April 29, 2019


American Austin Car Co. (1930-1934)

American Bantam Car Co. (1938-1941)

Butler, Pennsylvania

This is an American Austin radiator emblem (1930-1934)     mjs
Size: 51mm wide 36mm high     MM: Fox

The American Austin was a 15 hp four-cylinder car based on the British Austin Seven chassis with a pretty body made by Hayes Body Company of Detroit. The car was much shorter and narrower than any other car in America at the time. The car was bought by several American celebrities as a novelty but small cars were not popular in America. Sales did not meet expectations and the company was out of business by 1934.

The American Bantam Car Company was set up in 1936 to manufacture a new small car called the Bantam, which was similar to the American Austin.

The 19 hp four-cylinder Bantam was first shown in September 1937 at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York and full production commenced in 1938 but sales were not good enough and production of the Bantam ceased in 1941. However, it was the American Bantam Car Company that designed and built the first successful Jeep for the United States Army in 1940, although the big manufacturing contracts to build the Jeep went to Willys and Ford.


The American Austin carried a red enameled emblem on the radiator top depicting a bantam rooster, see examples shown below and above at the top of this post:

American Austin emblem & rooster mascot (1931)
jill reger

The American Bantam displayed a red enameled emblem, which was most often attached to the radiator core, see example below:

This is an American Bantam radiator emblem (1938-1941)      mjs
Size: 44mm diameter     MM: D L Auld

The American Bantam also carried small "Bantam" nameplates, colored to match the bodywork, see examples shown below:

This is an American Bantam nameplate (1938-1941)     mjs
Size: 80mm wide 23mm high    MM: None

This is an American Bantam nameplate (1938-1941)      mjs
Size: 80mm wide 23mm high     MM: None

This is an American Bantam nameplate (1938-1941)     mjs
Size: 80mm wide 23mm high    MM: None


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