19-20 August 2011

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Lot 103

1938 American Bantam Cabriolet

  • Chassis no. 66007
  • Engine no. 60752

Sold for $19,800

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.


Please note this vehicle is titled by its Engine Number 60752.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more