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Lance Reventlow's Incredible California Hot Rod

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ron Kellogg, May 5, 2010.

  1. Ron Kellogg
    Joined: Nov 9, 2009
    Posts: 14

    Ron Kellogg

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. LOVE the Scarab- just picked up a Strombecker model off of Espay.
  3. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 13,598



    I'm proud to say my family helped fund the construction of those cars,
    my mom would buy our underware at Woolworths.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  4. Loved th scarab since I was a wee tyke digging through a mouse eaten copy of Hot Rod.

    BTW, Ducati made the Desmo work to this day.
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  5. Labold
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,219


    Now stay out of the woolworths!
  6. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    The shape is fantastical. Love the look of the early grand prix cars with long hoods. my friend have it made!

  7. I was thinkin' the same thing... and "DO NOT SEEK THE TREASURE... we- thought- you- wuz- a toad..." LOL
  8. Dakota
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 1,522

    from Beulah, ND

    Ducati Motorcycles used or used Desmo Valvetrain....
  9. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 3,821


    Thee look of that car grabs me as much today as it did back in the day!
  10. Stutz
    Joined: Feb 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,766

    1. Wyoming H.A.M.B. Members

    Neat freakin O!
  11. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,076


    I've always loved that car and have always wondered what else he would have come up with had he not been killed.
  12. yxrancher
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 13


    I also grew up reading the old Hot Rod, SCI, and other mags that featured this car/guy. How Was he killed? I never heard the end of the story.
    Desmos are awesome!!!
  13. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,284

    Rand Man

    In the early day's, the Hot Rodders and Tea Baggers didn't mix that much. As time has passed, we tend to appreciate the ingenuity and engineering that went into creating a car like the Scarab. There are other examples where the two came together. The Cobra comes to mind. I have a soft spot for sports cars and love to hang it out in the twisty hills around here.
  14. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,739


    Reventlow was killed in a plane crash in '72. Although he was a pilot, he was not flying the plane that crashed.

    The first racing application of desmodromic valve gear was in the Mercedes-Benz F1 cars of the mid-'50s, and they were extremely successful. I'm sure there were other, earlier uses, but the M-B engines undoubtedly inspired Lance to use the system.
  15. oaktree
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 71


    Incredible...That car looks a little dated but still is beautiful. The enigne is out of the world.
  16. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,336

    Slim Pickens

    Wow. Thanks again Ron. Always been a fan of the Scarab. The animation looks like an early rotary. Slim
  17. thaugen
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 174


    Two companies now make reproductions, one in metal and the other in 'glass.
  18. Beach Bum
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 575

    Beach Bum

    The Chuck Pelley illustration reminds me a bit of the Pete Brock/Kas Kastner Triumph TR250K. Great stuff Ron, thanks.

    Kurt O.
  19. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    from Chino, Ca

    Lance was one of the last persons to talk to James Dean. He was going to the same race and met up with Dean at Blackwell's corner. They set a dinner date but of course Dean never made it.
  20. Last edited: May 6, 2010
  21. TERPU
    Joined: Jan 2, 2004
    Posts: 2,069


    That was a great read that led to more reading. Thank you.

  22. Thanks for the photos and a bit of history on these cars.
  23. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 703


    Very Cool! Beautiful cars!
  24. krusty40
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 777


    Ron, you are so fortunate to have had the wisdom to acquire that Scarab. Thank you for sharing this with us. vic
  25. hlfuzzball
    Joined: Jan 27, 2005
    Posts: 213

    from Michigan

    Loved the Scarabs from the first magazine shot I saw in '58.

    Saw Chuck Daigh win at Meadowdale, Ill. also in 1958.

    The whole Scarab operation was pure class throughout.
  26. I wish I still had the one (the Stombecker model) I was given when they were first released! I always loved the lines of the Scarab, and for a knowledge-hungry kid way back when, it gave me the chance to learn about desmodromic valve systems.

    Thanks for an excellent article.
  27. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,739


    All of the Scarab sports racers (front engined) were Chevy powered. The Desmo engine was only used in their F1 car.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,022


    Those cars are to the 50s what a LeBaron Speedster was in he 30s. Pure sex appeal. Every decade has one and they're truely timeless, don't you think? For the 60s it was the GT40 for me. Just as pure and clean today as it was then, so too is the Scarab. Thanks for the visit and glad to see it here. Our youth should really get to know and appreciate where it all comes from.
  29. hotrodtom
    Joined: Apr 14, 2005
    Posts: 228


    The Scarab was the first really successful use of the SBC in competition with Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston, Maserati and such in sports car racing. It was easily the equal of the bigger Ferrari sports racers, and the "battles" in the L.A. Times Grand Prix in the late '50s were what made its rep. If memory serves, when Lance turned his attention to Formula One and the desmo engine, the Chevy-powered Scarabs were taken over by Augie Pabst and his Meister Brauser Racing Team. They were again very successful, and I believe at least one Scarab still is campaigned in vintage racing today.

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