Lot 103

Monterey 2011

1938 American Bantam Cabriolet


$19,800 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Addendum: Please note this vehicle is titled by its Engine Number 60752.

22 bhp, 50 cu. in. inline four-cylinder engine, one-barrel carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, beam-axle front suspension with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 74.5"

- An early example from the Bantam’s late-1937 reintroduction

- Older body-off restoration

- Recent mechanical inspection

The American Bantam was initially based on the tiny 1922 Austin Seven and built in Butler, Pennsylvania under license from American Austin. Despite a solid, economical product, the company’s sales were slow, and most Americans chose the larger, less expensive Model A.

The company halted production in 1934 and returned in 1937 with restyled and reengineered cars. Alexis de Sakhnoffsky penned the definitive Bantam design, a charming blend of curves and colors that remains captivating today, while Roy Evans came up with a redesigned engine. Production finally ceased for good in 1941 with relatively few examples built. Unknown at the time, strict WWII gasoline rationing would soon create a high demand for Bantams as highly economical and practical used cars.

This American Bantam Roadster is a wonderful example that benefits from an older restoration, which was completed about 15 years ago and has held up wonderfully since, with few signs of aging. It has been driven few miles since restoration, and its cosmetic condition is lovely, while all the mechanicals have recently been inspected to ensure proper running and driving condition prior to its sale at auction.

Collector interest in “micro cars” is strong, and fine examples such as this roadster from 1937 are gaining in popularity. A delightful sight at any event, a rare American Bantam roadster is a necessity in any eclectic collection.