Sydney, 1980 Diesel Scout Traveler

1980 Diesel Scout Traveler, elbow eliminator, Mercedes turbo. Copper paint with original stripe
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1980 Diesel Scout Traveler, elbow eliminator, Mercedes turbo. Copper paint with original stripe

General Information

In January 2006 we acquired Sydney in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a 1980 diesel Scout Traveler built October 1979 with 16,119 miles on the odometer. I swapped in a rebuilt SD-33T with an elbow eliminator, 3 inch exhaust (with only the rotary muffler) and the Mercedes turbo upgrade in 2009. Sydney is not a trailer queen. We have driven over 65,000 miles since the engine swap.




A full frame-off restoration was completed in April 2018 by Scoutco Products, LLC. Sydney won Best of Show at the 2018 Dixie Regionals and the 2018 IH Scout & All Truck Nationals and was voted Grand National Champion at NATS in 2019. Mary cried when Mike sent us this photo.


Sydney has traveled 36,500 miles in the 4 1/2 years since completion of the restoration.

The Sydney Across America adventures began in late 2014. We purchased Cali, a 2012 Silver Shadow Teardrop camper and left on our first extended cross country journey.


The first journey was a 6 week, 6,600 mile (less than 500 miles on interstate highways) trip from southwest Ohio to the IH Sierra Fall Rallye in Grass Valley, California. Sydney was awarded Furthest Traveled and the Ted Ornas Family Award for the best original Scout at the show.

Since then we have completed 6 more extended trips. Sydney has been driven, with Cali in tow, to all four sides of the lower 48 United States. We just completed a 79 day, 9,400 mile trip back to the IH Sierra Fall Rallye traveling through 19 states. We visited many of our IH friends along the way.


The Nissan SD-33T has just enough power to tow the teardrop (or Cali is light enough for Sydney to two). Many mountain climbs have been 30 miles per hour in 2nd gear at 2900 rpm. Sydney averages between 19 & 20 miles per gallon traveling around 60 miles per hour. With a 40 gallon after market tank we have more than enough range to explore the world.

Follow us on Instagram of Facebook - @SydneyIHScout to see where we go next.

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