After the first Scarab proved itself to be a winning platform, additional cars were made with some modifications including a right-hand drive conversion. These cars kept the same potent tubular space frame and small-block Chevy V8 from the first car.
The special Chrome Moly Steel space-frame chassis which was built at Warren Olsen’s shop in North Hollywood, was modified by Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes to have larger main longerons. Furthermore, more triangulation was done and the rear-end was slightly widened.¹
The first Scarab in Mk. II spec debuted at the 1958 Nevada Grand Prix where the two-car team dominated. Lance Reventlow spun out his own car while Chuck Daigh went on to win in the new car.¹
In 1959 the FIA limited engine size to three liters so a Offenhauser four banger was installed but caused too much vibration and was replaced with another Chevy V8.¹ With the small-block, the Scarabs were the one of the fastest runners, often mixing with the Ferraris and Listers. A sweet victory came at Riverside when Chuck Daigh won ahead of the potent Ferrar 412 Sport.
After 1959, Lance Reventlow sold his two Mk. II cars and converted the Mk. I for road use. The two right-hand drive cars went on to win for Carol Shelby, Jim Jeffords and Harry Heuer. At one point Heuer owned both cars for his Meister Brauser team and won the 1960 as well as the 1961 SCCA B-Modified championship.¹
Sources & Further Reading
1.Pace, Harold. Vintage American Road Racing Cars. Motorbooks: 2004.
Series Production Car
1959 – 1959
Los Angeles, California
Chevrolet 90º V8
Pushord OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
Hilborn Fuel Injection
4638 cc / 283 in³
101.6 mm / 4 in
86.4 mm / 3.4 in
261.0 kw / 350 bhp
75.46 bhp per litre
405.56 bhp per tonne
body / frame
Aluminum Body over Chrome Moly Frame
Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Tubular Shock Absobers