Austin Bantam Not Once But Twice

bantam_coupe_leadTaking the castaways of the automotive world and transforming them into race cars through ingenuity and steel tubing is nothing new in America. This sixties-built dragster was at one time a thirties-built Austin. Opportunity Washington’s Duke Cornell first constructed this Bantam bodied drag coupe 1961. Duke claims he ran 10-second quarters at the drag strip with alarming regularity using an injected small block Chevrolet for power. That’s Duke himself in the cockpit out on in the staging lanes at the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion during the post-race celebration of nitromethane known as the Cacklefest. Duke built the car the first time on a twentysomething year-olds racing budget. After racing for a number of years he sold the car for the usual reasons. Duke recently unearthed what was left of his original coupe and brought it back to better than original condition for display at Famoso in Bakersfield. Now, if only they would let him run down the track a few more times.