Story and photos by Steve Temple

While the Scarab was a marvelous sports car all on its own, its successes on the track is what really set it apart. Originally conceived by Woolworth heir Lance Reventlow, he put together a team of all-American enthusiasts to build a car that could beat the European racers. Which it did, handily.

Sensing a heady opportunity to promote Meister Bräu beer (and more likely the Scarab’s competition prowess as well), Harry Heuer (son of the chairman of the board for Peter Hand Brewery) managed to convince the company to sponsor a race team in 1959.

His competitive instincts proved to be correct. With Augie Pabst Jr. manning the wheel, the Scarab went on to win the United States Auto Club’s National Road Racing Championship in 1959, and became national champion in the Sports Car Club of America’s B-Modified class, among many other achievements in the early 1960s.

As Preston Lerner states in his book, Scarab: Race Log of an All-American Special: “Harry Heuer … was to do more to promote the Scarab legend than anybody, besides Lance Reventlow himself.”

Such a stellar competitor merits a quality reproduction.

We covered a replica of the street version of the Scarab in our Nov/Dec 2016 issue, but the one shown here takes matters to a whole new level in duplicating the look and performance of this legendary race car.

The Limited Edition Meister Brauser MkII has been meticulously built by Scarab Motorsports to represent the car as it was raced by the Meister Brauser race team in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The series is limited to a total of 20 cars, of which 18 are still available. Offered by Intergrace Motors, this reproduction of the Meister Brauser Scarab comes as a complete turnkey car. Intergrace’s Marc Shaw has a specific interest in race cars of the 1950s and ’60s.  

“These cars are not only beautiful, powerful pieces of machinery, but the stories behind the cars and drivers are even more impressive,” he relates. “And this is what led me to the development of the Meister Brauser Scarab.”

As noted previously, Dick Kitzmiller of Scarab Motorsports had been building Scarabs, but with somewhat more modern-day components, until he and Marc crossed paths.

“When we met, he shared with me his desire to build an exact recreation of the Scarab race car,” he recalls. “Furthermore, Dick not only had the rights to the Scarab name, but he also had connections to many of the original Scarab contributors. I was already very familiar with the famous Scarab racing history, and this opportunity was one that I couldn’t pass up.”

Augie Pabst was gracious enough to allow Dick and Don Devine (former Meister Brauser driver) to use his Scarab to personally scan and take all necessary measurements and detailed pictures for construction. Additionally, consultation from original team owner, Harry Heuer, and several mechanics/drivers ensured its accuracy.

After four years, and countless hours of research and development, the Meister Brauser Scarab was complete, created to reflect the right-hand-drive Mark II Scarab. As with the original, it includes some of the following features: all-aluminum-alloy body, original-style lightweight 4130 chromoly race frame, Chevrolet 339 ci engine with Hilborn injection system, Lehman front-drive unit with a Joe Hunt Magneto, Borg Warner T-10 four-speed transmission, De Dion rear suspension, Alfin brake drums, and magnesium wheels with Dow 7 coating. Topping off this precise reproduction of an iconic original is pending FIA certification — along with some personal recognition from the original Scarab crew.

“My proudest moment was a day when several cars showed up to see the completed Scarab during a private revealing,” Marc says. “The audience was none other than Bruce Kessler, Chuck Pelly and Raul ‘Sonny’ Balcaen, the originators of the initial 1958 Scarab.

“It was a very emotional meeting, the guys just stared at it for the longest time, walked around the car and ran their hands across it as if they couldn’t believe what they were seeing,” Marc relates. “They shared stories from the old days, signed the car bonnet and later sent letters in support of this Meister Brauser tribute, as well as acknowledging its exactness.” All of that certainly makes it one special brew.