Find of the Day: American Austin Radiator Shell Badge

american austin emblem

American Bantam Emblem on Ebay

There have been a few of these emblems up for sale lately, but this is one of the nicest.  Not only does it appear to have its original clossonie, it has much of the original retainer intact.  If you’d like to check this one out on ebay click here: American Austin Radiator Badge

Right now at under $30, this is a bargain.  If I hadn’t recently picked one up for my roadster, I might have had to jump in on the bidding for this piece.  If a reader here gets this, I’d love to post an after photo of it adorning your car.

american austin roadster project part emblem 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935

The elusive retainer clip that holds these emblems onto the radiator surround.

Sold for:107.50

Find of the day follow up: Yes it is a Roadster

Out in Mesa, Arizona, there is a man with two American Austins.  They were imported there long ago from the mid west and have had the chance to spend their golden years in the warm dry climate.  Both cars are for sale and their histories are known back though the 1950’s; as they have been in the same family at least that long.

As for the two cars, there is a coupe; a perfect candidate for a hot rod.  It is a 1933-35 coupe that has an unfinished chop on it.  The chop was started in the 60’s, and the current owner spent a great deal of effort in correcting it so it was done properly.                      



For more information on and photos of the coupe click here.

The second car is a 1933-1934 Roadster.  The car has had some modifications to it over the years so the previous owner could keep it on the road and up to date. 


For information on and photos of the roadster click here.

The catch is, the seller would like to sell both for one price with almost enough parts to make the roadster correct.  There are a lot of parts in this lot, but it will take a lot of work to build a perfect car from either, and the seller has priced his cars accordingly.  If you’re not looking for perfect, but want a roadster you can put together with minimal work and enjoy, this may be your best chance this year.

Happy Belated Birthday Betsy!


June 1 has come and gone, as has Spring.  Yet, as the first official post here, I wanted to honor the car that inspired my obsession with cars as I know it.  This car was my first foray into researching a car’s history, attempting to connect myself with its past, as well as hunting for the most obscure parts and unobtainium.  I started when the internet was a small thing that people traded emails through; at a time when eBay was a much smaller place with a limited assortment of trinkets, a time when Hemming’s was the only real go-to source for anyone in the car hobby.  It’s amazing how far we have actually come and how far we have yet to go.

On June 1, 1965, this Vintage Burgundy T-5 rolled off the assembly plant in Metuchen, NJ.  She has had at least 7 owners over the last 49 years, but has spent the last 11 years with me.  Parts for this car were sourced from around the world, but amazingly, the original T-5 emblems were only 10 miles from where I bought the car. 

Although my inspiration for working on this car came from my family.  Restoring Betsy back into a T-5 was greatly enabled by Gary Hanson, who had an early web presence and serves as the American T-5 ambassador.  I still remember the day clearly when he was on the phone with me while I measured a seemingly random pattern of holes on my fender which ended up being the missing piece of the puzzle, confirming my car was a T-5. 

What ever your passion is, there are people like Gary seeking to share their knowledge with you who you must seek out.  Although they may be hard to find, the quest is worthwhile when you realize the value of a mentor.  The only payment most people will ever ask, is that you too help those who come to you and keep our great hobby alive.

Happy Birthday Betsy and thank you!