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The 1938 Bantam Is The Goofiest Looking American Car Ever….And This One Could Be Yours! Look At This Oddly Proportioned Coupe

The 1938 Bantam Is The Goofiest Looking American Car Ever….And This One Could Be Yours! Look At This Oddly Proportioned Coupe

Generally speaking, I find cars of the 1930s to be really cool. I dig the big round fenders of the era and the beginnings of the shapes that would define the early 1940s before automotive production was stopped to make war materials and the entire industry changed focus from sculpting fenders to building tanks, guns, and ships. The Bantam company was making small cars in the late 1930s because there has always been a market for tiny, efficient transportation for people who simply wanted to get where they were going with minimal frills for minimal cost. Today we have the Chevrolet Sparks, Ford Fiestas, and their ilk to fill the role. They are largely little egg shaped cars and all of them pretty much blend into the larger automotive landscape. The 1938 Bantam however, looks like something designed to be used on the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and was fired because it was too weird looking.

Like a larger car hit with a badly proportioned shrink ray this car is a really weird looking thing. It seems to be too tall for its wheelbase, the length of the nose as opposed to the length of the passenger compartment is jolting, and the width of the car is also not helping matters. It literally looks like something that would have been used in the circus and they probably were. When the seller mentions a vehicle driven by DONALD DUCK in old cartoons was modeled after a 1938 Bantam is lends some credence to my opinions because when a cartoonist sees something and thinks, “Wow, that would look great with an animated duck driving it,” your car is freaking bizarre.

The good news is that under the hood is a 48ci four banger that produces a robust 20hp to whizz the riders down the byways with the greatest of ease. Who am I kidding? A headwind would probably bring this car to its knees and because it has the aero of a Mack with that tall, vertical windshield and the big rounded fenders in the font. We bet having the license plate on the front bumper like this is knocking at least 10mph off the top end speed of this Bantam.

On the plus side, this thing is immaculate. The car looks to be completely original or restored at some point. The interior seems to be factory fresh as well. We don’t know what a new Bantam smelled like but this one smells like that. Just me or is this thing a Legends car that is about a quarter size too big? My personal styling ideas aside this is a rare and neat car….just don’t ask me to ride in it.



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8 thoughts on “The 1938 Bantam Is The Goofiest Looking American Car Ever….And This One Could Be Yours! Look At This Oddly Proportioned Coupe

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    What a great little car! Its quirkiness makes it even more appealing – especially with sorted suspension and brakes topped up with a snorting full-on ecoboost transplant!

    Maintain a near stock outward appearance and this would be one hell of a ride!

  2. Andamo

    These cars were built about 15 miles from me in Butler, PA. A few years ago there was a anniversary celebration at the local community college and folks from around the world brought their Bantam’s to show them off. Amazing display for sure.

  3. loren

    Somewhere I have a pic of Grandpa’s, w/ the name of his body shop on the side. I believe he bought it a couple years old from a customer to use as a novelty ad/transpo car, said to have got some laughs in the day…

  4. BeaverMartin

    I’ve always pictured these as altereds but now that I see a complete one I want to see it get the Foose treatment. Chop the top, smooth it out, Hyabussa V8, and lot’s of leather in the interior.

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