1936 Stout Scarab: The World’s First Minivan?

The 1936 Stout Scarab came about in the early 1930s when William B. Stout, head of the Stout Engineering Laboratories in Dearborn, Michigan, dreamed of rear-engine/rear-wheel drive. “When we finally ‘unhitch Old Dobbin’ from the automobile,” he wrote in Scientific American, “the driver will have infinitely better vision from all angles. The automobile will be lighter and more efficient and yet safer, the ride will be easier, and the body will be more roomy without sacrificing maneuverability.”

The Stout Scarab was a streamlined, fenderless, monoform six-passenger sedan that can stake a claim as the world’s first minivan. With a stubby front end, a boxy middle and a gloriously curved rear, the car certainly resembled its beetle namesake, the scarab.

The packaging was probably the Scarab’s greatest contribution to the development of the modern car. The wheels were placed at the corners, not unusual for the time, but rather than following the convention of expressing the fenders and running boards as separate design elements, the car’s body stretched right over them in a single, sleek form.

The engine was located in the rear, and the hood and front-end assembly were minimised. This allowed the passenger cabin to be stretched out between the wheels, giving the volume of a small room and the appointments to match. The driver sat immediately behind the front wheel, creating the first cab-forward architecture.

h/t: vintag.es








A final, updated version constructed in 1946, the Stout Scarab Experimental, utilized a fiberglass body shell—claimed to be the world’s first—and air suspension. That’s Bill Stout at the wheel. This car still exists today in the collection of the Detroit Historical Society:

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

Little Girl Declares Her Love For Abandoned Water Heater On The Street That She Thinks Is A Robot
Giant Homemade Robot
The Biggest Structure Made of MERKUR
Wall.e Restaurant Staffed with Robots Opens in Hefei
This AI-Based App Turns People Into Cartoon Characters
Stunning Photos From The Seventies London Motor Shows
Google Tests Balloons to Beam Internet from Near Space
The Personalized Datsun: 1976 280-Z Brochure
Carbon Aerogel - The New Lightest Material
The Wizard of Robots
Garia 2+2
3D-Printed Paintings Let The Blind “See” Famous Art For The First Time
Green 3D Printer Prints Living Designs From Organic “Ink”
Plastic Bottle Boat Makes Maiden Voyage
The Super Monster Wolf Is Here To Scare Animals Away From Farmers' Crops
Dad’s First Motorcycle Restored As Father’s Day Gift
"Rust In Peace": Bizarre Soviet-Era Cars Fill Russian Mechanic's Field
Sci-Fi Author Jared Gray Turns His Sleep Apnea Mask Into An Alien Facehugger
An Artist Creates Images Of Banknotes Generated From The Bitcoin Blockchain
World's First Lab-Grown Burger Tested in London
A Walking Bicycle That Uses The Mechanical Design Of Theo Jansen’s Kinetic Wind-Powered Strandbeest
Getting Creative as Floodwaters Rise in Thailand
Amphibious Folding Motorcycle From Russia Fits In The Trunk Of A Car
An Abstracted Lamborghini Is The Basis For The Bizarre-Looking Lo Res Car From United Nude
Coolest Designed Products Of 2016
Clever Minibikes Built Out of Welded Fenders From Vintage Volkswagen Beetles
Felt Jewelry by Hanan Kedmi for Real Geeks
Watch 3-Year-Old Kid And Volvo Truck In The 'World’s Largest Unboxing'
UVMask: Real-Time UV-C Filtration & Purification Face Mask That Filters Dust, Organisms, And Allergens As You Breathe
Unseen Titanic: First Ever Complete Views of the Wreck