World's first production minivan to feature at Concours of Elegance

23 August 2019 - 08:28 By AFP Relaxnews
The 1936 Stout Scarab will be on display at the Concours of Elegance in September.
The 1936 Stout Scarab will be on display at the Concours of Elegance in September.
Image: Supplied

The vehicle credited as "the world's first minivan" will be on display at this year's Concours of Elegance classic car show at Hampton Court Palace, the directors of the UK event said on Wednesday. 

In 1936, the world's first production minivan was launched, and at this year's Concours of Elegance, one of the only nine model units created will be on display.

While the Stout Scarab van was created by William Bushnell Stout, a journalist and engineer, he never had the opportunity to see his invention's success, as he died after nine were manufactured. At the time, he had hoped the Scarab would be wildly successful, with the company producing 100 a year, but the price tag of the model kept that dream from reality. In 1936, $5,000 (roughly R76,000) was worth what $100,000 (roughly R1,5m) is today.

The Scarab that will be on display is "said to be the scene of a meeting between General Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle during the second World War". It was then used to transport monkeys for a circus, until it was put on display in a German museum. The current owners restored the model in 2001, and since then it has been kept in top condition.

It will be on display in the gardens of the palace from September 6 to 8, alongside legendary Bentleys, Aston Martins and Ferraris.


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