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Is there such a thing as a "factory" or "dealer" original SCARAB Z or are they all user built kits. I have someone interested in collecting a SCARAB if there is such a beast considered "collectible" or "factory original".


Is there any info about the origins of the SCARAB Z anywhere?



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Scarab built turn-key cars and sold kits to convert your own Z. The "factory" Scarab built cars are all numbered and are quite collectable. There were few made and even fewer that have not been farther owner modified. So an original unmolested numbered car is very rare.

There is more complete info on Scarab the company and the cars they built on the web but unfortunately I don't have any links. Anybody want to post some?

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According to the book The Z Series Datsuns (ISBN 0-947981-02-0), Scarab produced "250 complete cars and over 4000 V8 Conversion kits".


Says the cars were 'luxuriously trimmed, with leather door panels, deep pile carpets and Recaro seats, and exterior changes can range from a TransAm front spoiler with integral brake ducts to a big three piece rear wing, flared wheelarches and louvered bonnet vents."


A Brittish book.


Sounds like each car was custom built, so not sure how your would verify if it has been modified from "factory". In the picture in the book, the car even has "Scarab" sidemarkers that look like the old Datsun ones. Scarab was on the finned valve covers also.


Says they also produced some ZX versions.


An older book but gave this address for Scarab


Scarab Automobiles

PO Box 9217

San Jose, CA 95157


As long as I am typing. From the same book (an absolutely excellent, must have book for any Z person)


"The original 240Z based Scarabs used the 327 cu in (5.3 litre) small block Chevy V8, balanced and blueprinted and developing 250 bhp. It was mated to a Borg-Warner T10 four speed gearbox with a Hurst shifter. Koni adjustable shock absorbers were specified, along with heavier anti-roll bars, Teflon bushings in the front compression struts and stiffer steering rank mounts. Tyres: 195/70 front, 250/70 rear, Pirelli CN36 or P7. Four piston front brakes were also recommended."


"The results of this suprisinigly neat installation - the V8 fits snugly into the Z's generous engine bay- is a car that is fast, very flexible (maximum torque of the 327 is 360 lb ft at 3600 rpm) and untemperamental. Performace raches (sic) into the supercar class - Scarab's own fiures suggest 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a 13.2 second standing quarter mile. Later cars have used the 350 cu in (5.7 litre) Chevrolet V8 and Scarab now offer a range of newly built up engines developing from 300 bhp to a turbocharged unit with 425 bhp"


Anyone ever seen the turbo version?


Here is a good link, with a contact name at the end




Another good link, with good collector info (about half way down)



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you could purchase the do it at home kit, or pay the scarab shop to build it for you.


depending on your pocket book, you could get a basic engine swap, or get a full blown engine swap and a body kit. the most common kit is called the california.


the kit is available from a shop in aussieland. http://www.sickdivision.com/pages.asp?group_id=18



i had two friends that worked for scarab, when the shop was in campbell ca. and later in san jose.


Jonathon Sievert, my buddy's younger brother worked there, i think in 75, 76. another friend named Pat, worked there i think, from around 76 until they closed the doors. i can't think of Pat's last name.


Pat bought himself a brand new 280z and filled it with a big block and a turbo 400. widened the stock wheels, ran stock hubcaps. looked like any other stock 280z. had super quiet exhaust on it.


around 9 pm, on the weekend, he'd come into the mobile station where, at the time, i was pumping gas and wrenching. he'd tank up and tell me he was going hunting for camaros, road runners and mustangs, with an occasional trans am for a quick snack.


about 45 minutes later, he'd be back, maybe 3 or 4 late 60's early 70's muscle cars, following him onto the lot. all of em trying to figure out how they just got their clocks cleaned by a 280z. he'd gas up, never pull the hood, chat a bit with the muscle car owners,leading them to believe it was the new fuel injected 2800 cc engine, in the 280z, that made all the difference.



i was 21 and i think Pat was 20. i was attempting to build a mid engine V8 corvair corsa (sent for info on the crown kit, bought a 66 140 hp corsa, a friend cherried the body and painted it. i paid a shop for new pistons, barrels and valve job ... ran so damn good i never did the swap ... sold it for dimes on the dollar, to join other money for a down payment on a house ). Pat was constantly talking with me about buying a 240z scarab. at the time i had a 57 nomad, 58 vette, 65 GTO, and the Corvair ( the vette being the only project car ).


anyway ..


you could get a scarab to go ( which is what my current 72 z is ) or get it to eat there. my friend Pat told me, back then, they sold more kits than complete cars, though he thought most kits were never used or the swap was never completed, as most of the buyers were true dreamers or they were starting with a wrecked z.


you have to remember, 1977 is only 5 years away from 1972, and a 5 year old car was just as relatively expensive as a 5 year old car is now. so, to go cutting on it and swapping engines was a big expensive deal. most people would buy the kit, and decide not to do it .



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Very cool stories. I have never seen a Scarab Z myself. Does anyone know the location of a true Scarab factory serialized car? And what would one in good condition be worth. I know it all depends on whatever a buyer wants to pay, but a ballpark figure? I am only prying because I have a friend that may be looking to add a serialized Scarab Z to his car collection. Not to mention I would like to see one. :lol:

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Bob Walters over at the classic z list has an original turbo scarab.




drop by there and check out his gallery.


i think he also posts here from time to time.


real nice guy, we've been corresponding off and on for a few years.


as i say, mine is a kit , as such, it was put together as the end builder decided to do it. i would believe that all the kit cars are going to be different. i would think that 95% of the factory built scarab cars will be close to the same. the differences being personal touches the customer wanted, wheels, sunroof, interiors, mirrors, steering wheel, seats, stuff like that. but the basic car should be the same for all of em.


anyway, Bob's car is a real nice representative of the scarab. wish mine was half as nice .

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