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The Stout Scarab

This nice and clear press photo, shows us one of the nine Stout Scarab’s which were built before WWII by William B. Stout who was a very forward thinking individual. Which one of the nine this is, we do not know as each one was a bit different. This Detroit area press photo is dated April 4, 1938, and may help any Scarab enthusiasts pin down exactly which car this may be. Of the nine prewar cars built, it appears that possibly five of them have survived and all were equipped with a rear mounted engine.

Previously we have done a post on a later 1946 Stout Scarab, which was the first one built with a fiberglass body. Take a minute and look back on it, as the post contains two videos that are quite interesting along with more information. The Old Motor photo.

7 responses to “The Stout Scarab

  1. This particular combination of ribbed lower body panels and low-cut front wheel wells was used on only a couple of the 1935 Scarab cars, including the one owned by Philip Wrigley and Bill Stout’s personal car. One of them with these unique attributes has been displayed at the Owls Head Museum in Maine.

  2. Truly enchanting and innovative automobiles. About the only major part of the car that wasn’t uniquely engineered and scratchbuilt was the standard Ford flathead engine. I have always wondered why he went with such a mainstream powerplant, even though the installation was fairly novel.

  3. One of these ran in one or more of the Great American Races in the late eigthties or early nineties and I believe, finished well.

  4. Regarding the choice of Ford engine: Stout Laboratories were headquartered in Detroit where William Bushnell Stout worked on a number of projects for Henry Ford. Among his most notable was the Ford Tri-Motor airplane in the late 1920s. Stout Scarab development began in 1931 when his relationship with Ford was very strong. At that time, the new Ford engine was cutting-edge and produced an excellent weight-to-horsepower ratio. Granted, by 1935 when this car was built, the Ford engine design was already several years old, but was considered a reliable and efficient unit. The car that completed the Great Race was the blue-over-white 1936 model that had been on display, unrestored, in the Harrah’s collection in Nevada. It was sold at auction for a reported $5000 when the collection was broken up, and then restored by Ron Schneider, of Wisconsin. Ron piloted the car on the Great Race. I had the pleasure of riding with him for a short distance when his powder blue Scarab passed through Des Moines on the race.

  5. It seems odd that two automobiles which the buying public shunned were runaway best sellers as toys ie: Stout Scarab which buddy L toys made into a popular wind-up version and almost every toy maker brought out a Chrysler Airflow which sold well.

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