Using the space formerly occupied by the Standard Steel Car Company, the American Austin Car Company was founded in Butler, Pennsylvania in 1929. The new venture was to license, produce, and sell American versions of the British Austin Motor Company catalogue. The cars, that had a successful run in the United Kingdom, were intended to create a market for small cars in the United States.
More than eight thousand models were sold during what would the first and best year of sales for America Austin. But even though its first model, the American Austin 7, found success at first, the sudden decline in sales caused by the Great Depression rattled the company’s prospects until production had to be suspended, leading to American Austin filing for bankruptcy in 1934.
In 1935, the bankrupt company was bought by salesman Roy Evans and it was hence renamed to American Bantam, severing the connection with Austin in the United Kingdom. Reinvigorated, the brand would keep producing cars all the way through to the mid-fifties, which included light trucks, woodie station wagons, and what would eventually be known as the very first Jeep. The production of these continued until 1956, when the company was absorbed by American Rolling Mills.