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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stout Scarab, a pioneering minivan that failed on the market

Minibusses or minivans are type of car that is highly favored by the public, especially in developing countries like Indonesia. The majority of families in Indonesia have numerous members and the closeness factor between them is often the reason for someone to choose a large-sized and sufficient vehicle to transport all family members.
1936 Stout Scarab on display at the 2012 Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2D18r8g)
However, that was not the reason for William Bushnell Stout, an American automotive and aviation engineer, when he came up with the idea of ​​a vehicle that was one of the pioneers of minibusses/minivans in the world in the 1930s.

At that time, he wanted to combine luxury and comfort in transportation by using a car. The Stout Scarab is a car that can be called modern and innovative before its time with a fleeting design like an airplane and named after the scarab beetle. This is not surprising because its designer is an aviation expert too.
The steering wheel and dashboard view of 1936 Stout Scarab. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2CYn4cp)
The Stout Scarab design is removed chassis so that the drive-shaft is flush with the car's floor inside the car's interior, then the engine's position is behind so as to provide spacious spaces in the cabin. The bodywork design was designed by John Thaarda, an aeronautical designer who implements aluminum for airplanes. Besides used lightweight materials for better efficiency, the car also applied the streamlined design, so it can reduce the impact on the wind resistance thereby improving its driving ability.
1936 Stout Scarab had a table, moving chairs, and three cigar lighters in its cabin. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2CYn4cp)
The shape is very similar to the minivan or minibus today because it has a long chassis. In accordance with the initial idea of ​​wanting to make this car as a moving office, so this car was made with a long chassis. With a fender that is integrated with the car body, this is what distinguishes it from the 1930s other cars. Besides that, the comfort factor is also taken into account when making it.

This car uses a Ford 221 CID flathead V8 engine which is embedded in the back of the car. At that time this machine could be said to be a sophisticated machine and attached independent suspension all around – common attributes for many cars of the future in the 1930s.
1936 Stout Scarab on display at the Owls Head Transportation Museum (Owls Head, Maine). (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2D18r8g)
And the car is not produced by large car companies, such as Ford, Chrysler or General Motors. The manufacturer is an unknown company owned by William Stout himself, originally called Stout Engineering Laboratories which later changed to Stout Motor Car Company. And the Stout Scarab was never mass-produced, and the first prototype of this car was made in 1932.

According to some sources, this car was only produced as many as 9 units in 1935-1936, although Stout initially planned to make it as many as 100 units in a year (proved overly ambitious). At that time the car was sold at a price of around the US. $ 5,000. But unfortunately at that time, this car did not sell well in the market, because it was considered too expensive there is also said its model is too radical and tends to be strange.
Although it has never been a popular car, by seeing its shape, this car can be said to be the ancestor of the minivans or minibusses today. Well, when in 1930-1940 the Stout Scarab car was valued at the US $ 5,000 (it was considered too expensive), and now the price has multiplied and is estimated the car has a price reaching the US. $ 90,000 (or around Rp. 1.27 billion). Wow ...

You might be wanna see the vehicle with an almost similar design named 1941 Ford Western Flyer Motorhome. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SHANGRALA FAMILY FUN | HEMMINGS]
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