From 1930 to 1934 The American Austin Car Company built compact mini cars in Butler, PA at a base price of $445. In 1938, production resumed under the name “American Bantam”. With the onset of WWII in 1941, car production ceased. Bantam’s resources were directed towards a prototype Jeep in hopes of winning the U.S. Army contract. However Willys, and later Ford, built all of the Jeeps during World War II and Bantam closed operations forever in 1958.
Total production for the 3 years was about 6,700 cars and there were only 800 Bantams built in 1940. This car is one of a very few remaining. Powered by a 50.1 cubic-inch, 22 horsepower 4-cylinder engine with three main bearings, a 3-speed manual transmission, 75” wheelbase and 105” overall length, the car provided sprightly performance through the gears, as the car weighed only 1300 pounds!