Bantam Shop Manual

As you may already know, the American Bantam Car Co. never really published a “shop manual” or a “service manual.”  However, this is the closest it came.  Questions and Answers for Bantam Mechanics is a very succinct list of solutions to 71 issues which you may encounter with your Bantam.  Interestingly, the original copy which has recently emerged on ebay was once part of a Sears & Roebuck plant library.  This book was stamped into the library on April 25, 1938. It would be interesting to know more about this book’s past.

While I don’t know how many originals of this book have survived the test of time, the content of this manual has been reproduced in at least two different ways.

Click here to see the Bantam Shop Manual

The first known publication is the American Bantam Owners Manual, which was printed by Al Asher & Sons.  From what I remember hearing, Asher was a Bantam dealer in Los Angeles, California at the time who decided to reproduce the questions and answers as a manual for car owners eager to learn how to keep their Bantams on the road.  While I am not 100% certain, I believe these manuals are available as reproductions (I’ll look into whether or not they are.

Interestingly, Al Asher & Sons still exists today at its original location and is going on its 98th year in business.  However, the company has switched from selling Bantams to trucks.  Here is a photo of the dealership currently.Asher

More recently, the Austin Bantam Society put together a “Shop Manual”* which it claims as “Not everything, BUT more than published in one place to date.”  This book contains a lot of interesting information and helpful material.  Even better, I am fairly sure it is still actively available from the Club Store.  I believe the shop manual goes for about $40 +/-.  Interestingly, the ABS manual contains a copied version of the Questions and Answers for Bantams, which is actually different from the listed one as it contains information about the 1940 Super Four models.  While it has fewer answered questions, but perhaps they are better answers.

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