Driver, owner, builder
Reventlow built and raced the Scarabs, one of the first great all-American sports cars. He was introduced to motorsports at 12 when his mother, Woolworth-heiress Barbara Hutton, married the winner of that year’s (1948) Targa Florio. In the mid-‘50s Reventlow assembled an all-star team to build his Chevrolet-powered brainstorm, including Phil Remington, Dick Troutman, Tom Barnes, Sonny Balcaen, Jim Travers and Frank Coon. Fielding entries for himself and Chuck Daigh, the team flourished. Daigh won the prestigious 1958 U.S. Grand Prix for Sports Cars at Riverside and Scarab took that year’s SCCA National Championship. Scarabs continued to win in the hands of Augie Pabst, Harry Heuer, Jim Jeffords, Carroll Shelby and others. In 1960, it produced the first American F1 car, but the front-engine machine was too late to be effective against the new rear-engine cars. In ‘62, Reventlow shut down Scarab and leased Shelby’s facilities, which retained its members for his Cobra program. But the company’s final product, a mid-engine sports car, won major races for A.J. Foyt and Walt Hansgen.