Case study in Bantam advertising

As you likely already know, here at EverythingBantam.com (TrustInRust.com) 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:

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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.

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.
Screenshot (74)

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:

00P0P_hXlMuCYaRFc_600x450

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.

 

 

Welcome to December!

I need to get back to blogging about the shop project.  However, in the meantime, I am pleased to share these newly listed items with you.  Please scroll down through the last few posts if you’d like to see what else is available as some of those parts have been relisted.

Enjoy your weekend!

American Austin Grille Chin Panel

American Austin Grille Chin 2

Click here to see the American Austin Grille Chin Panel Sold for 27.50

American Austin Oil Pressure Gauge

American Austin Oil Gauge 1

Click here to see the American Austin Oil Pressure Gauge Sold for 29.00

American Austin Front Axle and Suspension Parts –

This assembly has been listed for several years, although the seller has taken new photos.  Perhaps the seller is open to offers?

American Austin Front Axle 1

Click here to see the American Austin Front Axle and Suspension Parts

American Bantam Cam Shaft and Bushing

This appears to have the correct non-tapered shaft for Bantam timing gears whereas Austins have a tapered interface.

 

Click here to see the American Bantam Cam Shaft and Bushing

Incorrect Roadster Top Rear Window

This is not correct for an Austin or a Bantam.  Austins used an oval window with an entirely different interior garnish and attachment system.  Bantam generally used very different window frames.

 

Click here to see the American Bantam Roadster Top Rear WindowSold for 50.00

American Bantam Taillight (NACO) parts (Lens may not be correct)

American Bantam Roadster NACO Tailight Parts 1

Click here to see the American Bantam Taillight (NACO) parts

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.

A couple of neat finds for Wednesday

American Austin or Bantam Roadster Connecting Roadster Side Curtains

Click here to see the listing: AMERICAN AUSTIN / BANTAM AUTOMOBILE / CAR SIDE CURTAINS FOR ROADSTER $224.72

 

American Bantam NOS connecting rods

bantam con rods

Click here to see the listing: American Bantam connecting rod sets of 4 – 1938-1939 $45 (6 sets sold!)

 

American Austin or Bantam Clutch Disks

clutch disks

Click here to see the listing: Clutch discs for American Austin -American Bantam – English Austin 7

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.

P1040832

P1040207

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.

P1040783 (2)

The New 1938 Bantam Roadster Project On the Market

When a window shuts, a door opens. A Bantam Roadster project is on its way.

The 1939 Bantam project in Missouri has sold to a new owner, someplace much warmer than where I am right now.  In fact, that Bantam is looking forward to having its restoration completed and then some miles put on those new tires.

1939 Bantam Roadster

1939 Bantam Roadster

If you were interested in a Bantam Roadster project, do not despair.  In the next few days, a 1938 Bantam Roadster will be listed here; ready for your imagination and hands.  Although it is a slightly heavier project than the one in MO, it is a 1938 with the 15 slat grille and the innie style headlights.  Just like all Bantams, it will be a car worthy of your time.

Here is a sneak peek at what is coming soon:

P1040787

1938 Bantam Roadster Coming Soon