Case study in Bantam advertising

As you likely already know, here at ( we offer multiple services for the Austin and Bantam enthusiast inside of us all.  Among these services are the advertisement of vehicles for sale in the Virtual Showroom and the curation of a bimonthly Lead Sheet.  The point of these services is to make sure that the people who are in search of a car have an avenue for making their dreams a reality.

Generally, I only include cars listed on eBay on the Lead Sheet and do not place them on the home page.  However, I am making a rare exception this morning as a case study in the efficacy of advertising a Bantam on eBay.

On March 28, 2018, the following car was listed on eBay in the category of Salvage Parts Cars:

Bantam Roadster For Sale NH 6

Click here to see the 1939 Bantam Roadster
Click here to see the third relisting: 1939 American Bantam Relist

The listing offers only a buy it now, and appears to either be of a 30 day duration or of the good until cancelled variety.  The seller is asking $12,000 for the car and has not offered a make offer option on it.  The entirety of the description reads:

“This car is made in America no rot four-cylinder engine 20 Horse power standard does 50 miles an hour good restoration project Motor transmission rear end 100% local pick up as is”

Here are the rest of the photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When publishing advertisements here, I work with the seller to describe their car in detail so the car is appropriately attractive to potential buyers, more easily found through search engine optimization, and so an interested party may be more confident in their potential purchase.  For buyers looking for help in finding a car, we also offer a locating service which helps them find what they are looking for and includes advice in appraising the vehicles being considered.

This roadster looks to be quite complete and in decent shape.  It appears that it has the some of the top bows, part of the original jack, a full set of trim rings, the proper seat, a correct tail light, correct headlights, and other important parts.  At $12,000, this car is a crap shoot, it could provide a great numbers matching car that is complete and in decent enough shape to make an easy restoration, or it is a crap shoot with a seized engine (or worse yet one with a broken crank), shoddy body work under its newer paint, and no papers.  As it is, we just don’t know what the true nature of this car is.

A similar project 1939 Bantam Roadster (one of our own cars) has been listed on eBay in the same category as an experiment.  That car has been listed since early 2017 and after spending some time at the top of the “best match” search results, it quickly faded into an abyss of irrelevant parts ads.  Now, you won’t find that car unless you are specifically looking for it.  Any interest which that car received was in the beginning, appeared to primarily come from people interested in hot rodding it, and any offers were well below reasonable.  I am a huge fan of eBay, but I’ll still not convinced that it is a good place to sell a Bantam.

I see a lot of potential in this pink roadster (although it doesn’t have the curb appeal of the car I wrote about here).  I’m going to watch this car and report back occasionally to update you on its progress in the listing.  I hope the seller is successful and it finds the good home which it deserves.

Click here to see the 1939 Bantam Roadster

4/9/2018 Update:  This car has been relisted two times already.  I didn’t pay much attention to the first relisting, but the second relisting has placed the car for sale as a vehicle and the price has been lowered to $11,800.  Although an American Bantam, the car has been listed in the “Austin”.  It’ll be interesting to see if the seller has any better luck in the 7 day sale format.

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.



Happy Belated Thanksgiving

In the past month, there have been a few scattered items which I didn’t end up posting on here.  It’s amazing how few parts have come available.  I was going through some old emails today and found that one member of the ABS raised a very good point when I was a complete newbie.  To paraphrase, be patient, these cars and their parts are out there; sometimes there are dry spells and sometimes there are more items than can find owners.  Right now, with the holidays, people have more on their mind than working on their cars and cleaning out their garage.

The last couple weeks have resulted in my efforts slowing with the near culmination of assembling my 1940 Bantam chassis.  It needs to come apart again so I can begin restoring the bits to newish condition, but it’s nice to see something that has existed as scrap for decades become something fairly car like.  I’m trying to figure out the front shock absorbers and finalize the braking configuration.  However, even with all of these things, the car has been on the back burner.

I made a tally of cars in the process of being restored and their owners.  Currently, there are at least 50 American Austin/Bantam cars in various stages of resurrection among at least 30 owners.  So, if you’re afraid that you’re alone in your quest, rest assured that you’re in good company.

Around here, I’ve started doing some work chronicling the history of the Brennan IMP.  If you’re a long time reader, you know of my fondness and intrigue regarding that little motor.  Right now, there are a couple of old brochures up, but soon, I should have it’s 30 year history documented for those who do have them.

I hope you had a happy holiday and that you are looking forward to the upcoming ones as well.  Stay tuned for updates!





Late night Ebay finds:

There is someone in Wyoming who may have stumbled on a small parts hoard.  So far, the ebay seller has three items up, however that doesn’t mean more wont show up.  It appears that his stash may contain Bantam and Austin pieces.

American Bantam M10BX carb

Bantam Tillotson M10BX 4Click here to see the ebay listing: American Bantam M10BX carb $81

American Austin / Bantam Intake Manifold

Intake 2

Click here to see the ebay listing: American Austin / Bantam Intake Manifold $52

American Austin 1930-1933 Generator and Distributor parts

NOTE:  The fan mount looks to be excellent in the photos.  You may wish to inquire with the seller to see what sort of condition the piece is in.

American Austin Gen Dist 1

Click here to see the ebay listing: American Austin 1930-1933 Generator and Distributor parts $79.50

A 1939 Bantam Pick Up has made its way onto ebay. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The opening price is $1999 with the option of an offer.

Click here to see the ebay listing: 1939 Bantam Parts/Restoration Truck

Promotional Bantam Penny

bantam penny 1

Click here to see the ebay listing: Promotional Bantam Penny $27.95

Plain faced Bantam hubcaps:

These may or may not be bantam pieces, please check your application to ensure they will fit.

plain face hubcaps 1

Click here to see the ebay listing: Plain faced Bantam hubcaps:

American Austin Parts Catalogue (Detroit)

Detroit Austin 1Click here to see the ebay listing: American Austin Parts Catalogue (Detroit)

Oops, we missed a few:

1940 Bantam Hood Side Emblems:

Two emblems sold in the small hours of the morning through a buy it now for $13 each.  An excellent deal for the buyer:

bantam hood logo 1

American Bantam Stabilite headlight lens:

Sold for $154, possibly nos.  Some Bidding in the last moments.

Bantam headlight lens

Starter Switch through 1939

Sold for $26, Buy it Now.

starter switch through 1939

Austin Crank Case:

Sold for $40, Buy It Now

Austin Crank Case

1930 American Austin 3W coupe:

Sold for $4350

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

American Austin Tillotson M10A

BIN Sold for $80

American Austin Tillotson M10 A 2

Would you like a Woody of your own?

For your consideration is a unique opportunity to own a 1939 Bantam Woody Station Wagon.  Usually, these cars pass silently between Bantam club members.  Occasionally, these cars are seen at the auctions, but not frequently enough for other collectors to get their hands on them.

These cars were designed by Bantam to be the gem of any garage.  Described by the company as being the embodiment of nonchalant luxury, and by being priced as their halo car; the Bantam station wagon was anything but a little economy car.  It was a useful, utilitarian, piece of art.  Although they were fairly popular in proportion to other models built, their survival rate has been identified as very small.

1938 Bantam Station Wagon Prototype

1938 Bantam Station Wagon Prototype

There are less than twenty of these Station Wagons known to exist at this time, although there may be a few more stashed out there.  Most often, these cars are sold for increasingly more and more with projects becoming less and less extant.  Finished, you can have something like this:

bantam woodieBantam Woody

Here is the offering for your consideration, the bones of a spartan, understated, elegant gem.  Click on the thumbnail below to learn more about this project.  Perhaps this could find its way into your garage.


1939 Bantam Station Wagon Rough Project

A couple of worthy additions to your collection:

Three American Bantam Hubcaps:

Here are some great photos of American Bantam Hubcaps.  As was covered a few months ago, there are a few different style hubcaps available during the Bantam production run.  The photos of the inside show that these hubcaps have the separately embossed skin applied to the standard baby moon hubcap, as done at the factory.  Unlike a lot of the hubcaps out there, these could be used as is or refreshed with a minimum of work.  Although the price seems high to me, they are probably priced fairly.  The caps which were selling previously were going for about $33 – $75 each and were suffering from curb rash (see: February 2015 Post)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click here to see the listing: American Bantam Hubcaps THREE Asking price $399, sale price unknown.  Update Perfect set of 5 listed in AABC newsletter for $500 total (June 2016)

New Old Replacement Stock American Austin 0.020″ piston rings

Click here to see the listing: 1931 to1935 AUSTIN 2.2 inch .020 PISTON RINGS HASTINGS $39.95

Also, for your convenience, I went through the entire blog and posted the completed listing prices for the items featured in the past.  If there is no price, ebay removed the page and I was unable to retrieve it.

Interesting piece of advertising

1938 Bantam Advertising Pamphlet

I have never seen this pamphlet before and I’m really glad the seller put such detailed photos on the listing.  This advertisement has very rich drawings of the Bantam line up for 1938 including a woody with pickup truck style fenders.  If you look carefully, the Bantam logo has the word “American” printed above it.  For $5.00, this item is a steal, especially with the dealer stamp from Johnstown, PA.

Click here to see the ebay listing: Vintage Bantam ’60’ Automobile Booklet, Butler, PA – Johnstown, PA Dealership Sold for: 42.00

Click here to learn more about Johnstown, PA:  Johnstown

A few Bantam Odds and Ends

As always, it’s been hectic; but a few items popped up on eBay and I’d like to share them with you.  Also, I’ve been testing out the Klipsch bluetooth speaker I mentioned in an earlier post.  Day one of testing is over, and I’m very impressed.  It may be just the thing you need on your back seat during your next tour.  Anyway, on to the listings:


1938-1939 American Bantam Hood Ornament

The seller has an ornament which is markedly similar to the Bantam piece as well as the 1937 Nash Lafayette piece.  You may want to contact the seller for dimensions to confirm this is in fact for a Bantam.  From my understanding, the Nash piece was larger.

DIMENSIONS:  “height whole ca. 2.36 inches length whole ca. 7.87 inches

Bantam Hood Ornament

Click here to see the listing: 1938-1939 American Bantam Hood Ornament Sold for: 190.50

American Bantam Car Co Supercargo Butler Pa Tape Measure

Tape MeasureClick here to see the listing: American Bantam Car Co Supercargo Butler Pa Tape Measure Sold for: 53.01

Pedal pads American Bantam

Hopefully someone can purchase these to make new ones.  I know I’d be interested in a new set.  Pedal PadsClick here to see the listing: Pedal pads American Bantam Sold for: 9.99

35 36 37 38 39 40 41 American Bantam Generator Brush Set NORS

generator brushes

Click here to see the listing: 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 American Bantam Generator Brush Set NORS No Sale


 franklin mint

Click here to see the listing: American Austin- 1983 FRANKLIN MINT PEWTER HOOD ORNAMENT Sold for: 24.53


tied brochure 1


More offerings from JoeGingerichJr, including a very nice Bantam speedometer!

For the past few weeks, JoeGingerichJr has been populating eBay with a steady stream of Bantam parts.  Last night, he listed a nice rebuilt Bantam speedometer for sale with a face having a nice amount of patina.  If you need one, this could be a great opportunity for you.  The bezel even looks great!

Bantam / BRC speedometer

bantam speedometerspeedometer 2 speedometer 3 speedometer 4

Click here to see the eBay listing: Bantam Speedometer- Rebuilt Sold for: 660.00

Taillight Bracket 1:

From the angle of these photos, it’s difficult to determine what the first bracket actually fits.  From the pitting, I would venture to guess it is an original part, but the photos don’t allow us to see whether the cross-section of the stalk is u shaped.  From the length, this look like it could be a bracket for a 34 Austin or a 38-40 Bantam roadster, but I am not sure.  At 10, it may be worth trying to pick it up.

taillight bracketClick here to see the eBay listing: Austin / Bantam Tail Light Bracket  Sold for: 27.99

Austin Taillight with Bracket (Bantam) and license plate bracket

If you look closely at this photo, you will see the curve I mentioned in the above post.  I was under the believe that all Austin and Bantam stalk style tail light brackets have some degree of a curve.  This one more closely resembles what I have seen on some cars.  This style may be what you’re looking for; please check your application.

taillight with bracket1

Click here to see the eBay listing:Austin Tail Light and Bracket Sold for:

A pair of Austin Headlights

This pair of lights looks fairly complete minus the lenses.  Note, the rims should have circular holes for the retaining screws at the bottom.

austin headlights

Click here to see the eBay listing: Austin Headlights Sold for: 102.50

Austin / Bantam Clutch parts

Clutch parts

Click here to see the eBay listing: Austin / Bantam Clutch  Sold for: 198.00

More parts have shown up on eBay: joegingerichjr strikes again

Joegingerichjr has posted some more items.  Although I haven’t had too many things to bid on, I may have to cast a bid in on the NOS window regulator.  I’m not sure how mine are, but it would be great to have one guaranteed to operate properly (and to give me an idea of what is wrong with all of my parts).  The last set of parts that sold are all things we have seen before on ebay, so the prices were fairly predictable.  Now, we have a wholly different group of items, and my guess as to what they will go for is as good as yours.

Pistons 1:

Pistons 1If anyone knows more about the pistons, please let me know.  They look completely different from any of the Bantam pistons I have seen, and have much thicker walls than I am used to.  The only piston I have seen that bears a resemblance to these is a late 50’s replacement I saw with a 3 main engine that blew up, but was never rebuilt.  Please note the correct bore sizes for your application.

Click here to see the eBay listing: 8 American Austin Bantam Pistons No Sale

American Austin/ Bantam Generator support

 Generator bracket

This mount should work for 1934-1940 Applications, with some 1933’s thrown in for good luck.

Click here to see the eBay listing: Bantam (American Austin) Front Engine Piece Sold for: 42.99

American Austin / Bantam Cooling Fan and Pulley

Bantam Fan

Somehow, these fans and pulleys always seem to get lost.  This unit looks as though it will fit an Austin or Bantam with a V-belt and a traditional generator.  However, note that there are some differences in the fan blades themselves.  I believe one of the variations of the fan blade looked as though it had a doubly thick mounting section.

Click here to see the eBay listing: American Austin Engine Fan & Pully  Sold for: 20.00

Austin / Bantam Piston 2

bantam pistons 2Same thing as the pistons above, they don’t look like the pistons I’ve seen come out of engines.  Maybe they are old replacements?

Click here to see the eBay listing: 2nd set of pistons  Sold for: ??

Bantam Outside Door Handles:

$_57This is a nice matched set of original Bantam outside door handles.  If you must have a door handle with a lock, you may want to bid as only non-locking handles are available NOS at this time.  Another thought is, since there is no key, unless you have a lock smith who can reverse engineer a key the lock will only be for decoration as there is no key.  Also, don’t forget, the lock goes on the passenger side.  Looking at the photos again, I realize that there may be missing parts from the locking door handle.  I have one, which is basically missing the same parts.  Does anyone have a photo of a complete unit that I can post for comparison?

Click here to see the eBay listing: American Bantam Outside Door Handles Sold for: 20.00

Period Correct Horn:

bantam horn

Here’s one that I’m not very sure of.  The horn is a Bosch.  From my recollection Bantams and Austins did not use a Bosch horn.  I believe they are listed as using E.A. Labs, Schwarze, and Motovox horns.  You may want to make sure this is right for your car before bidding.  However, finding a horn for a Bantam is like finding a needle in a haystack; so if you like this period horn, why not enlist its services to let everyone know you’re coming through.

Click here to see the eBay listing: Bosch Horn Sold for: 107.50

NOS window regulator:

Bantam window regulator

I’m not sure if there are any differences between the window regulators used in Bantams and Austins.  Either way, this is a nicely preserved example, which at the very least will give me some photos to help rebuild mine.

Click here to see the eBay listing: American Bantam WIndow Regulator Sold for: 153.15

1939-1940 Bantam Hood Sides

Bantam Hood sides 1These hood sides appear to have no holes punched for either two vertical stripes of trim or Bantam emblems.  It is most likely that these are for a commercial truck or a passenger car with lower trim designation.  They look nice and straight and can be a bear to find in any condition.

Click here to see the eBay listing:American Bantam Hood Sides  Sold for: 100.00