The American Bamtam Story!

This cute little car is an American Bantam from 1938, and if it looks familiar to you, maybe you have seen Walt Disney's version of it in the Donald Duck Magazine? Old Walt used it when he designed Donald's little red car with licence number 313, but even Mickey Mouse have got a ride in a American Bantam as you can see below.

The American Austin Car Co., was formed in 1930 to manufacture under licence, the English Austin Seven, though with U.S.-style bodywork. Its 4-cyl. engine displaced 45.6 cu.ins. and produced 13 hp. It sold for $445 out the door of the Butler, Pa., plant, and had a 75-in. wheelbase and a track of 40 ins. Advance orders for the sub-compact supposedly totalled 180.000 cars, but first-year production was only a dismally low 8500 units, the best year the company would have.

Diving to less than 1300 cars buildt in '31, sales rose to 3850 for '32, the year American Austin went into receivership. The firm's assets were sold for a pitiful $5000 in 1935 to one of Austin's board members, Roy Evans, who recapitalized the company and titled it American Bantam Car Co. The first Bantams weren't ready until early in 1938, and when they appeared, they were similar to the preceding Austins in size, but enjoyed new bodies. The engine was the same as used before, but had been upgraded to 20 hp. Despite loud press acclains, only 1500 '38's were buildt, and the picture remained the same for '39 at about 1220 cars. New coachwork appeared for '40, and a new engine; 4-cyl, 22 hp. from 50 cu.ins. But Bantam was by now the recipient of a military contract and its passenger car efforts dwindled to zero by early in 1941.
Before the war, Bantam invented the JEEP, but because of the companys bad economy, Willys and Ford produced the lionpart of all JEEP's made, during the WWII, but thats another story.


Click on the thumbnails to see actual photo!

The following images comes from a very nice Bantam Site in Poland, unfortunately written in Polish, but with many images on this lovely little automobile, so take a visit to Marko's Bantam Pages.

1930 Coupé (89 Kb)

1930 Roadster (198 Kb)

1931 Roadster (96 Kb)

1933 Coupé (110 Kb)

1933 Roadster (109 Kb)

1934 Racer (176 Kb)

1938 Roadster (181 Kb)

1939 Station Wagon (229 Kb)

1940 Boulevard Delivery (223 Kb)

1940 Riviera (210 Kb)

1940 Riviera (201 Kb)

1940 Speedster (100 Kb)

1941 Hollywood (208 Kb)

Bantam Sign (77 Kb)

Roadster (43 Kb)

Roadster (62 Kb)

1941 Jeep (49 Kb)

Roadster (21 Kb)

Roadster (52 Kb)

Roadster (49 Kb)

Roadster (40 Kb)

Roadster (23 Kb)
PLEASE! Send us Bantam photos if you have any other than the above!
PLEASE! Send us Bantam photos if you have any other than the above!

And here are some beautiful Amercan Bantam images sent to us from Butch & Dana Rudder, Carnegie, Oklahoma, USA - They are the owners of the nice unrestored green 1934 Coupé on image number 4 below.

Image 1 (50 Kb)

Image 2 (41 Kb)

Image 3 (45 Kb)

Image 4 (58 Kb)

Image 5 (45 Kb)

Image 6 (56 Kb)

Image 7 (49 Kb)

Image 8 (56 Kb)

Image 9 (58 Kb)

Image 10 (66 Kb)

Image 11 (60 Kb)

Image 12 (40 Kb)

Image 13 (48 Kb)

Image 14 (63 Kb)

Image 15 (61 Kb)

Image 16 (46 Kb)

Image 17 (53 Kb)

Image 18 (121 Kb)
PLEASE! Send us Bantam photos if you have any other than the above!
PLEASE! Send us Bantam photos if you have any other than the above!


Please help us to find other websites that have an interest in the American Austin Bantam Car or the Bantam JEEP. And if you have Bantam photos, please let us show them to the public. If you can't scan them yourself, we can do it on our high-resolution (4800dpi) scanner equipment, if we can borrow you photos for a week. Contact us on e-mail: !

Contact: Helen Jean White, Treasurer
351 Wilson Rd.
Willshire, OH 45898-9551 USA
Phone: 419.495.2569

The American Austin/Bantam club was formed in 1962 in the interest of the presrvation of all American Austin and American Bantam vehicles. The club issues the "American Austin-Bantam Club Newsletter" every 2 months. The National meet is once a year and the location depends on which club member hosts the meet. The 1997 meet was held in Butler, PA on July 14-17.

Bantam For Sale!
This nice 38 Bantam was recently for Sale
in a Swedish Automobile Magazine.


Donald Ducks Bantam car
Well, what to say about this car?
Hope they didn't destroy the original to much.


This page was last updated 1998-04-06


© Facts from Petersen's Special Interest American Cars 1930-1960. Isbn 0-8227-0116-2
© (Layout) IT-Consultant Sverker Nylén, Hinsnoret 42, S-79193 Falun, Sweden.
© (Images) Ove Sundén, Lisselbo, Sundborn, Sweden.
© (Images) Marko's Bantam Pages, Poland.
© (Images) Butch & Dana Rudder, Carnegie, Oklahoma, USA.