My Car Quest

April 14, 2024

The Reventlow (And Shelby) Transporter Is Up For Auction Along With Two Scarab F1 Cars

by Mike –

Two Lance Reventlow Scarab Formula One racing cars and the Reventlow Automobiles Inc.’s Fiat-Bartoletti transporter will be up for auction at the Bonham’s Goodwood Revival Sale on September 12, 2015.

Scarab F1 Cars and transporter

Scarab F1 cars and transporter (photo from Bonhams)

This transporter was last seen in Carmel, California in August 2012 where it wore the Shelby Cobra livery (see the photo below). That has all been removed, it looks like it is a slightly different shade of blue and it is being sold as a Reventlow Scarab transporter which it was before Reventlow sold it to Carroll Shelby for transporting Cobras.

Cobra transporter in Carmel

The former Reventlow F1 transporter being sold as a Shelby Cobra transporter by RM in 2012 – photo by Mike Gulett

I guess it is more valuable as a Scarab transporter if one is selling two Scarab race cars at the same time.

The Reventlow team had two transporters, one of which is missing as far as I know.

Scarab F1 cars and transporter

Old photo of the Scarab F1 cars and transporter (photo from Bonhams)

Bonhams has not posted their catalog description yet. Below is the transporter description from the RM Monterey auction catalog in August 2012.

Italy’s Fiat, like GMC, built, and still builds, all manner of truck and bus chassis, and a handful of the latter were, in the 1950s, delivered to Bartoletti of Forti, Italy, a constructor of unique and special purpose industrial truck bodies. This particular 1956 model chassis was commissioned as a car hauler by the Maserati Grand Prix team for use during the 1957 and ’58 F1 seasons. It was designed to carry up to three cars, with large storage compartments on the side to hold extra parts, team uniforms, and loads of the supplies needed while traveling around Europe during the F1 season.

306/2 proved to be the lucky bus, as Maserati won the Grand Prix world driver’s title in 1957, with Argentine ace, five time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel of the legendary Maserati 250F. After the 1958 Formula One season, Maserati began winding down its involvement in Grand Prix racing, and the big Fiat was sold to Reventlow Automobiles Inc., and became its GP team transporter for 1960 and ’61. In this iteration, one can see it in the archival photos of many books and magazines covering that time period. After serving the RAI team in Europe during those seasons, it was purchased by Reventlow’s Thunder Alley neighbor Carroll Shelby, in 1962, with the intent of using it to transport his Shelby American team of Cobra Daytona coupes to Le Mans and other stops along the Sports Car World Championship roster in Europe. Due to the fact that the Cobra sports cars weighed more than the open wheel Scarabs, Shelby added an additional rear axle out back to improve stability and load capacity.

Lance Reventlow and the Scarab

Lance Reventlow and the Scarab F1 Race Car

The Lance Reventlow story is fascinating and as I wrote before, I am surprised that the story of Lance Reventlow has not been made into a Hollywood movie.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

The My Car Quest Auction On-Line is now accepting consignments.

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The Reventlow (And Shelby) Transporter Is Up For Auction Along With Two Scarab F1 Cars
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The Reventlow (And Shelby) Transporter Is Up For Auction Along With Two Scarab F1 Cars
The Reventlow F1 racecar transporter and two Scarab F1 racecars are up for auction


  1. This brings to mind my father who passed away 3 years ago Thanksgiving. I grew up hearing about Lance, as my father was a huge car buff, and that love of classic cars and racing has passed down to me. His life was so interesting, I, too, am surprised there’s not a movie about him.

  2. For more back story on Reventlow and the Scarabs I’d highly recommend the self titled autobiography of Raoul “Sonny” Balcaen. He went from innovative drag racer to working with Jim Hall, Lance Reventlow, Carroll Shelby and more. It’s a captivating read and ties together a number of threads I never realized were so connected.
    Raoul ‘Sonny’ Balcaen: My exciting true-life story in motor racing from Top-Fuel drag-racing pioneer to Jim Hall, Reventlow Scarab, Carroll Shelby and beyond

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