Bassett-Lowke Demonstration Models

Around the time of the launch of the Scammell Scarab in 1948 the company instructed the renowned model engineering company Bassett-Lowke to produce a number of models which could be used by their sales team to demonstrate the practicalities of the automatic coupling system. Bassett-Lowke are best known for their model railway products, for both domestic and commercial use, which were produced in a range of scales and gauges from 'O' gauge (1:43 scale) right up to 15" gauge. However they also undertook a number of special commissions including architectural models and some of their larger projects included models of railways complete with fully operational signalling systems for training signalmen, Channel Tunnel boring machines, Euston Railway Station, the Bailey Bridge, nuclear power stations etc etc.

It is believed 12 model Scarabs and a wide range of trailers were built to show to potential customers, all built to a scale of 1:8 full size. Some of the Scarabs were built as left hand drive versions for demonstrating to interested parties overseas. The exact date of manufacture isn't known but some, or maybe all, of the models may have been built in 1947 as the horses head on the front nameplate is shown reversed (as seen on early advertising material announcing the launch of the Scarab).

Of the 12 models originally built, 6 are known to survive; one of these is owned by The Mechanical Horse Club and was restored recently having been found incomplete in a garden where it had been in use as a toy. A short article about the restoration can be viewed here.

Other known survivors are a twin headlamp export model with a tanker trailer which is privately owned by a club member, a left hand drive version with a UK style single headlamp and flatbed trailer, another single headlight one with a covered tipping refuse trailer, one with twin headlamps and flatbed trailer which is believed to be in America, and finally the export model seen in the photo here (with a Bedford OSS from the same builder) which is owned by Keith Harvie. (Photo: Keith Harvie)

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