1936 Stout Scarab news, pictures, specifications, and information
Not only did it have a unit construction body made out of light aluminum, it featured the famous Ford flathead V8 engine placed at the rear driving the rear wheels via a Stout-built three-speed manual transaxle. It has a 135-inch wheelbase, 4-wheel independent coil spring suspension, and the most spacious cabin of any American car as the result of no running boards and no drive shaft tube. This $5,000 aerodynamically vehicle was well ahead of its time.
William Stout was Father of Aviation and designed the Ford Tri-motor airplane for Henry Ford.
The Scarabs were produced in very limited numbers, with only nine examples built. Part of their rarity was due to their $5,000 price tag per vehicle, an incredibly steep price in the post-Great Depression era. However, Scarabs did find homes with some of America's industrial giants. Scout Scarabs resided in the garages of the Wrigleys (chewing gum), the Dows (chemicals), the Strahanans (Champion Spark Plugs) and the Firestones. Mr. Stout was a close friend of these pioneers as well as Henry Ford.
The car shown was once part of the famous Harrah's Collection in Reno, Nevada. It was purchased by the current owner in 1983, and has since had a ground-up restoration. The work included complete mechanical restoration as well as a new woven wood headliner.
Inspired by aviation techniques, the Scarab - named after the hard-shelled Egyptian beetle - with its metal panels over a framework of tubing, took much of its strength from what was essentially an exoskeleton. Not only was the exterior and much of its design revolutionary, the interior packaging was most astonishing. Unlike its contemporaries, the fenders were incorporated into the body and the running boards dispensed with - thus reducing wind resistance and interior noise. Flush window glass and hinges were quite novel, too; as was flow-through ventilation with dust filter, thermostatically controlled heat, electric door locks, movable seating (including a table), and indirect interior lighting. The interior features understated wood trim along with a varnished wicker headliner and leather seats. Five of the nine produced are known to exist today. At $5,000 when new, the vehicles were sold by invitation. Owners including chewing gum king Phillip Wrigley, fellow investor William Dow, Robert Stranahan of Champion Spark Plug, and Harvey Firestone.
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