Based on the British Austin, Bantam represents one of the most colorful chapters in America's frequent flirtation with small cars. The marque started in 1929 building a version of the British Austin Seven with coachwork by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, delightful little cars that epitomized the concept of "cheeky." They got great publicity but failed to attract a mainstream audience, emerging from bankruptcy (there were no car company bailouts in the Thirties) as the American Bantam Car Company. Redesigned by de Sakhnoffsky, the '37-on Bantams are the essence of cute, with diminutive sedans, coupes and roadsters with the "sweep panel" paint jobs of Duesenberg’s. Among them the Boulevard Delivery like this 1938 is by far the most imaginative and distinctive. Built like a Town Car with open front seating for the driver and passenger it has a package box in the rear, skirted rear wheels, coach lamps, chrome bumpers, fog lights, a chrome-framed windshield frame with wind wings and a charming beveled glass rear view mirror. The passengers' compartment is protected by a black cloth tendelet and side curtains. Bantam pictured it in advertising with a uniformed driver as suited "For America's Smartest Shops" and it is impossible not to see it parked outside the Waldorf=Astoria or exclusive doorman apartments in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or Atlanta delivering flowers, the latest fashions or delectable confections. It was restored to Concours condition some time ago and is still very attractive, tidy and presentable. Not surprisingly, it will be the center of attention at any event, bringing a smile to the face of anyone who chances upon it.
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