American Austin Bantam Club meeting in Batavia
This afternoon, I spotted a long line of classic-looking, very tiny cars heading west. I turned around and followed them down River Street and eventually to Williams Park.
It turns out the American Austin Bantam Club is holding its 46th annual meeting in Batavia this week.
American Austins, and alter Bantams, were manufactured in the United States from the 1930s until the early 1940s. They were America's first economy car.
They were probably intended for second family cars, for short drives to the store and other errands, said club member Gene Loomis, of Warsaw.
The cars get about 50 miles per gallon of gas.
Phil Haynes, of Connecticut, said there were some 17,000 to 18,000 Austins built in Pennsylvania, and then about 6,700 Bantams manufactured.
It was Haynes (pictured in the white car below) I dropped behind after turning around on Main. As I followed him, he would occasionally stick his left arm out the driver's side and wave it straight down, back and forth. At first, I thought, "He thinks I'm following too close," so I backed off, and he did it again, so I backed off some more, then he did it again, and that's when I realized, "he's rowing."
These little cars don't have a lot of horsepower. Haynes said he needed all the help he could get to coax his American Austin up any kind of incline.
The Club is staying at the Holiday Inn and will visit the VA Medical Center this afternoon.