Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Scarab (the Australian one).

Beven came across this when going through a pile of old papers. It's from long enough ago that there is no "8" at the front of the telephone number.
I remember a car similar to this (maybe the same) being produced on the Port Road. Then I recall the moulds being for sale. No idea where it went from there. A check of the white pages shows that telephone number allocated to a winery in McLaren Vale. Maybe it's the same people, maybe not. What is it about wineries and "specials"? Remember that gull-wing, wedge shaped car at Brands' "Laira" winery in the early 70s? Maybe they have time on their hands in the "off" season.
I said "the Australian one" because there are at least 2 American cars that have used that name that I know of. Strange, because my dictionary tells me that a scarab is a dung beetle. The first one was a Formula 1 car, the brainchild of Lance Reventlow. 2 front engined cars were produced and one of them did the 1959 F1 season. For 1960, an entirely new rear engined F1 car was made. It raced only once, in a Formula Libre race at Sandown, in Australia. It was powered at that time by an aluminium 3.5 litre Buick V8. That engine subsequently went into Bib Stillwell's Cooper Monaco and still exists today in an historic Rennmax sports car. Meanwhile, Lance went back to the US with his engineless Scarab to face Internal Revenue charges I believe. The Formula 1 cars still exist as do a couple of Scarab sports cars, one of which makes an annual appearance at the Monterey Speed Week. The other Scarab is a 240Z with modified bodywork and suspension and Chev 350 cu. in. V8, examples of which are relatively common around California.

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