By Dean Larson

Photos: Fantasy Junction

The story of the Scarab roadster has captivated people for generations. It could be the car’s alluring curves and perfect ’50s proportionality. Or maybe its the American-dream background story of a privateer who built his own car to compete against the world’s best, taking an SCCA National Championship in 1958. There’s also an all-star list of names attached to the Scarab, starting with the handsome, well-connected and well-to-do Lance Reventlow (heir to the Woolworth retail store fortune), Carroll Shelby and Augie Pabst — just to name a few.

More recently, this enticing mix of factors captivated Dick Kitzmiller of Eastern Kansas to construct his own Scarab roadster recreations. Kitzmiller’s company, Scarab Motorsports, has constructed several iterations of Scarab continuations, with the pinnacle being the Meister Scarab, as seen for sale here at Fantasy Junction. The car accurately reflects the Scarab as it was campaigned in 1958 and 1959 to such a high degree, that it received FIA approval and Historical Technical Passport, crucial for high-caliber vintage racing events.

With only three Scarab roadsters built and campaigned in period, many would consider it impossible to collect the specifications, measurements and detailed photographs necessary to build a Scarab worthy of FIA approval. But Scarab Motorsports was able to convince none other than Augie Pabst, who was so impressed with the plans for the build, that he allowed the team access to his original race car. After photographing and cataloging every last detail, the team began construction.

The car starts with a TIG-welded Chromoly spaceframe employing the correct De Dion-tube rear suspension and Watt’s Link in the rear. Inboard rear brakes mount to a quick-change differential, and use correct-style finned brake drums with steel liners — parts Scarab Motorsports had casted. The chassis is wrapped in a hand-formed aluminum body and completed with a right-hand-drive headrest bump and Lexan windscreen.

The advertised 446 horsepower comes by way of a ’58 date-coded 283 ci Chevrolet block bored out to 339 ci topped with ’58 Corvette heads and Hilborn mechanical injection. The Scarab team outfits the Meister cars with a Lehman front-drive unit, which powers the water pump, fuel pump and Joe Hunt magneto. A BorgWarner T10 transmission sends power to the rear, and from the cockpit, the exposed shift rods and belt-driven alternator can be seen, along with a correct wiring panel on the dash.

The Meister Scarab is completed with a few other exterior details that separate it from the standard Scarab. The distinctive Meister Brauser livery has been applied to aluminum body including, racing roundels and accent pin striping. As-cast kidney bean-style wheels are mounted up front and Champ-style wheels are used in the rear, both wrapped in vintage Dunlop racing tires.

The finished Meister Scarab is a stunning tribute to Reventlow’s sensational original racers, and is certainly the closest you could get to the original Scarab without breaking into Augie Pabst’s personal collection. This attention to detail garnered a warm reception for the car by surviving members of the original Scarab team, and FIA certification and Historical Technical Passport through 2027, making it eligible for premier vintage racing events.

Meister Scarab No. 001 is being offered with a clear California title and 1958 registration by Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California.

See the ad here at Fantasy Junction.