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Thread: To buy a Scarab or not to buy a Scarab?

  1. #1
    Z Addict yor5150's Avatar
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    Default To buy a Scarab or not to buy a Scarab?

    Okay, so the engine isn't the one that Scarab Engineering installed, it has been "converted" to a convertible and it isn't complete. BUT, given the description and assuming it's accurate, it looks like it is definitely worth the $3000 asking price. Seems like the Chevy 350 might be worth that alone.

    Thoughts or opinions?

    I'd especially like to hear from anyone with in depth knowledge about Scarab Engineering...


    > Ad for "Scarab"

    Sale or trade for Jeep or Bronco (projects considered). This is a project car close to completion. My commuter blew up last night so I need a car.

    Original Scarab Z (1976) with new crate Chevy 350 engine (1991 TBI) , painless wiring harness. Removable hardtop. Whale tail spoiler. IMSA flares. American Racing aluminum wheels. New struts. This is a very rare 2 + 2

    > I asked if it was a real Scarab or a V8 conversion...

    This is the real thing. I forget the production number right off hand
    this morning -- It is the rarest of them... a 2+2 convertible.

    > I asked for more info:

    Good morning:

    Thanks for your interest: I have owned this machine since I found it
    in Hot Springs Arkansas in 1988. It has remained stored inside; I"ve
    used rust stop and it is in really good shape. New suspension. New
    tires.

    I have been sanding, preparing for paint. It has been converted to a
    convertible with a hand laid removeable hardtop. Hardtop needs
    lowspots filled before paint. Custom whaletail spoiler, original goes
    with the car.

    To get it ready to drive: hook up the wiring harness (Painless
    Wiring) to the lightly used 1991 TBI 350 engine. Connect electric
    fans. Route fan belts, decide if you want airconditioning. Hook up
    exaust system. Clean (or replace the radiator with an aluminium one).
    Drain and clean gas tank. Hook up new electric fuel pump. Prime and
    start. Condsider replacing the 4 speed muncie for a five speed. It
    has new clutch components, however.

    Replace engine hood.

    Start: drive. Paint. Totally unique
    piece of automotive history... don't know of any other original Scarab
    2+2's in the country.

    > Thanks
    Owning a Z = Longtime Dream Come True...
    (Was) All Stock 1973 240Z eBay purchase in Oct 2005.
    HLS30-163770, 5 spd, # 918 Orange w/Black interior
    1971/72 ??? 240Z HLS30-15987 (donor car - R.I.P. July 09)
    1974 260Z Stock, Orange ext/Black Int. Oct 2007. Sold June 20, 2008
    1976 280Z - FEB 2011
    Card-carrying member of the RSPBRC (Rear Spindle Pin Bushing Replacement Club)

  2. #2
    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    Default

    I would suggest you do some research on Scarabs. Real Scarabs are quite valuable. This one sounds butchered at best and without the original engine, you may have nothing more than a V8 conversion. He forgot the production number?
    Enjoy the Ride
    HLS30-00026
    HLS30-00027
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cwenzel/index.html
    Go Gators
    Go Butler Bulldogs

  3. #3
    Registered User 240ZX's Avatar
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    Did they ever make a 2+2 Scarab? And if it's been made a convertable, it would likely need some chassis stiffening.

    Tom

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    Known Zitus carrier! hls30.com's Avatar
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    I agree with Chris, get pics of the scarab proof(emblems, documentation, etc) It sounds more like a put together car resembling a scarab than a genuine one.
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

  5. #5
    Z Addict yor5150's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Yep, I'd definitely want proof that it was the genuine article and even if it is, it won't be valuable as one that hasn't been modified/butchered and still has the engine that was initially installed by Scarab.

    The car is about 100 miles away too. I may still go check it out though. The engine would be a nice fit in my '70 Chevy Pickup if nothing else.

    Thanks for the heads up on the frame needing re-enforcement since it's now a convertible.

    I have tried "Googling" Scarab and found some useful information but nothing indicating whether or not they ever converted a 2+2.

    And of course I had some explaining to do to a certain someone as to why I wanted another Z car.

    Decisions Decisions....

    Thanks again for the input.
    Owning a Z = Longtime Dream Come True...
    (Was) All Stock 1973 240Z eBay purchase in Oct 2005.
    HLS30-163770, 5 spd, # 918 Orange w/Black interior
    1971/72 ??? 240Z HLS30-15987 (donor car - R.I.P. July 09)
    1974 260Z Stock, Orange ext/Black Int. Oct 2007. Sold June 20, 2008
    1976 280Z - FEB 2011
    Card-carrying member of the RSPBRC (Rear Spindle Pin Bushing Replacement Club)

  6. #6
    HS130-150591 4/79 zbane's Avatar
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    Don't forget to search through our own Scarab section: http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/f...play.php?f=100

    And definitely get photos of all the usual trouble spots. The phrase "I"ve
    used rust stop and it is in really good shape" worries me. To what extent is the rust damage? Was it just "stopped " or was it then repaired (new panels, etc.)
    Still, it does sound interesting.
    David
    _____________________________________
    HS130-150591, April, 1979-280zx
    2001 Infiniti I 30

  7. #7
    Registered User 240ZGL's Avatar
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    If it's a real Scarab, not a conversion and it has all the original parts and it's not chopped or wide bodied all tricked out, then its worth a bundle. It's the same as a Yanko or Motion Chevy, not a factory modified car but done by a reputable company known for there performance upgrades. Carol Shelby did the same thing with both AC's and Mustangs. If it's a conversion then it's worth what someone will give you for it but not everyone looking for a Z will want it.
    As for the Z becoming a collector car, which it will some day, there are still a lot of them out there. The only good thing I see is that lots of them are being bastardized. There being made into tuner cars which makes the properly restored ones more and more rare. If you want a 71 hot rod, build it to 71 style with 71 parts. Go ahead and pull that tiny 2.4 matching numbers motor and stick a 2.8 stroker in it, more hp and less collectibility. To the guy at the auction who's looking to buy a collector car, he will walk right past that 3.2 in hopes of finding one with the right numbers stamped on the block. Remember, this is the car that made every thing else look silly when it hit the shores. Even Porsche, Jag and Corvette took notice. Please make mine rare, chop yours up.
    I'll get off my soap box now.
    Last edited by 240ZGL; 09-16-2007 at 11:06 AM.
    HLS30-143697 1973 110 ORANGE
    Period correct performance restoration
    Sanyo Sport kit induction, Datsun Comp exhaust. Datsun Comp internals. "C" grind cam
    Mallory DP ignition W/ Pertronix kit. Koni struts, Koni RallySport springs. Euro rear sway bar
    Who said they don't build em like they use to.


  8. #8
    Registered User Dat240ZG's Avatar
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    Well....I'll try to add something beneficial to this thread. One of the people who has a beautiful "original" Scarab is David Sommers. If you are interested in contacting him, his userid is dsommer (over on hybridz.org). David's Scarab has won several awards and he is a great source of info on Scarabs.

    As far as all of the soapbox talk about originality, I say there will always be people who want originality and there will always be people who are drawn to modify their Z.

    I'm kind of in a weird position (I guess) because I can appreciate both. To the guys with the perfect 100 point Z's, beautiful! I love seeing the Z like it was fresh off of the lot.

    To those guys that have modded their Z's into what they wanted - I can appreciate (most of) the effort that they put in to it.

    With my rodstoration of #248 I've taken heat from people on both sides of the argument. When I picked it up, #248 was a stripped hulk with a bunch of parts - lots of potential but missing a majority of the parts needed to restore it to stock (namely the running gear and interior).

    Restoring it to as stock as could be wasn't worth it - considering that it would never be a numbers matching car. As a result, I decided to do a ground up bare metal restoration and "tastefully" update the car. As a result, the running gear has been modernized (LT1/t56, coilovers etc.) but the body is primarily stock. Where I could use NOS Nissan parts, I did. When I couldn't, I went with the best aftermarket parts that I could get.

    I say if someone wants to get a Scarab and finish out the project - go for it! Better than letting it eventually get trashed or scrapped.

    Just my opinion. Let the flames begin.

    Bryan
    Dat240zg
    Last edited by Dat240ZG; 09-16-2007 at 11:52 AM.

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    I have read the other points of view and I must say that you may have changed my mind a bit. I see that you mentioned Motion Cars and my friend owns an original Chevy Motion car maybe one of 5 left and it is worth well over 1/2 million dollars. I will do my due dilligence about original Scarabs.

  10. #10
    Admin Mike's Avatar
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    Scarab conversions were top notch back in the day. I would do some research into the authenticity of this conversion. I haven't seen or heard of a 2+2 conversion, but, I suppose it could be one of a kind ... Does zhome.com have anything on the Scarab history? We have a forum dedicated to Scarab conversions.
    Mike

  11. #11
    Z Addict yor5150's Avatar
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    Default Latest Communication

    My latest message to the seller:

    Thanks for the response. Sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

    Can you provide more info about the convertible conversion? Was the chassis strengthened/stiffened to compensate?
    Do you have all the Scarab badges?

    I guess that the last question is smog check related. It being a '76 and having been purchased in Arkansas, what issues are you aware of with getting it smogged once it's put back together again?

    In any case I would like to see it on Sunday if possible. I have plans for tomorrow that I can't cancel.

    >>>>> Didn't get a response until today (Sunday afternoon).

    >> Seller's response:
    Good afternoon!

    Sorry about the delayed response: my rib injury has really slowed me down!

    Yes, all of the badges are still with the vehicle: The scarab
    insignia on the sides , on the dash, and in the doorwell. It was
    originally a turbo, so there is the Scarab Turbo Boost gauge in the
    dash where the clock used to be.. another piece of Scarab colletible
    that folks are after. I'm just not parting it out!

    When I found the car in Hot Springs the top had been cut out in
    preparation to make a convertible out of it. They took it to the drag
    strip and then blew out the back window at 120mph...at least thats
    what I heard. So I made a kind of Ferrari deck on the rear and added
    a porshe style whale tail. Original Scarab whaletail is available
    with the car and thus the deck can be converted back to the original
    glass hatchback. I like my work better. Front airdam is a bit beat
    up... former girlfriend kept driving it into parking blocks... but
    easly reglassed .

    As for strengthening the frame... I took it to a rather well know
    dragster shop and had a roll cage installed, strenghening the frame
    and of course the windscreen. Indeed, the work today would cost as
    much as what I'm asking for this project! There is room to extend the
    cage through the firewall and tie it to the front strut towers and
    ladder frame... a modification you'lll find in some of the
    conversions. The tubing is chromemoly, I believe. I padded it up
    rather slopply while I was driving it.

    As for smogg: Well, you'd be able to negotiate with the state when
    you tagg it. You will need to see a referee. What I would do is have
    the highway patrol look at it, and try to convince 'em its a 75.
    Might work. I'll even fill out a bill of sale that says it is. Then
    you do what you want. I wanted fuel injection for easy starts ,
    dependablity, and fuel economy... so I'd recommend sticking with what
    I've done so far.

    I have chrome block hugger headers to go on it. Also, a brand new
    Summit Racing light weight starter. Copper wires for moving the
    battery to the trunk... where scarab SHOULD have put it!

    On the otherhand , you could put any kind of engine in it... including
    the original turbocharged V8 ( I still have the original promotional
    literature that went with the car)_ -- but I just put a fresh 91 350
    TBI with painless wiring harness (original wiring goes with it) and
    computer. Thus, it would be smogged on that standard. Lots of ways
    to do it, actually. The four speed muncie is a "rock crusher" I
    think...and will bring a good price as well if you want to shift to a
    five speed or 4 speed automatic. Extra rear end goes with it, all new
    shocks (front are adjustables from Arizona Z.). Rear shocks for this
    rare 2+2 are still in the boxes, waiting for installation. Recaro
    seats. American Racing aluminum wheels all around with new rubber.
    Steel hood is custom vented .

    A lot of folks are trying to buy the Scarab aluminum bellhousing,
    datsun twin callipre racing breaks... dash insignia, medalians, etc...
    wierd. Buying it in one whack would get em everything a lot cheaper,
    including Scarab's cool body work. Oh well. Obviously, I'm not trying
    to sell it hard enough... the collector who wants this machine just
    doesn't know I have it!
    Owning a Z = Longtime Dream Come True...
    (Was) All Stock 1973 240Z eBay purchase in Oct 2005.
    HLS30-163770, 5 spd, # 918 Orange w/Black interior
    1971/72 ??? 240Z HLS30-15987 (donor car - R.I.P. July 09)
    1974 260Z Stock, Orange ext/Black Int. Oct 2007. Sold June 20, 2008
    1976 280Z - FEB 2011
    Card-carrying member of the RSPBRC (Rear Spindle Pin Bushing Replacement Club)

  12. #12
    Z Addict yor5150's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the responses

    I thought I'd throw my 2cents in on the originality issue. I bought my '73 Z because it was pretty much unmolested. The ignition switch had been replaced and the car had been re-painted or painted over in the same Orange color but otherwise was stock. I have removed the 2.4 engine, 4 speed and R180 and replaced them with a 2.8, 5 speed and R200 BUT, I intend to keep everything I take off just in case I ever decided to sell it and the buyer is more of a "purist" than I am. I don't have the money or desire to have a car that I hardly ever drive. The weather is good enough here so that I intend to make the '73 my daily driver but plan not to drive it in the rain.

    I don't like to see classic cars destroyed. I cringe when a vintage car is wrecked in a movie or television show. I never liked Dukes of Hazard but the main reason wasn't the terrible plots and bad acting it was that they had to destroy so many cars during the filming of the series.

    With that said it really boils down to the fact that it's just not my business what anyone does with their car. I plan to modernize my '73 with electronic ignition, better brakes, etc. but not take away from the original look and feel so to speak.

    Coming across the Scarab which is now looking like it is an actual Scarab, was a fluke. I was keeping my eye open for a Z for my step-son since he likes mine so much.

    If the information provided is correct then I think the car is worth the asking price, not so much as a collectible car per say but as a car that has a lot of potential to be turned into a really fun to drive and reliable car.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... the worth of the car is in the eye of the buyer...

    Thanks again for everyone's input.
    Owning a Z = Longtime Dream Come True...
    (Was) All Stock 1973 240Z eBay purchase in Oct 2005.
    HLS30-163770, 5 spd, # 918 Orange w/Black interior
    1971/72 ??? 240Z HLS30-15987 (donor car - R.I.P. July 09)
    1974 260Z Stock, Orange ext/Black Int. Oct 2007. Sold June 20, 2008
    1976 280Z - FEB 2011
    Card-carrying member of the RSPBRC (Rear Spindle Pin Bushing Replacement Club)

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