1959→1959 Scarab Mk. II

1959→1959 Scarab Mk. II

1959→1959 Scarab Mk. II

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.

In Detail

type Series Production Car
production years 1959 – 1959
built at Los Angeles, California
body stylist Chuck Pelly
production 2
engine Chevrolet 90º V8
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain Pushord OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Hilborn Fuel Injection
displacement 4638 cc / 283 in³
bore 101.6 mm / 4 in
stroke 86.4 mm / 3.4 in
power 261.0 kw / 350 bhp
specific output 75.46 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 405.56 bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum Body over Chrome Moly Frame
driven wheels RWD
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Tubular Shock Absobers
r suspension deDion-Type Axle w/Radius Rods, Watts Link, Coil Springs, Tubular Shock Absobers
curb weight 863 kg / 1900 lbs
transmission Borg Warner T10 4-Speed Manual
key drivers Chuck Daigh, Lance Reventlow
race victories 1958 Nevada Grand Prix, 1959 Times GP (Riverside), 1959 Nassu Races