Hollywoods, if you’ve been reading for a while, you probably know that I have an affinity for these Alex Tremulis designed drop tops. Beyond their numerous apparent differences, they feature new for 1940 Bantam badges.
In the photo above of a nicely restored Convertible Coupe you can see the faint Bantam signature at the top rear corner of the hood side. According to the Authenticity manual (See pg. 40 at Section 301), these were only used as embellishment on Deluxe models and only on the hood sides. However, these emblems seem to have found their way on numerous Hollywood/Convertible Coupe rear decks as you can see in the photo below.
If you go through the internet, you can find numerous photos of these badges on a plethora of cars including an original/as-found 1940 pickup, original non-deluxe coupes, speedsters, Rivieras, and even the BRC pilot car. I am a huge believer in the Authenticity Manual, but I also recognize that Bantam worked with what they had and there may still be some undocumented nuances to learn. Interestingly, someone recently posed the idea that some 1940 Grille shells do not have holes for the circular Bantam badge because the factory may have felt a switch to the newer badges obviated their presence.
Here is an up close photo of the front of these badges:
Stamped from thin brass, chrome plated, and backfilled with the body color of the car, they each are stunning in their own way and compliment the cars nicely. However, the thin material which they were made from was easily damaged and their thin coat of plating was easily rubbed thin. Below you can see a photo of the back side of one of the badges, illustrating the thin nature of the piece. It isn’t uncommon to see these bent or otherwise distorted.
It can be difficult to find these badges and nearly impossible to find them in perfect condition. I have paid more than I care to admit for a pair of these and have likewise missed out on a bargain pair which was improperly labeled on ebay. The problem is that even after you have bought these, you often need to have the reconditioned, and there is always the chance that your plater may damage the thin brass.
A few people have inquired with me about these after I sold off my last spare pair, and disappointingly, I had to turn these other people away. So, over the past few weeks, I have been pursuing the reproduction of these emblems to help make sure other restorers can have their cars complete and bedazzled with all of their tastefully sparse trim. At the start of the New Year (2018 if you’re reading this years from now), I am planning to do a small run of these. They will be solid brass parts that will be chromed and will feature two threaded studs that will be located in the original positions. They will look original from the front, but will be far more substantial so that they will survive test fitting, removal, reinstallation, and years of proud display.
I am planning on having short run of a few made. Before I place the order I am looking to see how many of you are interested in these. They should be around $60 each.
Are you in?