January 27, 2023


Still car-crazy after all these years

Batam Altered with a blown Chrysler engine.

Bantam altered seen at Detroit Autorama in the late sixties. The only clue to it's identity is the sign the reads "the Ped...." and the owner is Antony...

Does anyone remember this Bantam Roadster?

This Bantam roadster appeared at the Detroit Autorama on the late 1960s. Who owned it? What happened to it?
Batam Altered with a blown Chrysler engine.
Bantam altered seen at Detroit Autorama in the late sixties. The only clue to it’s identity is the sign the reads “the Ped….” and the owner is Tony…

This is obviously a Bantam roadster. Is it a fuel altered? It sure looks like it could be. It features all the right stuff, including a blown 392 Hemi carried high in the frame rails, with the driver semi-enclosed in a tiny Bantam roadster shell.

An entrant at the Detroit Autorama, the sign on the right provides some tantalizing clues to the roadster and it’s owner. Unfortunately, the way I framed the the photo back in late 1960s displays only half of the sign. Thus, I don’t know who the owner was, where it was from or what class the car ran at the track.

The right half of the sign is cropped off, so I can only read “the Ped…”  What was the car’s actual name ? My best guess is Peddler, but there are other words and phrases that begin with PED.

According to the sign, the Bantam was owned, built and driven by “Anthony…” Anthony who? I cannot tell. because once again, that part of the sign is lost to history.

The sign credits the mysterious Anthony as owner, builder and driver of the car. Does that mean he welded up the chassis himself? Did he design the chassis as well? Where was he from?

Detroit was never a hotbed for fuel altereds. There were countless dragsters and funny cars based in and around the Motor City. But fuel altereds were relatively rare. I remember Bob Sweat’s El Toro roadster, as well as the series of Walt’s Puffer cars out of Walt Knoch’s shop.

I guess, you could add Anthony and the Peddler — or whatever it was called — to that list. Anthony went to a lot of work to create this bitching altered, So what happened? Was it competitive? What kind of numbers did it lay down? Did it run the local South Eastern Michigan tracks (Detroit, Motorcity, Milan, Ubly, St. Thomas?) Or was it just passing through when it appeared at Cobo Hall?

Do you remember this car? Is Anthony still around? Let us know in the comments below. I really want to know about the car and whatever happened to it.


Tom Bonner