Is your Bantam in need of a new heart?

$4,000 is a lot of money, there is no question about that.  So when confronted with a price tag calling for that much money, it’s best to be an intelligent buyer.  This engine has been listed for auction by a seller who has been listing a lot of Bantam and Austin parts over the past few months.  This engine is probably one of the greatest finds in the collection because of the potential it may offer.

I don’t have an awful lot to say about this engine, as people have their different views on rebuilt engines and engines that are rebuilt but lay dormant.  While some may recommend tearing it down to go through the engine, others may be willing to run it as is.  If you’re willing to accept this as being equal to a modern rebuild where all of the parts have been wet magnafluxed, rebabitted, and assembled with the highest quality materials; this could be a bargain.

In theory, I believe it should be torn down and inspected before being run; but then again I am usually a “get the ether and a jumper pack” kind of guy because I just want to hear the engine come to life (which is a terrible idea).  I’ll let you be the judge, but I’ll give you a few things to consider:

  1. In the 1980’s, parts may have not been magnafluxed or at least not wet magnafluxed (which is a far superior method of crack detection).
  2. Original Bantam rod bolts are notoriously weak, we do not see a bill of materials indicating what was used.
  3. New main bearings were cited in the ad. Does that mean the rebuilder used NOS front and rear bearing retainers with their original poured babbit, were original retainers rebabbitted, or were some sort of inserts used?
  4. We don’t know if the new rods were the NOS 38 style rods which were available with original babbit or something else.  In any event, how were they modified to accommodate the undersized crankshaft?
  5. The engine does not appear to have any of its openings sealed.
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This is what a NEW or never run rebuilt Brennan IMP looked like in the exhaust ports after laying dormant for years.

 

 

 

This engine could be great or it could be a very expensive (but pretty) collection of parts.

What are your thoughts? (A few people have already chimed in and have inspired some additions to this post).

 

Click here to see the American Bantam Engine

 

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:

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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.

 

 

Not all parts interchange: 1932-1933 Auburn Dash

When I bought my 1931 American Austin roadster, it was a barn find survivor that was driven into the barn.  From what I understood, although it moved under its own power, it was getting a little tired.  The last time the car was actually on the road and registered was in 1956.  It had been patched and adulterated so that new owners could keep it on the road.  The last time it was driven on the street, the owner bought it thinking it would be a sprightly little roadster but found it to be a dud.  Interest lost, he traded the car for a guitar and they parted ways.

1931 Austin Roadster Project bantam

Includes original early style 3 bow top irons

Somewhere between 1931 and 1956, the car had a new dashboard grafted into it.  In order to graft it in, the dashboard panel had to be cut out.  Due to the size of the car, the new panel had to be cut to fit.  I noticed the panel when I first went to look at the car, and it took me a little bit to realize what it was.  The panel wedged into my car was out of a 1932-1933 Auburn.  This coveted instrument panel had been stripped of all of its gauges, the bottom switch panel, and painted orange (followed by pink).  A set of ford gauges took the place of the sleek early 30’s Aurburn gauges.

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As you can see, the Auburn panel doesn’t fit all that well.

Readying the American Austin for restoration meant that this panel needed to be removed.  Carefully removing the assembly I began learning more about it and had to make my mind up as to what I would do with it.  Always keeping the thought of a ’27 T roadster hot rod in the back of my mind made me think I’d keep it with my DeSoto hemi, in the ‘someday’ parts pile.  However, the way this panel is cut, it’s perfect for most hotrods especially the 1932 Ford.

1931 Austin Roadster Project Bantam

Patches and holes in floor more visible. Dashboard has been cut out, but a spare coupe dash may be included to be patched in.

If you want to install one of these panels into a 32 Ford, you either have to cut down the panel or lengthen the dashboard.  The lengthened dashboards aren’t very slick and it hurts to cut the switch panel off of an instrument panel you just paid $5,000 for.

Here is your best option, an Auburn panel that was customized back in the late 40’s or 50’s.  If you’re looking for period correct, here it is.

auburn panel

Slick custom Auburn panel

Click here for the eBay auction: 1932 1933 Auburn Instrument Panel

Attention viewers! Do you have any spare parts you’d like to sell?

Besides linking you to the most current eBay auctions, trustinrust.com is about much more.  The concept embodied by this website is a lot broader than I can let on at this point, as developing it one stage at a time is the only way to do it properly.  Revealing the complete plans would leave you wondering why I am so slow at getting this thing together.  So, besides providing you with a frequent blog of items for sale and a listing of vehicles for sale, I am now listing parts both for sale and wanted.

Please take a few moments to check out the new used parts for sale sections and the NOS / reproduction parts for sale sections.  The purpose of these pages is to make your restoration just a little bit easier.  Remember, eBay auctions only last several days and craigslist ads have mysterious lifespans that no one fully understands, however a listing here runs until sold.  The idea behind this system is to keep leads alive as long as possible, this way parts and cars don’t slip back into the woodwork to be forgotten about until the next time an owner is motivated to put the effort into selling.  I want people who are looking for parts to be able to get exactly what they need so their project isn’t put on hold at the whim of some rare piece.  I want you to have options available, so not only are you getting a part you need, but the best one for you.

Right now, there are only a few listings; but browse a bit and show your support.  If you have anything you’re looking for, contact me to place an ad.  If you have somethings you wouldn’t mind selling to clear some space in your garage, there is plenty of room here.  If you manufacture reproduction parts or perform some essential service for our hobby, your listing is wanted.

Working together, we can create something amazing; and I would love for you to be part of it.

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The New Arrival

If you haven’t had the chance to comb through the website lately, there has been a new Roadster project added.  I had hinted to its arrival last week, but it is finally up and listed.  If you’re looking for a great start of a project, and a 1938 Bantam Roadster, this may be perfect for you.  There are a lot of cars that have been treated to some restoration efforts out there, but it is fairly infrequent that a project comes up for sale.  If you’re the type of person who likes to take on a project from the very beginning, this is a rare opportunity.

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The New 1938 Bantam Roadster Project On the Market