Local Collector Brings "Rare Pair" to Food Lion AutoFair - This Weekend
The word "rare" is used in the vintage car world to describe vehicles built by the dozens or hundreds, but a collector from Davidson, N.C., has two cars whose production numbers measure in the single digits. The rare pair will be featured during the Sept. 4-7 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Part minivan, part airplane, Tim Lingerfelt's 1936 Stout Scarab is an automotive crowd-pleaser of the first degree, having recently brought home the People's Choice trophy from the sixth annual Hilton Head Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival. Looking at the aerodynamic shape and unit-body construction, it comes as no surprise that the Scarab's creator, William B. Stout, was a pioneer in the aviation industry whose innovations resulted in the Ford Trimotor airplane.
Starting from a clean sheet of paper, Stout placed a Ford flathead V-8 engine in the rear of his Scarab for improved traction and greater interior room, then laid out the cabin in the manner of a small, but elegant train observation car. All seats except for the driver's could be moved to make conversation among passengers easier. Passengers entered the Scarab through a single door in the middle of the car's body. With its coil-spring suspension, the Scarab's ride was reported to be among the best of its day.
Stout promoted his innovative machine vigorously, but the $5,000 price tag (about $79,000 today) hindered sales, and only five are known to exist today.
Lingerfelt's other curiosity is a 1928 Worldmobile 8 six-passenger sedan, a car so rare that automotive experts often argue whether it existed at all. In 1926, a new firm in Lima, Ohio, calling itself the Worldmobile Co. announced it would manufacture "sport and closed" cars around a 65-horsepower Lycoming eight-cylinder engine. Prices were expected to be in the $1,700 ballpark at a time when Ford's Model T was selling for less than $400. Worldmobile's parent company, Relay Motors Corp., was a conglomerate of several truck-building concerns throughout the Midwest and the board of directors wanted to expand its empire to include passenger cars. Worldmobile claimed to have produced seven prototypes of its new line, but there are no reports verifying this number.
Only one Worldmobile has surfaced since the company came and went 80 years ago, and that one joined Lingerfelt's eclectic collection of 1960s muscle cars and Porsche 930 Turbos in 2003.
The super-rare Stout Scarab and Worldmobile 8 will be displayed during the Sept. 4-7 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway along with a tribute to award-winning show cars, the 100th anniversary of Ford's Model T, the Edsel's 50th birthday, and a collection of vintage drag racers. The fall Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 120,000 visitors. It features more than 50 car club displays and more than 7,000 vendor spaces that offer a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia.
More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults while children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Parking for the event is $5.
For more information, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit us online.