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Bantam T3-C Production

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48cj2a View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 July 2009 at 11:08pm
There is no known documention figures indicating when production started or ended for the Bantam T3-C trailers.
 
A recent thread about a new purchase sparked a little topic on this individuals trailer manufacture year.
 
Originally posted by Robert Bills Robert Bills wrote:

Go to the "Focus on Trailers" section at www.jeepdraw.com for photos/discussion on repairing/replacing the lock pin for the landing leg.
 
As for your Bantam T3-C #6328 being a 1947, I think it is actually a 1946.   
 
My Bantam T3-C, #9466, has documentation showing a clean chain of title back to the original California pink slip, which indicates both the model year and year first sold as 1946.  When I had my 1946 California trailer plate ('45 "TLR" plate with '46 metal tab) assigned to my trailer, the California DMV made me jump through hoops to prove that my T3-C was in fact a 1946 trailer.   In order to do that, I had to provide the California DMV with the original pink slip (not a photocopy) and documentation proving that 1946 was the earliest that Bantam distributed T3-C trailers to the civilian market. 
 
Since there were no 1945 Bantam civilian trailers, and #9466 has now been officially confirmed by the California DMV as a 1946, your trailer #6328 must necessarily also be a 1946.  
 
Originally posted by Louie Larson in an email Mar 08 Louie Larson in an email Mar 08 wrote:

If you looked at the  Bantam tc-3 site (Yahoo Groups) you saw my serial # chart. I checked with every one I could think of even the chamber of commerce in
Butler Pa and there is nothing about dates or production #s on the civilian
trailers.  The BT3 military #,s are well known. I took the military #'s and
applied them to the civilian #'s.  About 50 aday, 5 days aweek.
I have SN 87 which had a Minn trailer title date 1945, in fact I still have the
Minn plate. I purchased this trailer from a man from Rochester Minn who's
father worked at the Mayo clinic and had gotten a OPA permit to buy it.
It's simply a BT-3 with the back panel made into a tailgate, combat wheels,
still  OD in color , hand brake parts left off, and a ball hitch installed, and two
round braces to hold the rear corners up. I also have #30891 which I bought
at a auction in South Dakota with a S.D. title. dated 1948.  The highest # listed
is #31078 also dated 1948.  I don't beleve any trailers were built after 1948.
They went bankrupted in 1949 and the company was disolved by 1953.
So my reasoning is as follows;
1945 about  2000 converted BT3 where sold
1946 about 16000 new and converted trailers
1947 about  7000 new trailers
1948  about 10000 new trailers
None were built after sometime in 48 and  all trailers licensed later
than 1948 are simply carryovers.
Unless someone has information  that is different lets use this chart.
Based on how the database is progressing; I would speculate that the first few thousand were all made from left over surplus T3 parts and sold as civilian trailers near or after the war ended.
 
If anyone has any documentation such as titles, registration, purchase order, receipts etc. I would like to start an area on the bantamt3c page for this as we try and start another chapter in Bantam T3-C history.


Edited by 48cj2a - 08 July 2009 at 11:21pm
Art C

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjohnson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2009 at 11:45pm
I sure didn't mean to throw an improper year out there for #6328.  As I mentioned, all I was relying on was the PO recollection.  After looking at the database, it sure does appear I have a T3-C manufactured in 1946.  Hasn't there been discussion about year of manufacture and year titled as possibly being different?  My title will end up saying 47 but I will know better and I'll enjoy the trailer either way.
M Johnson

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 48cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 8:48am
Mark,
 
You did nothing wrong. There has been discussion from time to time but the lack of manufacture production figures only leads to speculation unless official documents can be supplied such as the original bill of sale from the dealer, a registration or a title.
 


Edited by 48cj2a - 09 July 2009 at 8:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert Bills Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 1:02pm
Some problems with Louie Larsen's extrapolations begin with his assumption that Bantam built the same number of trailers per day after WWII as it did during WWII.  There is absolutely no known documentary evidence  to support this assumption, which appears to be based solely on production capacity, and lower actual production numbers would change his extrapolated results dramatically.  It is more likely than not that Bantam produced fewer trailers after the war than during the war, evidenced by the fact that substantially more military T3 trailers exist today than civilian T3-C trailers, the post-war civilian market was smaller than WWII military requirements, and Bantam was in bankruptcy (for the second time) within just a few years after the end of WWII, which would suggest substantially lower revenues. (Caveat:  Since Bantam also manufactured larger trailers, torpedos, etc. under WWII military contracts, the loss of those contracts would also have a substantial effect on Bantam's revenues.)
 
Another problem with Mr. Larsen's analysis (with no disrespect to him because he was required to rely upon few verifiable facts), is the assumption that his trailer #30891, titled in South Dakota as a 1948, was actually manufactured during or prior to that year or was even first titled in 1948.  Without a clear chain of title going back to the first date that the trailer was actually titled, there is no way to know if that information is accurate.  If one searches posts on various forums which discuss registering and titling these trailers, one will discover numerous posts where the owner simply represented to various state motor vehicle departments the year of their trailer, and the clerk accepted those representations without further verification.  For example, if a prior owner of Mr. Larsen's T3-C #30891 gave the South Dakota DMV erroneous information (intentionally or unintentionally) that the trailer was manufactured or first titled in 1948 when it was actually manufactured or first titled/registered in another year, and the South Dakota DMV accepted that information without further verification, the title and registration for that trailer would thereafter state 1948 even though inaccurate.  There is no way for Mr. Larsen to know whether or not that ever occured without title/registration documents back to the accurate original date, with no omissions or time gaps. 
 
We have very few verifiable benchmarks to correlate T3-C serial numbers with actual date of manufacture.  I am one of the lucky few who can trace the history of their trailer back to the original purchase date.  My father (now 91) knew the original owner, and remembers when the original owner purchased the trailer in late 1946.  When my father purchased the trailer from the original owner, he was supplied with the original pink slip and registration, and because my father was a meticulous record keeper, he had a photostatic copy of these documents made before he surrendered them to the California DMV when he registered the trailer and obtained a pink slip in his name in 1966.  (I still have that pink slip, and also knew the original owner, who told me in 1966 that he was discharged from the Army in January 1946, returned to California to grow citrus, and purchased the trailer shortly before Christmas 1946.)   With those documents, and various articles written about these trailers, I was able to have a 1946 California trailer plate assigned to my trailer in 2008 under California's "Year of Manufacture" license plate program, which requires verification by a licensed "vehicle verifier" that the vehicle was manufactured in a particular year before a plate of that year is assigned.    
 
I don't pretend to be able to "date" any trailer with a serial number greater than my own.  I can say that there is no reasonable doubt that Bantam T3-C #9466 was manufactured and first sold in 1946, based upon official government records, documentary evidence, and first-hand accounts by percipient witnesses, such that any T3-C with a lower number must necessarily be a 1946 or earlier.
 
The next debate is whether (or how many) T3-C trailers were built/sold in 1945.  Louie Larsen's representations regarding T3-C #87 being first sold in Minnesota in 1945 with OPA authorization is compelling evidence that there were some Bantam civilian trailers distributed in 1945, but due to the extremely low serial number, there is no way to determine how many more.
 
I think it is a reasonable assumption that no Bantam trailers were assembled for or sold in the civilian market before Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945, even though the war had been over in Europe since May 7, 1945.  (Before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, military planners were anticipating that the war would continue at least through 1946, with heavy casualties and substantial loss of equipment and supplies, and the majority of manufacturers with contracts to supply military equipment and munitions were still allocating all production capacity to these contracts).  That would leave less than 4 months in 1945 for Bantam to assemble and distribute civilian trailers.   There are "guesstimates" that as many as 2,000 T3-C trailers were assembled from leftover parts originally intended for the military, but no actual proof of how many and for how long these transitional trailers were assembled.  My personal opinion is that some Bantam civilian trailers were assembled prior to January 1, 1946, but probably less than 2,000 based upon the number of these remaining early trailers claimed by their current owners to be built in 1945, and it is my opinion that substantially fewer actually left the Bantam factory prior to January 1946.  Unfortunately we will never know for sure.
 
What we really need is an initial database correlating year of manufacture and year of first sale to serial numbers, based only on those trailers where there is a clear chain of title back to original purchase date.  This will give us some accurate benchmarks from which to extrapolate (admittedly not many).  The second database would include the trailers with verifiable year of manufacture/year of sale (which should be marked as such), and those based upon extrapolation or owner representations without documentary chain of title (which should also be marked as such).   With time, we should be able to more accurately guesstimate year of manufacture and year of first sale.
 
 


Edited by Robert Bills - 09 July 2009 at 1:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 1:37pm
I would be willing to hazard a guess that there were many trailers built in 45 that were not sold until months later, possibly even a year later. In that case does one date the trailer when built or when sold?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2009 at 1:54pm
Robert, I think that's the aim of this discussion, too bad someone didn't intercept the Bantam records on their way to the landfillLOL, but that didn't happen (at least I think it didn't happen). Lots of variables were going on in the last half of 45, and supply requirements was one of them. With the war over in Europe, all of a sudden they had a whole lot of surplus equipment sitting in yards which could have been transferred to the Pacific if needed, plus the logistics in the Pacific were different from Europe (at least in the area of trailer usage).  Leaves open some interesting conjectures. But you're right, the only way to accurately verify year of production is with a paper trail. Hopefully this will surface. (not that it matters in the sense of restoring and enjoying the use of these things) but it is an interesting sidebar to the hobby. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gopher4x4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug. 2009 at 8:54pm
Gentelmen;
Let me throw this idea at you;
Scince there are no known documents to prove assembly dates of our
trailers  let us , the known trailer owners prepare a realistic chart from
what we now know.  We could prepare several different charts and
have everyone vote on the most realistic one. Then this list or chart
could be the official one that we would all use for licensing  etc.
Give me your thoughts or suggestions or any other ideas.
Louie Larson  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Doug Timme Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug. 2009 at 11:40pm
I would have to agree. As long as mine is still a 48, because that is what I titled it asWink
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PackRat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2018 at 3:31pm
Early in 1945 Bantam was producing about 150 per day. By June/July of '45 they were down to 50 per day. Counting the Bantam, Willys and Gemco usage of ACM components with ACM numbers it would seem that when compared to known T3-C Bantam ACM numbers that there were at least 155,000 ACM numbered trailers produced overall.

Adding up the numbers of known G529s (military) from those sources I come up with a rough estimate of about 152,000 +/- or so ACM units in military service. That leaves an additional 2,000 to 3,000 ACM units left over.

I have no information on how many ACM were stuck with, if any, but the balance might be attributed to Bantam. However, in going through my data base, neither Bantam nor Willys ever ordered a batch of ACM trailers in the 3,000 range so I question the validity of the idea that Bantam had on hand some 2-3,000 units when they had already slowed down production from early 1945 at 150 per day to about 50 per day by June/July.


From my data, I believe Bantam finished its last contract around the second week of August 1945. That would have left that other 2,000+ units unaccounted for and I think these would have been what Bantam started to use to make the T3-C.

So..the question is still unanswered with regard to when Bantam started making the pure T3-C units...but it would seem that they could in fact produce enough if the demand was there to use up the remainder of the G529 modified units and begin to sell the true T3-C as we know it before the end of 1945.

Personally, I would say that there were no "pure T3-C" trailers sold in 1945 though, just too many left over unless someone has a suggestion on how the left over units could have been used up by other entities outside of the Bantam purchases and Bantam began to sell pure T3-Cs with NO ACM numbers on them.
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