Existing BRC's

Last modified December 2, 2002

I have it in mind to try to put a picture up of all the remaining BRC's . I kept waiting to get a big collection of pictures, but it never happens, so I'll just start and see if you people will send in pictures of your Bantam Reconnaissance Cars. Send your serial number and date of manufacture if you have it. How many do you suppose there are? It's common to hear 35, but I'm guessing more than 50. And I count about 17 that I know of under active restoration...some of them are below. I'll start this project with a few I bet you didn't know about. One thing is for sure there are a whole lot more of them left than there are Willys MA's. See, I told you they would never last!

As to what constitutes a BRC, I'm going to be pretty liberal. Our cars have been subjected to many indignities over the years and some are hardly recognizable. Also, I may somehow manage to get two pictures of the same car in here, so, keep me honest!

#1. Well...speaking of indignities, there is this one running around somewhere down South. Arkansas I guess.





#2. Gosh, I wish I could remember who sent this picture in. I wonder if it's still sitting out in the field?

#3. Well, at least I know where this one is: Memphis, TN. Its owner Bruce Lynch needs a carb, instruments, wheels, jack, spare tire bracket etc.

#4. Here's one that some one took at a Bantam show, so whose ever it is, please let us know. BTW, in my opinion, this is the proper color for a BRC, a sort of yellowish or khaki colored OD...not available in stores.

#5. I wonder if this isn't an older picture of the Harrah's jeep now owned by Bob Brandon in Butler , PA. Bob?




#6. This is the 4th BRC I have "discovered" since I began this web page, by which I mean, brought out of hiding and identified and got into the hands of understanding collectors. All of these 4 have gone to Bantam Club members BTW which reverses the trend of the cars going to military vehicles collectors who seem to place a higher value on them. This car is quite restorable, surfaced in NJ and is now in Texas. S/N 1707 built in April of 41.


#7. Well, at least I know where this one is. This is an early picture of Checker Bantam RC #101. It's come a long way (see elsewhere), but has a long way to go.


#8. Here is Serial # 1325 which was recently;y discovered in a barn in North Dakota. See story from Austin Bantam Club News. The guy that owns this one now has two. Piggy, piggy!

#9. Here is Lee Bortmas' beauty. It's got that nice prewar OD too.

#10. This is the other Checker BRC which can be seen in the Gilmore Museum up near Kalamazoo Michigan. (The third one was apparently destroyed in testing, though parts may have been used on the two survivors.) It's most certainly a Bantam, however, the restoration is either inept or, more likely (since the restorer knew exactly what this car looked like originally), deliberately disguised so as to appear somehow different than a Bantam. A sign proudly says it was "made in Kalamazoo". Uh-uh. An interesting mystery here.

#11. I don't know where I got this picture. Off the web somewhere I guess. Anyone know who it belongs to? There are some identifying numbers on the side.

#12. Hey, this one's still in active service! It's a hunting rig up North. Talk about indignities though, it has a Willys motor!!!!


#13. Serial number 2601 (dec 11-41) showed up in the wilds of Canada recently. It is a very good body tub and three transaxles, grille plus a few miscellaneous parts. It appears to have been obtained by Gray Mullins as of this writing.

#14. I don't know if this one (#1936 delivery 4-41) has been previously counted or not as it came from Ken Hake in Tipton, Kansas, but it now belongs to Fred Smith in England. Fred is restoring, or has restored, all the early jeeps, including apparently a rare Willys "MA". This one, though rough, looks pretty complete to me. Fred would be appreciative of any help in finding the cast lower bell housing piece.

#15. Tony Sudds and it is a beautiful restoration as you can see..Serial #2561.

#16 (or is this just another view of #4?) I think it was taken at a Bantam show in Butler a few years back. Can someone identify it?

#17. This is another that was taken at the Butler show. Could it be one of Lee Bortmas' cars? Help please.

# 18. This BRC is unrestored...just a quick paint job! WoW! Rick Larson of Boring Oregon has this one and is looking for a mainshaft for the transmission if anyone can help him out.

#19. Hey, a Firetruck BRC (just like King Michael who has two BRC's, not yet posted). This one is "back East somewhere" according to the person who sent the picture in. Any info out there? A reliable report says Florida.


#20. Big download of three views of Steve Greenberg's very pretty BRC done up here as a MP jeep.



#21. Jim Dunn has done us all a great service by posting the most exhaustive photo study of a BRC I have ever seen. It's been a great help in my restoration project to have this as a reference. His beautiful #2649 (June of 41) is to be seen at his website ...don't miss it (if you can stand the music :~)



#22 The Butler PA Historical Society has at least one BRC. I believe Lee Bortmas donated one to them. At any rate, here is one sitting in their offices, and you can check out there website here. Come back :~)




#23 . This is an ex Steve Greenberg BRC recently sold (8-01). All we know is that his asking price saw $28,000 , I believe this one to have been one formerly owned by Lee Bortmas in Butler, PA home of the Bantams. (Addenda) this car is now in Ohio and belongs to Avae Percytoplis (Spelling?)


#24. Gray Mullins down in Tampa has this guy under active restoration, and he recently got #13 retrieved out of the Canadian wilds, so, he has two or at least one and a half.



#25 belongs to Derek Langdon way down under in Australia. Derek pulled this guy out of a riveerbank down there somewhere, and though he needs a lot of parts, he is obviously making some serious progress here.



#26, 27, 28. We know of one fellow out in the middle of the country who has three BRC's from which he is hoping to make two. Details later as they become available



#29. This BRC shows up on the back cover of Military Vehicles in the Beechwood ad? It is in a small museum in New Jersey and belongs to Dan Janquitto







#29. Who says there aren't any more BRC's to be found? Here's one that just came out of hiding after sitting in a garage near a Southern Army camp for 35 years. Now that he is out, what will happen to him. Stay tuned. This one has a lot of nice details but is lacing instruments, engine, gearbox, transfercase, lights, seats and so on. An invitation to spend 40 grand...go for it!:~)



I don't have pictures up, but here are some others we know about and will assign a number for future inclusion. Let me know if there have been changed hands and double counting.

30. George Angersbach has a BRC and trailer in Tucson

31. Bob Brandon in Butler PA has the ex Harrah's BRC. Maybe above? Bob?

32.33.34. In addition to number 6 . above Terry Williams has three BRC's including a 4 wheel steer.

35. Jim Evans Miami has one.

36. Art Goodrich of Pittsfield MA.

37. and 38. King Michael of Romania

39. George Milne of Mebane NC.

40. 41. Tom Rinne of Zimmerman MN apparently has two.

42. John Osborne. Butler PA has a 4 steer.

43. Lourenco Rodolfo (Curitiba, Brazil)


Okay, that's 42 we can pretty well find if we have to. Here are some others from past lists or rumored to be out there or where we have only fragmentary info...or, for convenience where I will post new ones that come in.... Please fill me in if you know status or whereabouts.

44. George Domer in Milton PA may still have his.

45. Lamont Johnson in Fort Myers FLA?

46. Andrew Miller in Browning Illinois?

47. Carl Miller, Ft Pierce FLA?

48. Pete Rodgers Bullhead City AZ?

49. The late Ralph Turner (one of the original builders of #1) may still have a BRC?

50. Randall Withrow Huntsvill Alabama?

51. Hal Thompson Arcadia FLA?

52 Flateau Allen Richland MI?

53. Does Don Shook in Butler still have a BRC?

54. We know there is at least one in Japan

55. Phil Nelson apparently has one somewhere out in western PA or?

56. Jan Markerink, Netherlands A September '41 BRC restored by Ken Hake.




That's all for now folks...if you have pictures and information, pass them on and I'll post them. Let's see if we can find 50 BRC's!

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