In the late 1930s, Roy Evans purchased the defunct American Austin Automobile Company, hoping to reverse the cheerful Austin Seven’s fortunes in America. Reinventing it as the American Bantam Company, Evans updated the cars with more powerful engines and commissioned Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, best known for his work on Auburns and Cords, to inject some serious style. Bantam expanded the Austin line to include a sporty roadster and “Hollywood” cabriolet, and several commercial-oriented bodies including a pickup, panel truck, and charming Boulevard Delivery, as featured here.
Conceived as an urban delivery car for florists, bakers, and such, the stylish Boulevard Delivery was based on the roadster. Period literature described it as a “Jewel Box on Wheels,” a particularly appropriate sobriquet for this marvelous example.