1941 – Bantam BRC-40

Bantam BRC-40


The Bantam BRC-40 is the third generation of prototype from Bantam, following the original Bantam Pilot and the BRC-60. After successfully meeting all of the army’s requirements for a reconnaissance car, the BRC-40 was well liked. Additional BRC-40s were ordered for the Lend Lease shipments to Allied nations, eventually totaling an estimated 2,605 BRC- 40s, 62 of which had four-wheel steering, as requested by the US Cavalry. They were produced from March 31 through December 6, 1941. Bantam’s inability to keep up with the rapid production of wartime vehicles, as well as their limited design and production facilities, led to the army’s decision to recruit Willys to provide a vehicle similar to Bantam’s design. The BRC-40 was then no longer required by the US Army as it was ‘non-standard’. The Bantams already in service were passed to the British and Russian armies under the terms of the Lend-Lease Act.


  • Grille has round bars instead of flat slats
  • Flat front fenders
  • Recessed headlights
  • Folding windshield
  • Single windshield wiper on bottom
  • Gas filler underneath seat
  • Oval gauges
  • Parking brake on the left beside pedals
  • No gas pedal—used floor mounted starter button for starting and a hand throttle in dash to set speed
  • Corner of body tub is square
Manufacturer American Bantam Car Company
Production 2,605 built
Engine Options Continental BY4112, 4-cylinder, 45 hp & 86 ft./lbs torque
Transmission Options T84, 3 speed manual transmission
Transfer Case Spicer 18
Rear Axle Spicer 40, 4.88 ratio
Front Axle Spicer 40, 4.88 ratio
Wheelbase 79 in.
Length 127.25 in.
Width 56 in.
Height 72 in., with top up
Curb Weight 2,100 pounds