IHC’s Four Cylinder “Comanche” Engine was Literally Half a V8

The International Harvester Corporation (IHC) introduced its Scout in 1961. The Scout was IHC’s answer to the Jeep CJ.

A builder of tractors, commercial and pick-up trucks IHC went looking for a four banger to offer as the base model engine for the Scout. The company decided that the answer was a cut-down engine. Taking a lesson from some types of worms cut-down engines are produced by fragmentation.

By way of example, an auto-builder might take an existing six cylinder and whittle it down to a four-cylinder. In IHC’s case, the company’s 304 V8 was lopped in half lengthwise to create the Comanche four cylinder. The benefit of a cut-down engine is that it spares a company the expense of developing a new engine.

Here are some examples of fragmentation engines from other builders.

  • Buick V6
  • 3.9 Chrysler Magnum
  • 90 degree Chevrolet V6
  • Pontiac “Trophy 4”
  • GMC “Iron Duke

Many of the parts used in the Comanche and the 304 were the same. The displacement of IHC’s new four-banger was 152 cubic inches. The rotational force generated by the new power plant proved ideal for an off-roader that was geared low for pulling power.

Today, Comanches are hard to come by. The Scout’s Heyday was the 1960s. Gas was cheap and people were just starting to think about the environment. The market was for more powerful engines so the majority of Scouts were built with V6s and V8s.