Frame off restored by the former owner of 24 years with beautiful results! Earned AACA 1st Place Award in May 2016 upon completion! Very authentic and an excellent driver! Great collection and conversation piece! Hard to find like this! More on our 1938 American Bantam Deluxe Roadster that’s for sale. In the years following the Great…
Frame off restored by the former owner of 24 years with beautiful results! Earned AACA 1st Place Award in May 2016 upon completion! Very authentic and an excellent driver! Great collection and conversation piece! Hard to find like this! More on our 1938 American Bantam Deluxe Roadster that’s for sale.
In the years following the Great Depression, finding ways to cut costs and save money was on the minds of all Americans. Producers of automobiles already figured out that buyers would find small, inexpensive modes of transport an efficient way to still own a personal automobile. Along came American Austin in 1930 with this very concept in mind. Under the license of British Austin Motor Company, they produced a select lineup of uniquely charming, fuel-efficient vehicles fitted on a 75-inch wheelbase powered by a 747cc Inline 4 cylinder engine. Tipping the scales at only 1,200lbs and offering roughly 15 horsepower, the American Austin was an early success selling some 8,000 units during its first year. They promoted 40+ miles per gallon and a 50mph top speed that was completely adequate for short commutes and just running errands.
As sales faltered going into 1934, production of the Austin slowly came to an end with about 20,000 total examples produced. With bankruptcy filled, a former salesman, Roy Evans, purchased the company and redesigned a host of more attractive bodies with the help of original designer Alexis de Sakhnoffsky who influenced the works of the Cord L29 Hayes and LeBaron-bodied 1934 Packards. A new hood treatment, new grill & radiator, new hood ornament, new headlights, and graceful full fenders with rear apron carrying the spare tire at a rakish angle brought a modern American Bantam to the market in 1937! Mechanically, it received a reinforced chassis, more robust transmission & differential, better engine crankshaft, as well as Ross cam & lever steering for improved maneuverability. An improved car through & through! Only 6,000 units of various designs would be built before closure in 1940. Today, they serve as splendid collector vehicles and excellent conversation pieces! They represent the earliest of microcar offerings and an ideology of efficiency that is extremely prominent once again in today’s marketplace!
We are excited to offer this 1938 American Bantam Special Roadster that comes finished brilliantly in a classic Cream & Ivory two-tone exterior combination with flat red imitation leather seating upholstery! This remarkable example was treated to a high end, frame-off restoration with stunning results! The smooth paint finish carries throughout the car and bright chrome work highlights it perfectly. Features on our example include a 3-speed manual transmission, chrome bumpers with guards, rear mounted spare tire, a black carpeted interior with rubber floor mats, full steel wheels nicely pinstriped in vermillion red, chrome hubcaps & trim rings, folding windshield with single vacuum wiper, and BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls measuring 5.00-15. Quite literally rebuilt from top to bottom, it starts with utter ease, and runs just wonderfully! This includes a fully rebuilt engine & transmission with new clutch, all new wiring, all new upholstery, new brakes, tires, etc. The Auto-Lite 6-volt generator was upgraded by specialist Tom Crotty to a 2-brush style with a voltage regulator. A small restoration album of pictures will be included along with a convertible top frame. The top material are side curtains are being provided for template purposes but will require restoration. If interested, please inquire about having this completed prior to delivery.
Having been in the same previous owner’s possession for the past 23 years, and an American Austin Bantam Club member, he followed the authenticity manual as best he could during the restoration process. The finished car made its show debut in May 2016 at the AACA Greater New York Region event at Old Westbury Gardens earning a 1st Place Award! This Bantam’s body lines are very characteristic of the round, sweeping curve on the body sides made famous by Duesenberg coach built bodies. It’s a remarkable little car that will win smiles at any show it attends! Please feel welcome to call with additional questions or schedule an opportunity to view in person. We look forward to working with you!
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