood bedroom in North Carolina. Perhaps, he says, he’ll try to find it – even though the old Scout is long past being drivable.

“It wasn’t running then, so it’s definitely not going to run now,” he says. “I can’t even open the hood at this point; part of the barn has collapsed on it.”

Holler says he doesn’t know all the details about the Scout Motors plant that’s going in across the road, but he says it sounds like a positive thing for the community.

“The Scouts they’ll be building over there will be electric vehicles now, so that’s positive. That’s exciting to see,” he says. “I’m a big believer in that being the future, and I’m hoping to have an electric car at some point soon. So, they’re moving in the right direction, and it’s good to see that it’s associated with Blythewood.”

He says things have changed in the last half-century for sure on the long-ago farm – and, after all this time that the Scout has been there, he’s not sure what he’ll do with it next.

“We’ll leave it there until we figure something out,” he says. “We’ll probably have to move it somewhere else at some point, find another barn to put it in.”

But the sentimentality of it is still strong and Holler says he’s definitely not thinking of getting rid of it.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]