The Shop Project: Sportsman I

Perhaps I’ve introduced this project before, but I can’t find the post.  So, in the case I’m repeating myself, I’m going to try to spice this story up for you and present it from a new direction.

This story begins in 2013, when I had tried, to no avail, to buy several different Bantam Hollywoods and Convertible Coupes.  At that point, this website didn’t exist and a person interested in a Bantam was not faced with the paradox of choice you have today.  What did exist was the ability to pursue leads in a scattershot approach with the hopes that something great would turn up exactly when you were looking.

One night, using my scattershot approach, I found a craigslist ad in Tehachapi which piqued my interest.  Now, if you didn’t already know, Tehachapi is in California; a place I have never been.  For us on the east coast, California is known as a haven where all of the antique cars are rust free.

The ad described a hoard of fantastic proportions, at least with relation to the market of the time.  There were a few photos of the whole collection and just one illustrating the gem of the collection, remnants of a 1940 Bantam.  The car had been picked clean over the years and had undoubtedly given life to many other Bantams.  Yet, there was something about it that made me think it needed to make the journey to New York.  Thoughts of turning it into the car of my dreams ran through my head, without knowing exactly what those dreams were.  Seeing the body, I knew it could be a blank slate of sorts.  One where I could exercise some creativity without destroying something likely to be restored.  I could try to break the mold a bit with this one.

By the time the plans for the body began to materialize in my mind, the lot was spoken for, but thankfully the buyer and I were able to get in touch with each other.

Here is a photo from the ad:

thumbnail_2013-10-27 11.13.40

Here is the body emptied out:

Remants of a 1940 Bantam

An original California car.


Here is a front view:

front view

Front view of the 1940 Bantam

As you can see, it is a bit rough and you may thinking it is more of the stuff of nightmares than dreams.  However, this body isn’t all that bad for what I am planning.  Stick around for more updates and learn about its trip across the country to its new home.

As a disclaimer, my mechanical, sheet metal, and woodworking skills are fairly weak.  This will be a learning experience and will hopefully give others the courage to adopt a project in need of a lot of love.

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

Introducing the Sportsman Project! Part 1

When I first began the, I was acting on a long held dream of building the best sort of car site possible.  As I can’t stress enough, this is a continual work in progress.  My dream site requires way more money and web-design savvy than I presently have.

My original plan called for video installments and write-ups regarding the restoration and building of particular vehicles.  My initial thought was to buy a complete junker of a Mustang and build every inch of it on camera with a writeup adequate to help people like me rebuild their own car.  In the intervening years, other sites have actually done this; and although I’m a little jealous I wasn’t the first person to execute the idea, my jealousy is outweighed my elation of the fact that this sort of information is finally truly available to the masses.  We live in a time when youtube will teach you how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe, and I believe the same should be available for classic cars.  We still need an online repository to make sure our hunks of ferrous joy can be enjoyed by generations to come.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the first of the projects which will provide content made for this website, the 1940 Bantam Sportsman.  This is a car that never existed, but it should have.


1940 Bantam Sportsman Rendering

Far from the economical leanings of the original Bantam and much closer in line with the nonchalant luxury of the Bantam Station Wagon, this car will be the incarnation of something which hadn’t existed before built from the cast off remnants of a 1940 Bantam and other long forgotten bits.  Don’t worry, no nice or restorable cars will be harmed in the pursuit of this dream.  Stay tuned for part 2, the history of the Bantam Convertible Coupe.