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:
Here is the body emptied out:
Here is a front view:
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.