Name That Car: Mystery Sports Car

name-this-car-mystery-sports-car-at-wilsons-repair

This little sports car was discovered parked in front of a repair shop in Ojai, California. It was listed on eBay a few years ago, but then disappeared and was forgotten about. It has just resurfaced and I thought it might be fun for you guys to try to guess what it is. This one will be a real challenge, as it isn’t your run of the mill sports car. If you have no idea what it is and can’t wait to find out the answer, check out the eBay listing here, just don’t go and spoil the game by telling everyone what it is.

wilson-auto-service-and-dino-repair

Here it is parked at the owner’s repair shop in California. The 89 year old owner still works at the shop and specializes in working on pre-50’s cars and apparently dinosaurs as well. When it first surfaced back in 2011, it grabbed the attention of the guys at Forgotten Fiberglass (Spoiler Alert) and they dug into the story deeper.

1940-american-bantam-custom-sports-car-engine

As you can see, it is going to need a complete restoration as a result of being left outside for all these years. The previous owner had the original engine replaced with a more powerful four cylinder engine, but it will take further research to figure out what type of engine this is.

1940-american-bantam-custom-sports-car-interior

The interior is about gone, but there isn’t much to this little car, so it shouldn’t be too hard to replace it.

1940-american-bantam-custom-sports-car-rear-corner

I’m sure you’ll have no problem figuring this one out. You guys are the ones that make this site what it is and I learn something new every day from reading your comments. Let the game begin and good luck!

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Comments

  1. Bobinott

    Looks like a rare Decomposo GT to me…..

    • Rene

      Good one :-)

  2. Anthony

    68 amg?

  3. Rene

    morgan or sunbeam

  4. paul

    Jim Carry movie car from the Mask.

    • Dolphin Member

      That was an early-’50s Studebaker, Paul. Great scene when the club valet brought Jim the Stude and Jim protested—loudly so Cameron Diaz could hear—how unhappy he was that he drove in with a Porsche and got a steaming Studebaker back.

  5. scot

    ~ there are quite a few interesting pieces at Wilson Dinosaur Repair. i have been following Geoff’s reporting on this Bantam on FF and i hope a generous steward comes forward to restore this to it’s potential.

  6. Eric

    I would say TR3 with a glass body. The doors and the nose, the basic shape of the car suggests a Triumph product.

  7. Don

    Daimler?

  8. Doug M. Member

    I was thinking it looked like a prop from “Cars” the movie!

    • Mike

      They used props?

  9. Milt Sylwester

    Looks like it might have been the “inspiration” for the 1950’s era Woodall Wildfire.

  10. Brad W

    I’d say a Wodill Wildfire.
    I remeber seeing one on Gas Monkey Garage
    last season.

    really rare.
    First american company i believe to do a full fiberglass body.
    pre-dates Corvettes.

  11. Catfish Phil

    A Crosley of some sort?

    • Foxxy

      that’s the first name that came to my mind also.

  12. Jeffry

    I am thinking that the photo captions, when you put your mouse arrow over them, might be a clue as it says American Bantam, so check out the post above by Scot.

  13. Dave

    1940 batnam american roadster built on atruck chassis

  14. Larry

    I can see where corvette got it’s idea on the rear tail lights from.

  15. Quinton

    1952 Woodill Wildfire

  16. John Tuthill

    It has Crosley bumpers, but the frame, engine, steering, and instrument panel are the same as my ’40 Bantam wagon, so I think Dave is right that it is basically Bantam. I can tell you that it doesn’t have any spectacular performance! Somebody did a nice job on building the body.

  17. Josh Staff

    Good work Scot! It is a custom built sports car based on a 1940 American Bantam Pickup. Its creator wanted a car like the 1954 Kurtis 500M, but the resulting car isn’t nearly as beautiful. However, for a one off custom built body it actually turned out quite nicely. Like John said, it probably doesn’t have spectacular performance, but it has to be extremely light. Good work guys and thanks for playing!

  18. Chris

    Looking at all the styling cues from XK Jags to early Corvette I’m guessing the body dates from the mid fifties. The high headlights pretty much ruin the shape as the proportions really are pretty good. I’m wondering if California had a headlight height requirement which ruined the front end lines. If cars could talk, I’d like to hear this story.

  19. MikeW

    Another Glasspar

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