This year’s Art Center Car Classic had all kinds of fantastic vehicles attending, but this one was a showstopper. The 1936 Stout Scarab was so far ahead of its time it is hard to believe.
The car was designed by William Stout who was an automotive engineer and airplane designer. An example of his forward thinking was suggesting that all planes have metal skins instead of fabric as was the common practice at the time. The first Scarab came out in 1934 and the last in 1939. The minivan was powered by a rear placed Ford Flathead V8 which is no surprise as Stout did work for Ford. The car had independent suspension all the way around and was said to have fantastic ride. Many aerodynamic features were used throughout the design, such as flush glass, hidden hinges, and skirted wheels. All of this was to help it cut through the air and also reduce wind noise. Stout’s designs in the ’30s would be what we see in many modern vehicles of today.