List of Known Bantam Reconnaissance Cars
We are very proud to present a complete list of all the known Bantam Reconnaissance Cars in the world. Similar lists have been established for a number of years for the two other prototype jeeps which followed the BRC, the Ford GP and the Willys-Overland MA, and this list is kept roughly in that form for those interested in all the pre MB/GPW jeeps. As simple as the list looks, it was a daunting task to complete, accomplished by Austin Bantam Society members George Hollins and Bill Spear, with George doing the lion's share of the recent work, updating Bill's list and additions and last seen in the BRC Special Edition of Rooster Tails, the Journal of the Austin Bantam Society, available to ABS members.
George particularly has spent thousands of dollars, endured a great deal of travel, foreign and domestic, and hundreds of hours of phoning, writing and emailing in recent years to personally verify, or in some cases discover, the existence of the cars on this list. We are grateful to both George and Bill in sharing their findings with us and the world. It is a list long overdue. Kudos too should go to Lee Bortmas of Butler, PA who was the first to develop a BRC list back in the '70s and '80s, before the internet, when all information was written or or shared via expensive phone calls or word of mouth. He generously shared his information with Bill. Incredibly, some of the cars on Lee's list, indicated there only by a question marked name and a post-office box number, turned up cars right where they had been hiding in plain sight for 40 or more years! We can think of three such BRCs on this list which recently surfaced and which are currently undergoing restoration or preservation measures.
You may ask why the information on the list seems limited to "name, rank and serial number", because even casual observers know much more about individual cars and lots of us have seen BRCs at shows and know them well. In general, the answer is personal privacy and the solemn promise by both Bill and George to keep information given them confidential where it was asked for. Please do not pester them for "more information". This does not mean the list detail cannot be expanded if individual owners don't mind having the information on the internet. We will endeavor to figure out how to add that information if you submit it. But for us to disclose everything we know would be a breach of faith which would make future progress impossible.
Having counted or eliminated all the cars on all lists, we enter a period where new BRC discoveries are most likely to be totally unknown cars. Such discoveries have been very rare in recent years, but they do happen. The holy grail of finding a 1940 "round nosed" version is still the burning mission of all in the Bantam fraternity. The last ones seen were at Berg's in Chicago in the early sixties. Keep your eyes peeled!
If you are aware of a car not on the list, please let us know. As noted, information you deem confidential will not be disclosed unless and until you give us permission.