In 1935 Roy Evans, a former salesman for Austin, bought out the bankrupt company, which was reorganized under the name American Bantam.
"Bantam" is a smaller-bred version of any particular poultry breed—the name must have been chosen for the size of the automobiles that the company made. The formal connection with UK Austin was severed, though a relationship was maintained.
A series of changes was made to the American Austin car design, including a modified engine, and an exterior sheetmetal designed by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky.
Production was resumed in 1937 and continued through 1941. Despite a wide range of Bantam body styles, ranging from light trucks to wooden station wagons, only about 6,000 Bantams of all types were produced.
American Bantam's 1938 model is famous for being the inspiration for Donald Duck's car.
American Bantam also pioneered the design for the first jeep, called the BRC (Bantam Reconnaissance Car) 40, and built 1,500 of these after discontinuing the manufacture of passenger vehicles.
The company did not have a suitable engine, and lacked production capacity to produce the vehicle on the scale needed by the United States Department of War.
Eventually the U.S. Army chose a design by Willys-Overland and awarded the bulk of orders to Willys and Ford
(text source: Wikipedia)
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