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CarlLaFong

Correct Name

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This has been bugging me for a long time. I was always under the impression that the American Austin was called, after the bankruptcy and the reorganization, the Bantam. I see them, constantly, referred to as American Bantams and Austin Bantams. Are either of these names correct or are they like Cad LaSalle and Rolls Bentley? It's, probably, futile to try and change what people call them, much like those who call wheels, rims or mispronounce Willys (it's Willis, for those who care)

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This has been bugging me for a long time. I was always under the impression that the American Austin was called, after the bankruptcy and the reorganization, the Bantam. I see them, constantly, referred to as American Bantams and Austin Bantams. Are either of these names correct or are they like Cad LaSalle and Rolls Bentley? It's, probably, futile to try and change what people call them, much like those who call wheels, rims or mispronounce Willys (it's Willis, for those who care)

The company was incorporated in 1929 as The American Austin Auto Company. Bankruptcy was filed in 1934 and there was no production in 1936 and 1937. The company was re-formed as American Bantam Auto Company and production resumed in 1938. Therefore the early cars are American Austins and from 1938-1941 are American Bantams.

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I am sure the early cars were American Austins, but the later cars are badged as "Bantam" and all of the factory literature refers to them as "Bantams". The company may have been called "American Bantam", but was the product called the same? It doesn't seem so, to me.

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What bugs me are names that are spelled one way, and the correct pronounciation is different from how it's spelled. If Mr Willys wanted his car to be known as Willis instead of Willees he should have spelled the name Willis. Willys will always be Willees to me, in protest.

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You guys should see how us ignorant people down here in Virginia pronounce some of those names.:eek:

Not to highjack the thread, but touring in Colorado last week, some of those locals out there thought I was speaking a foreign language.:D

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Not to hijack my own thread, but I'm sure at the time they were current, everyone called them "Willis". It was common knowledge. When the brand died out and the people who remembered them did the same, the correct pronunciation was forgotten. My Grandpa said, "Willis".

As far as what one may perceive to be a spelling/pronunciation conflict, I offer you Sybil and cynic. Should they be "Seeble" or "Ceenic"? Maybe "Sighble" or Sighnic" would work better. One hard and fast rule about English is there are no hard and fast rules. My last name isn't pronounced "Collin", though most seem to think it is.

Here's the one that absolutely gives me the runs. People who say, "Cummings" instead of "Cummins".

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People who say, "Cummings" instead of "Cummins".

John, I would not even notice the difference in that word if spoken to me.

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Not to be confused of course with the Austin Automobile Company which started in Grand Rapids, Michigan in about 1901...

The Colorado Tour sounds like it was great fun Wayne, wished I'd been able to join in.

Terry

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The American Austin company was formed to build the Austin Seven under license from the English Austin company. They paid a royalty of $5 a car for the privilege of using their design, their patents, their name and trademark.

After the company was reorganized they changed the design of the body, engine and chassis so much there was hardly anything left of the original design and they stopped paying royalties. This meant they could no longer use the Austin name so they picked the name Bantam.

This accounts for the name change. To be perfectly correct the name Austin should not be used in connection with the Bantam car or company.

Incidentally there is a travel trailer forum I look at from time to time called Air forums. Recently a poster posted pictures of a "mystery trailer" built right after WW2 that had an ID plate marked American Bantam Company, Butler Pennsylvania and the serial #1001. There is some speculation that this is a reconversion project, a prototype.

Has anyone ever heard of Bantam making travel trailers? I know they built baggage trailers for Jeeps during the war.

The mystery trailer

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417/mystery-trailer-76069.html

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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Hilarious. If you read to the end of that thread, some guy states how Bantam didn't have the capability to build Jeeps, in the numbers that the military required, so Wally's stepped in and built them.

Wally's?!?!?! What a hoot!

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You'd be amazed how many otherwise astute car enthusiasts pronounce T-R-I-U-M-P-H as "Em Jee"!:rolleyes:

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Hilarious. If you read to the end of that thread, some guy states how Bantam didn't have the capability to build Jeeps, in the numbers that the military required, so Wally's stepped in and built them.

Wally's?!?!?! What a hoot!

Ha ha ha I thought it was Fred who built them.

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According to my sis on her recent return from New Orleans, the people there saw Naw Lins.

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Well, living here, and as an adopted Orleanian, I can assure you that N'Awlins is only pronounced by visitors and wanna-bees -

The proper pronunciation, as I learned way back in 1968 from Miss Dale' very proper grandmother, is:

Nyew Orl-Yunz

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It is said Mr. Willys pronounced his name "Willis," but had no such preference about the cars. As long as people bought them, they could call them as they pleased, he figured. Rather like the Joe Walsh album, You Bought it, You Name It. Mr. Willys had an early insight into self-propelled aka viral marketing: Allow the word of mouth follow the path of least resistance.

Apparently, WWII and the Jeep popularized the "Willies" pronunciation. Suddenly, millions of people were saying the word with little or no previous knowledge of the name or its pronunciation. Before the war, the "Willis" pronunciation prevailed. "Willies" is an interesting case of the inadvertent apostrophe in that here, it's a phantom apostrophe. People see one that isn't there.

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From Poughkeepsie to Spokane little sounds the sam.

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How about the people that, after 60 years, still can't figure out that the Continental Mark II was not built by the Lincoln Division.

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To cast further light on the Willys or Wally's controversy, here are some sound bites and an advertisement, straight from the horse's mouth. The horse's name is Willis

Willys Sound Bytes

Edited by 58Mustang (see edit history)

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I wonder if there might be some guys who would drive their Willeez to go see a Bruce Willis (Willys) movies and never see the connection? It's an old Irish surname and as such subject to some remarkable pronounciation rules. Try this Irish given name, for example: "Aiofe", is pronounced "ee-fa". If you want to see more wid examples of various vowels and consonnants heaped together to form mysterious sounds, check out the Wiki list of Irish given names.

List of Irish-language given names - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edited by Hudsy Wudsy (see edit history)

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