The Scarab at Spa

Scarab, Spa-Francorchamps, Chuck Daigh, klemcoll

Chuck Daigh driving the Scarab F1 car passes over Eau Rouge bridge during the Belgian Grand Prix on June 19, 1960. This was the Reventlow team’s final appearance in the 1960 F1 season. Their beautifully finished cars suffered from what was a three year old design approach, a lack off testing and a resulting weakness in reliability. They were just uncompetitive combined with drivers who had no familiarity with the European circuits.

But Lance Reventlow’s Team was not the only one which would like to forget this weekend. There were two serious accidents in practice, both caused by mechanical failures. Stirling Moss had a rear stub axle break on his Rob Walker Lotus 18 which he was able to slow before it rolled causing leg fractures and a broken nose as well. His amazing recovery had him racing again before the end of the season. Mike Taylor in his Lotus 18 had the steering column break which led to serious injuries that ended his racing career. Sunday brought more tragedy as both Chris Bristow in a Cooper 51 and Alan Stacy with a works Lotus 18 suffered fatal crashes at Burnenville near where Moss had had his earlier accident.

Scarab, Spa-Francorchamps, Chuck Daigh, klemcollFor the Scarabs, Lance Reventlow’s motor blew up almost immediately which was the last one they had and Daigh continued for 16 laps at the back of the field before quitting. The questionable handling of the Scarab was illustrated here in the famous ascent from Eau Rouge to Raidillon.

Overall, it was the least memorable weekend in Formula 1 history. The Scarab team returned home after Spa. Late in the year Daigh would appear again with a modified Scarab F1 car at the U.S. Grand Prix at Riverside in November. Although he certainly knew the circuit, Daigh was seven seconds off the pole time of a recovered Stirling Moss in the Walker Lotus 18. But this time the Scarab finished albeit in 10th place.

Photos by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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