The Return Of A Legend: ScarabOnly 15 Examples Will Be Made
- October 23, 2020
- Posted by Marc Enger
It all began in 1957…when Lance Reventlow embarked on a program to develop and build an all American sports racer that would compete and win against the best European manufacturers and teams.The Scarab was the dream of the 22 years old Lance Reventlow and his friend Bruce Kessler. Reventlow, the son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, visited various sports car manufacturers in Europe to buy a racing car for competition in the US.
He returned unsatisfied and decided to build his own car. In Warren Olson’s Los Angeles workshops, a small team of very talented people including Phil Remington, Tom Barnes, Dick Troutman, and Chuck Daigh came together. They devised a light weight, high stiffness space frame chassis, using double wishbone suspension at the front and adjustable de Dion rear suspension. For power, the tuning experts at Traco prepared an over-bored small block Chevrolet V8 engine with Hilborn fuel injection.
The high performance engine was mated to a Borg-Warner T10 gearbox, and distributed to the magnesium Halibrand wheels via a Halibrand quick change differential. For braking, the all-American outfit used huge finned aluminium drums with iron liners, mounted outboard at the front and inboard at the rear. The car was clothed in a striking, lightweight removable aluminium body, penned by Chuck Pelly, who was just 18 at the time, and formed by Emil Diedt. With Reventlow christening the cars as Scarabs, after the Egyptian good luck charm, the metallic blue and white pinstripe paintwork was done by legendary painter Von Dutch.
The new left hand drive Scarab sports racer debuted in 1958, and soon after a second chassis followed. This second car was of slightly revised design, right hand drive, and dubbed a MkII. Another right hand drive MkII was built, bringing the total of the Scarab front engine sports racers to 3. Much success followed, both with the works Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated (RAI) team in 1958, and then with the private Meister Bräuser Racing Team. A close associate of the Peter Hand Brewery, Harry Heuer secured sponsorship from them to form the Meister Bräuser Racing Team. Heuer’s team ended up with both of the Scarab MkIIs, and swiftly delivered on his promise of winning the sponsors a national championship, with his driver Augie Pabst taking consecutive national titles in 1959 and 1960.
Scarab Motorsports is still hand building a limited number of FIA approved Scarabs to original specifications and with the help of the original team members . They just started building the first left hand drive FIA model of only 5 , which is available and race ready mid of next year. collectorscarworld is the exclusive distributor for Europe and we can give you more specifications and details of this legendary racer at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the parts needed to recreate the Scarab MkII are specifically designed, engineered and developed to be accurate to the originals. The specification of mechanical components have also been matched to the originals, with the 339ci Chevrolet V8 featuring an original Lehmann front drive, Joe Hunt magneto and Hilborn fuel injection.
The product of the engine is a mighty 446hp and 407 lbft. Magnesium wheels are utilised, rather than heavier aluminium alternatives, an accurate brass radiator was made, Stewart Warner gauges fitted, and correct to period Porsche 550 taillights used. For safety, the aluminium fuel tank is fitted with an FIA compliant fuel bag, and 5-point seatbelts are installed.
With the three original cars remaining in long term ownerships, the original recreations of only 5 of each of the 3 original cars will be real collectors items in the future. They are fast and competitive ‘50s sports cars, as the original cars proved to be in period. With high performance, yet widely available drivetrain components, the Scarab should also be practical for the historic racing of today, and will certainly stand out from the crowd in the best events after Corona around the world.
This is a unique opportunity to own a real legend.
Report by collectorscarworld.com