ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Future Car From 1936

Updated on July 5, 2015
The 1936 Scarab Ad
The 1936 Scarab Ad
Of the remaining today
Of the remaining today
Stout (L) shows off his automotive design
Stout (L) shows off his automotive design
From a brochure showing off the six foot wide read sofa.
From a brochure showing off the six foot wide read sofa.

When William Stout first saw a photo of the German VW in its early rendition, a light bulb went off in his head about creating a car that would be like an office on wheels with six foot wide sofa rear seats, a folding table, and swivel front seats that turn 180-degrees that could also be removed for more space. What he ended up creating was what we call the Minivan today.

In the 1920's, Stout was funded for creating his own aircraft company that made all metal seat airplanes. The company made 15 of these aircraft and then sold to Ford. Stout, then created Stout Airlines and was one of the few to fly between several cities on a regular basis. More important was that his airline was also the first to have stewardesses and serves in-flight meals. After making a small fortune in the aircraft industry, he started thinking of a car that had more utility, this ended up being the Scarab, which truly resembles a elongated beetle.

The Scarab remains unique today, less than six exist today. It was a car of the future that few could afford in 1936 when a person earned maybe $20 a week. The car sold for $5000, which was much more than even the Cadillac at $3500. Stout was the first to use a unitized body, so common today, made of aluminum. The engine was a Ford V8 in the rear of the car. Unlike many cars then, the floor was totally flat (like the Chevy Corvair of the 60's). The driver sat directly over the front wheels, while the engine sat on the rear axle (like the Corvair). The seats inside swiveled and could be removed or reconfigured. The table could be folded. The Scarab was first to use a totally independent suspension using coil springs on all four wheels, something unheard of in the 30's. These coil spring struts were designed after Stout had used them on aircraft. In 1957, the struts were used in Lotus racing cars but called Chapman Struts. The V8 engine was reversed in placement over the rear wheels so the front fan faced rear, while the transmission faced the driver.

Stout wanted to make 100 cars a year, but that would never happen. No more than 11 were made and each one was hand built. Today, they sell for just $12-20,000. Stout greatly believed in his car. Drove his own across the country and showed people how stable it was on the road by placing a glass of water on the table inside and driving it normally without spilling any water. That was the difference in independent coil suspension. It is thought that only maybe five remain. One lucky owner is Ron Scheider of Milwaukee, who bought his for $12,000 and restored and then drove it across country.

He loves it. His car of the future from the past.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Agreed. I was shocked. I thought the Minivan was from the 80's.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 

      3 years ago from Eastern NC

      It is always fun to learn that something we thought of as a 'modern' innovation was actually done long ago. The Scarab was indeed an idea before it's time. Thanks for highlighting this little known classic from the past.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      I agree, this is the father of the minivan today, long forgotten.

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Summer LeBlanc 

      3 years ago from H-Town

      So totally cool! Imagine what cars will be like in 80 years from now. Voted up!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)