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Scarab Roadster Race Car

Modeled after the specifications of the Scarab as it raced in 1958

The history of Lance Reventlow and his American race cars, known as Scarabs, is right out of Southern California in the fabulous 50's. Lance was a young, handsome, intelligent and wealthy car enthusiast who was able to put together a small group of talented So Cal craftsmen and build his Scarabs.

Lance's personal life included true Hollywood personalities. He married Jill St John and his step father was Gary Grant while his mother was heiress to the Woolworth fortune.

Lance toured Europe with his buddy Bruce Kessler while they visited all the famous factories such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin and more. The young American was convinced he could build a car to compete with and beat Europe's finest. Lance returned to California and built three beautiful roadsters all of which survive today. The timeless lines of those three roadsters were penned by Chuck Pelly while a student at the Art Center.

The engines were Chevy 283's with four speed transmissions. Chuck Daigh was instrumental in the assembly of the frames, as he was in the testing and racing as a driver and mechanic. The late Phil Remington and names like Traco, Troutman and Barnes, Halibrand, Hilborn, Offenhauser and many other So Cal shops were part of the Scarab legacy. Carroll Shelby drove a Scarab in the last race he won. Shelby later took over Lance's shop and started building Shelby Cobras. A lot of history came from that little shop. The three original Scarab roadsters are absolute treasures today.

Reventlow built a handful of other race cars including Formula One and one rear engine race car.
Now in 21st century, the interest in collecting and racing vintage racing cars continues to rise. As the values soar many collectors are keeping their original cars away from competitive racing and driving and racing some of the excellent continuation cars and accurate replicas. Shelby American has built more replicas of their Cobras than were originally built in the 1960's. Less than twenty five of the Chevy powered SMS Scarab continuation roadsters have been built so the "collectibility" of the Scarab Motorsports roadsters continues to strengthen. Two of the aluminum bodied SMS Scarabs have been racing in SVRA events for the past few years. Owning and driving a Scarab on on the street is a chance to enjoy the 1950's Southern California car experience in one of the most beautiful and powerful American sports cars ever built.

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