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It was both sad and hopeful to see my Scarab Z loaded on the transporter. Sad to see a car that I've had for 20 years leave, but hopeful that the new owner will make it even better. Goodbye old friend !
Saying goodbye to an old friend

As car people we know that there is a special attachment to the cars that we own. Such was the case of my factory built Scarab Z. (For those of you who do not know what a Scarab Z is – click here and read the story).

I found my Scarab in 1996 and over the past 20 years have had it painted, I overhauled the suspension ; rebuilt the engine; and restored the interior. In between all these “projects” I drove the Scarab for many years as a daily driver. I even drove it to the airport and left it in the parking lots as I traveled on business. My biggest joy was taking it to local “Z Club” events and car shows. It always drew a small crowd who had never seen a real factory built Scarab. For a time, I even maintained the Scarab Registry and served as a focal point for Scarab parts and information.

 Over the past 20 years I have acquired and restored several more “fun cars” including a 1967 Cutlass 442 and a 1966 Ford Ranchero and my time with the Scarab grew less and less. The last time I did my annual mileage check, I saw I put less than 500 miles on it. Earlier this year, I realized that the Scarab was due for a repaint. To do it right, would be north of $10,000. If I was going to spend that much, I might as well go whole hog and do a concours level restoration. But then my driving days with the Scarab would be over and I like driving my “toys”. So I made the painful decision to sell it to someone who would appreciate what it is and drive it.

After figuring out a decent (and fair) price, I contacted several people who – through the Registry – had expressed interest in acquiring a real factory built Scarab. One fellow in particular knew what these cars were and we began a lengthy exchange of emails with a lot of photos of the car, engine, suspension, interior and more. I wanted to be 100% sure that a new owner knew exactly what they were buying. I also wanted to make a few upgrades to the car – a new non-racing clutch and a freshly rebuilt Hurst shifter – that were on my “to-do” list. It was fun working on the car one last time.

Finally the day came when the deal was done, money received and I drove it one last time to meet the car transporter. The folks from Interstate were real professionals and the Scarab was loaded and packed in a nice cover for its trip to the new owner.

So good bye old friend—you gave me 20 years of fun, excitement, skinned knuckles and a few words remembered from my Army days. I spent more on you than I got in the sale, but that was never my objective. I had many thousands of dollars of fun. So the upshot of this little story is that cars are made to enjoy and (to me) that means driving them and working on them.

I’ll probably get another project car and (possibly) in time sell off another of my toys. But the Scarab was the first and you always remember your first

My Scarab Z at rest in my drive

The rebuilt engine and transmission ready to be installed back in 2005

The engine bay of the Scarab

The Scarab interior -- a comfortable space for 20 years

All packed and ready to go --