The company, owned by Lance Reventflow, saw its cars garner both successes and rather grand failures during their short production run which ended in the early 1960s.
Success came in the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix, which saw Chuck Daigh behind the wheel of a Scarab that won the race, beating out heavy-hitters like Phil Hill and the Ferrari team.
Scarabs also took the win at that year’s SCAA International Grand Prix. Two of those cars were sold the next year, but Lance Reventflow’s was converted into a street-worthy vehicle for his personal use.
This was followed by a less than stellar attempt at Formula One during 1960 where the car’s front-engine design proved to be its downfall.
The 4-cylinder engines had a layout similar to the Offenhauser, but were Scarab’s own design with a Desmodromic valve gear like what was on the Mercedes F1 engine from the 1950s.
That gear simply couldn’t manage the movement in the engine block which pulled the valves too far closed and caused them to fail.
Another unsuccessful year followed in 1961 with Daigh crashing before the season was out and destroying the car which was then left in Europe.
A final car was built for the 1962 season with a Buick aluminum V8 with Phil Remmington fabricated intake and exhaust manifolds that was deemed illegal by FIA engine rules so that it couldn’t even be raced in Europe.
The last Scarab was built as a mid-engined two-seater, again with a Buick V8, but this one Reventflow wanted to take out on the streets. He installed a muffler, went to the California DMV, and got it registered as his personal car.
He also took this one to the track three times, sans muffler, managing second place in Santa Barbara.
When he decided to close-up the Scarab shop, he sold his personal car to John Mecom, Jr. of Houston Texas who put in a Traco-built 327 Chevy engine.
A.J. Foyt took that one to the track, winning several races at Nassau, Bahamas during 1963. It later got a Chrysler Hemi engine which Augie Pabst, who still owned the car as recently as 2013, drove to several victories.