Short Notice

This may be incredibly short notice, but with online bidding or a trip out to Riverside California, you may be able to fill a nook in your garage with this fantastic car.  After asking around, no one seems to know much about this car’s history.  It’s mechanical condition is unknown as is the condition of the underside of the car.  However, at its current pricing, it seems like it could be a steal!

This sort of car would normally make it to our bi-monthly lead sheet, but our next issue wont be out for another month and I really don’t want to see someone miss out on this opportunity.

Click here to see more of the car.

If this car doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, check out our showroom for some truly fantastic vehicles.

The paradox of choice.

Listed as a 1940 Roadster, a seller in Kansas City, MO has offered up a lovely two toned vehicle which I know I will be watching.  Before I get a bit too verbose, here is the car:

American bantam roadster KCMO 4

Click here to see listing for the: American Bantam Roadster

There is something about this car that I like.  It’s certainly not very authentic, but I like it.  It has the worn in look of a favorite pair of shoes.  You could slip right into it and hopefully putter off with minimal effort.   Beside the fact that the car is too small to probably get door dinged in a parking lot, you still wouldn’t worry about them too much in this car, even if you had to.

As I mentioned, the seller has listed it as a 1940, but that likely is not accurate.  Then again, does accuracy really change the way the wind feels in your face or the feeling of your mouth tightening into a smile?

Some things to note:

  • Buyer states the vin number is 60134, which would indicate a 60 series 1938 American Bantam and the car has numerous details from an early car
  • Two main bearing engine which appears to have the early 1938 aluminum head with separate water outlet


If you are looking for something a bit more authentic, there is always this car:

1938 American Bantam Roadster st louis 7

Click here to see this: 1938 American Bantam Roadster

Or if you’re looking to bring an original car back from the brink, this may be just the thing for you:


Click here to see the 1939 American Bantam Roadster

The last of the three cars above is my own project.  However I would probably want to get into something like the top car to start with rather than a complete project.  The best way to do it is to buy the driver and restore the project as you see fit.

It’s funny, when I first started my Bantam journey, there were very few options available.  Today, you have three examples in varying condition on ebay alone.  There are multiple for sale through this website, and scores for sale on the current Everything Bantam Lead Sheet.  If you’re looking for a car, this is a pretty good time to be looking.



You never know where a lead may take you.

At this point, my nationwide Craigslist safari is a morning ritual.  I get used to seeing a lot of the same ads, but on occasion wonderful treasures emerge.  In fact, the primary foundation for my Sportsman project came from Craigslist as did many of the parts for it.  Most of the time, the ad will present an older restoration of an American Austin in a fairly straight forward manner.  However, there is the odd occasion where something extra special will be hidden in plain sight.

This story begins at the end of September.  Just after returning from vacation, I was working to get back into my normal routine.  Slightly out of practice and unfamiliar with whatever listings may have popped up in the previous two weeks, I scoured the results a little harder.  An unlikely title caught my attention:  “Front Bumper for 1942 Bantam pickup truck”.

As you and I know, American Bantam didn’t build any pickups in 1942.  I figured this was likely a crane truck or something.  However, I clicked anyway and was faced with this:

American Bantam Barn Find

That’s not a Bantam front bumper; I guess it could have been added to a Bantam, but that isn’t something which would have been mounted at the factory onto the front of a truck.  Reading further it sounded like other bits may be available, the thought of other pieces being available got me thinking and I immediately texted the seller.  He only had a photo of the grille, but said he’d send it to me later in the day.  I waited with baited breath and eventually received this:

Bantam Grille

I immediately called the seller after he sent me a photo of a really nice 38 Bantam grille.  He began to explain that he was helping a friend sell these parts which belonged to the friend’s grandfather.  After some more prodding, I learned these parts were all sitting in a garage along with the remains of a pickup truck taken apart long ago.  Later that night, he sent a photo of the cowl tag which revealed that the truck was among the first 500 produced.  I asked what his friend wanted for the whole lot and was given a fairly high price; so I asked for more photos.  For his asking price, I needed to know what was really included.

“Not a problem,” he replied “I’ll have them for you tomorrow.”

Suddenly, silence.  The silence turned from days to weeks and I reached out to the seller a few times.  My curiosity got the best of me; what was for sale and what happened to the seller were questions I became very familiar with pondering the possible answers.  Out of the blue, I heard from the seller again and he reiterated the price.  I waited for photos again, but the same sort of thing happened.

Finally, one night several weeks later, I received a slew of text messages from the seller along with a single photo which supposedly showed the truck as it was before the seller began excavating the garage which was holding it hostage.

Here is the photo:

the truck

I spoke at length with the seller that night and it sounded like we were heading in the right direction.  Since it sounded like a lot of cleaning had taken place since the photo was taken, I asked for a couple photos or at least a better description of the bed and fenders which were supposedly in the bed.  Perhaps I asked for too much.

I haven’t given up all hope yet, but I am not too optimistic that I will ever hear back from the seller.  Yet, as you know, I am pretty persistent.   If there are any updates, I will fill you in.  If not, all I can say is good luck little truck, where ever you end up!