The 2024 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix will spotlight the iconic subcompact American Bantam cars and the Nash Metropolitan at this year’s American Car Show on August 3-4, in conjunction with Mini being the featured marque of the year. Set against the backdrop of the picturesque Schenley Park, this show has a local flavor.

American Bantam’s Western Pennsylvania Legacy

The American Bantam car holds a special place in the hearts of many Western Pennsylvanians, as it was locally manufactured right here in Butler, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1935, the American Bantam Car Company quickly became known for its compact yet stylish vehicles that captured the imagination of drivers across the nation. The company’s 1938 model, in particular, gained widespread recognition as the inspiration behind Donald Duck’s iconic car, first seen in the animated short film “Don Donald.” This connection to popular culture only adds to the allure and nostalgia surrounding these beloved automobiles.

American Bantam is perhaps best known for designing, building, and delivering the first jeep in less than 90 days. The Bantam company produced the most fuel-efficient engine and first prototype under the original U.S. Army tender specifications and was awarded the first contract. Of the 2,675 jeeps made by American Bantam, one was captured by the Japanese army and reverse-engineered to eventually become the Toyota FJ.

“The inclusion of American Bantam cars in this year’s American Car Show pays homage to the rich automotive heritage of Western Pennsylvania,” said Mark Morrow, American Car Show Director. “These vehicles represent a unique chapter in American automotive history, and we are excited to showcase them alongside other classic and vintage cars at the PVGP.”

The Nash Metropolitan’s Trailblazing Legacy in Subcompact Innovation

Amidst an era where “bigger is better” dominated the automotive landscape, the Nash Metropolitan emerged as a pioneering solution from the Nash Motor Company. Recognizing the evolving needs of American consumers, Nash executives sought to provide an economical transportation alternative. Designed as the quintessential second car in a two-car household, the Metropolitan catered to various daily needs, whether it was Mom shuttling the kids to school or running errands or dad commuting to the train station for work. Dubbed the “commuter/shopping car,” theMetropolitan boasted a distinct resemblance to its larger Nash counterparts, yet its compact scale set it apart. With a wheelbase shorter than even the Volkswagen Beetle’s, the Metropolitan epitomized efficiency without sacrificing style or functionality, making it a trailblazer in the realm of subcompact automobiles. Its enduring legacy as a symbol of practicality and sophistication continues to resonate, making it a fitting highlight at the 2024 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix American Car Show.

Owners of American Bantam cars and Nash Metropolitans are encouraged to register to show their vehicles at the event. This is a fantastic opportunity for enthusiasts to share their passion for these iconic automobiles with fellow collectors and admirers. Registration information can be found here. Join us at the 2024 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix American Car Show as we pay tribute to the enduring legacy of American Bantam cars and Nash Metropolitans while celebrating the timeless allure of classic automobiles.