Concept Cars

Cool 1930’s Concept Car – Stout Scarab

Cool 1930’s Concept Car

Wait..what? A COOL minivan? This is the story of an actually COOL minivan. This Cool 1930’s Concept Car was basically a minivan, but it was awesome. I mean cool in the turtleback car style, and looks just so wildly unique. A 1930s Minivan is pretty unique, so I thought I would cover it today. I would absolutely love to have this!

The Stout Scarab was made from 1930 until the 1940’s in the USA. It was designed by William Bushnell Stout, and made by Stout Engineering.  It was later made by Stout Motor Company, based in Detroit.  This was an amazing car for its time. This Cool 1930’s Concept Car is one of the most unique cars of its day.

Here is a trivia question to confuse your friends. When was the first minivan in America made? The Stout Scarab is credited by some as the world’s first minivan, as it was truly a minivan type vehicle. Here is another trivia question. Which car was the first car to experiment with a fiberglass body? We all know the Corvette  has been all fiberglass since 1953, however the Stout Scarab built an experimental prototype in 1946. This meant it was the World’s first car with a fiberglass body, and air suspension. How cool is that? That is why I call this a Cool 1930’s Concept Car. This car would be awesome today.

Cool 1930's Concept Car - Stout Scarab

A Unique Car

Unlike most cars of the time, the Stout Scarab had a low, flat floor for the interior and a uni-body structure. It was designed to be an office on wheels, essentially. They put a Ford Flathead V8 in the rear, not up front, which was mounted direcly over the rear axle, with the flywheel and clutch facing forwards. This design was later copied by the venerable Lamborghini Countach. The vehicle also touts independent suspensions and 4 wheel coil springs, which is something that was unheard of at that time.

Another innovation for that time was that they used aircraft aluminum in many places, and the entire vehicle weighs under 3,000 pounds. A Flathead V8, aircraft aluminum, fiberglass bodied minivan? Count me in! This really was a cool 1930s minivan! The first actually working prototype was built in 1932. This is still touted as the first car ever built with an aluminum unibody construction. The frame was steel, but everything else structural was either aluminum or fiberglass. These are all considered to be modern features, yet this was 85 years ago!

Problems With Production

 The only problem with such a unique and well designed car was the limited production and costs. As a result, there were only 9 reportedly built, and all were hand built, so no two were identical. They planned on making 100 a year, but that never came to be. The car cost an astounding $5,000 in 1932. The average car in 1932 cost just $610. The average physician earned just under $3,000 a year at that time, and the average house cost was around $6,500.  To put that in perspective, $5,000 in 1932 would be about $80,000 in 2018.
This is why only 9 were ever built, and why this amazing car never truly made it into production. The costs were just too astounding for the time. After all, this was the Great Depression, and so few people had money for any car, let alone one that cost several times their annual salary.  Stout did, however, build one for himself, and drove it over 250,000 miles in travel all over the US. This was a very reliable and amazing piece of automotive history.

There are 5 known to exist today, and they are all in museums. This truly is a cool 1930s concept car, indeed!

Check out the coolest Corvette Concept car here!

Comment below and let me know if you would buy this concept car!

If you like this article, please give us a star rating at the top of the article and like it on Facebook.