Tag Archives: City of Marina

Belchfire Runabout – American Bantam 60 Convertible

In 1935 former American Austin Car Company salesman Roy Evans bought the American Austin Company assets after they had manufactured 20,000 American Austins and filed for bankruptcy.

American Bantam, The Little Car Show, City of Marina

He had the 819cc / 50 cui Austin 7 derived 4 cylinder motor upgraded to produce 23 hp by none other than Harry Miller builder of multiple Indy 500 winning cars and father to the famous line of Offenhauser racing motors.

American Bantam, The Little Car Show, City of Marina

The original American Austin Car Company products Austin 7 derived body was completely restyled by Russian Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky who also styled the contemporaneous Cords and Auburns of the day and later post war Tucker.

American Bantam, The Little Car Show, City of Marina

Production of the American Bantam 60 got underway in 1937 with; Coupé, Roadster, Convertible, Speedster, Woodie Station Wagon and pick up variants, the 1940 American Bantam 60 Convertible Coupé seen here is thought to be one of just 60 that were built.

American Bantam, The Little Car Show, City of Marina

Between 7 and 8,000 Bantam 60’s of all type were produced up until 1941 when the company switched production to the original run of 2,765 Jeeps designed by Karl Probst designated BRC (Bantam Reconnaissance Car) 40. Austin Bantam lost the really big contract for further Jeeps due to fears their production facility at Butler, Pennsylvania did not have sufficient capacity. As a result Ford and Willys Overland were given the biggest Jeep contracts and the original American BRC 40 designs were passed on as required while American Battam productuction switched to Jeep T3 trailers.

American Bantam, The Little Car Show, City of Marina

It is said that the drawings for the 1934 Belchfire Runabout driven by Donald Duck and first seen in 1937 were inspired by the American Bantam 60, despite the Belchfire being known to have been built by Donald using a 1920 Mixwell engine, ’22 Dudge body, ’23 Paclac axles with wheels off a lawn mower!

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs taken at The Little Car Show in the City of Marina earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Belchfire Runabout” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for “Ferrari Friday” tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Little Car Show 2014 – City of Marina

Today’s post starts with an apology, a couple of years ago I posted a blog called “Continental Curiosities – Carmel By The Sea Concour’s d’Elegance” turns out it should have been called “Continental Curiosities – The Little Car Show City of Marina” or something similar and a little more snappy, I hope you will accept my unreserved apologies for any confusion.

Bantam Convertible Coupé, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Today’s post comes courtesy of Geoffrey Horton who kindly forwarded these photographs comes from the 2014 edition of The Little Car Show held last month in the City of Marina. Above a 1940 American Bantam Convertible Coupé also known as the Hollywood a body style apparently penned by Elanor Powell’s Custom Motors stylist Alex Tremulis.

Crosley 2 door Sedan, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Not sure of the exact age of this Crosley but the absence of chrome suggests it was built in 1946/7 with the original not terribly reliable copper brazed ‘CoBra’ 4 cylinder motor that was to be replaced by the Cast Iron Block Assenbley ‘CIBA’ in 1949.

BMW Isetta 600, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

The Isetta was the ultimate version of the BMW 250 Isetta three wheel bubble car built under licence from Iso Rivolta. This 1958 example is powered by a two cylinder BMW motorcycle engine and can accommodate four passengers who enter through it’s single front door.

Enzmann 506, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

I had not heard of Enzmann before Geoffrey sent me the photograph of the fibre glass bodied 506 model above. The Swiss company named it’s first, only (?) model, based on the floor pan and running gear of a VW Beetle, after the number of the stand it was allocated at the 1957 Frankfurt Motor Show at which the company made it’s first public appearance.

Michelotti Shellette, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

For those with a private island or private yacht in the Mediterranean in need of occasional transport designer Giovanni Michelotti built the Shellette under his own name in limited numbers. It is believed around 100 of these vehicles with wicker seats and Fiat 850 running gear were built and around 10 are thought to exist today.

FIAT Vignale Garmine, The Little Car Show, City Of Marina

Based on the smaller FIAT 500 is the Viganle Garmine which was a pet project of designer Alfredo Vignale which bankrupted his coachworks business.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Little Car Show 2014″ edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !