The Many Faces Of The Minivan
The evolution of the minivan has progressed along in anything but a straight line. There have been rear-engine/rear-drive, front-engine/rear-drive, and front-engine/front-drive chassis topped with many different styles of bodies.
Take a look at this gallery of innovators, oddballs, and commercial failures.
1936 Stout Scarab
William Stout stands out as a dynamic automotive designer and inventor of the early 20th Century. He helped conceived the design for the Ford Tri-Motor airplane and applied his knowledge to a minivan precursor, the Stout Scarab.
The spacious interior of the Scarab features a completely flat floor with balsa wood paneled sidewalls. A flathead Ford V8 powers the rear wheels. The body is lightweight aluminum.
If you're interested in the Stout Scarab, you may want to make a trip to Detroit to check one out for yourself. Just nine were ever made, and one of them will go on permanent display at the Detroit Historical Museum starting on August 29, 2015.
1964 Volkswagen Bus
No, the VW Bus is not one of the worst cars ever designed. In fact, these days the old Vee Dub is a certified classic, with values steadily rising.
As cool as the VW Microbus may be, it was also extremely underpowered, and it offered zero creature comforts or safety features.
Volkswagen produced the Microbus T1 through 1967 in many different configurations including campers, pickups, panel vans, and the high-line Deluxe.