The Chariot of the Future

22 05 2011

Introducing the Stout Scarab – one of the most revolutionary, and thus extinct, vehicles of all time.  This detail is taken from a 1936 ad that reads:
“The challenge: Created after a decade of aircraft and automotive research, the Scarab rear-engine motor car comes as a friendly but direct challenge to the necessary conservatism of the big-production motor car manufacturers.  The Scarab expresses Vision vs. Conservatism; Functional Design vs. Traditional Design; Individuality vs. Standardization; Fine Craftsmanship vs. Mass Production.  Produced by a group whose soundness of experience and engineering finesse is thoroughly established, the obvious “rightness” of the Scarab design is its greatest challenge.
The prophecy: The new Scarab will set all future styles in motor cars.  The following features now exclusive to the Scarab, will be adopted by all makers of fine cars within three years.  These features mark the final departure of motor car engineering from all horse-and-buggy tradition:
Engine in the rear – Unit body, no chassis – Inside floor area: 7’6″ x 5’7″ – Running board and hood space usable inside body – Loose chairs, adjustable to all positions – Rear davenport seat convertible to full-length couch – Card and dining table – New, full-vision driver’s position – Thermostatically controlled heat – Forced, draftless ventilation, with rain, dust and insect filter – Fully insulated against sound and temperature – Smooth body lines minimizing wind noises – Concealed, recessed rear window – Grill-enclosed headlights – Electric door locks, no projecting handles – Flush-type hinges – Exceptionally long wheelbase for overall length (no overhang) – Minimum unsprung weight – Soft, individual springing of all wheels – Less weight on front axle for easier steering – Maximum brakes at rear, not front, for safe, rapid deceleration – Slanted windows, no reflections.  Production for 1936 will be limited to 100 cars.  Priced from five thousand dollars, f.o.b. Dearborn, Michigan.  Demonstration upon invitation only.”
Check out this website for some awesome photos, and more history, of this truly remarkable vehicle.

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