Bantam T3-C (Gambles?) build thread (1 Viewer)

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My brother landed this trailer from an estate for cheap and traded it to me for one of my pickup bed trailers. I have carefully looked it over, and it's a late-model Bantam T3-C, apparently re-sold by Gambles (dept. store). The data plate was intact and is a trimmed and reversed Bantam plate with a different number stamped on the back side. See here: Sears Hiawatha Bantam Trailer - http://bantamt3c.com/hiawatha.htm. I will excavate the tailgate paint to see if I can come up with a Hiawatha name....

The trailer seems to be very complete - 1 7/8 Fulton coupler, correct tailgate, correct landing leg casting, correct safety chains, etc. Needs PM and tires. I do like the Montgomery Wards Air Cushion spare tire. Taillights are all wrong, and I may install Model A Ford lights that are similar to the Arrow lights it would have had.

Like any red-blooded American, I have always wanted a military trailer, and this is close enough. I will likely keep it very close to stock, since it's a bit of a rarity.

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Gretsch

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Man nice score there. Those hitches are almost never still on the trailer and crazy hard to find to replace them. I have a '46 T3-C that someone put a newer hitch on and got rid of the original landing leg casting. If you decide to go a different route with the hitch setup, keep me in mind. Would love that landing leg/casting on mine. Great find here. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.
 
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@Gretsch - thanks! I'm going to try a sympathetic resto/conservation on this. I don't need a gonzo offroad trailer, and my '77 Ford Courier pickup bed trailer is frankly larger and a lot more practical. I doubt I will change out that hitch affair, since a 1 7/8" ball is not a big inconvenience. I will keep my eye out for any other trailers or parts. eBay has some goodies, if you want to check there.

I will remove the 2nd set of safety chains - you have to wonder why 2 sets were installed. Shockingly, they left the correct originals on there.
 
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A Gambles ad showing that they sold Bantam trailers. Feb '47, right after the war.
 

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A Gambles ad showing that they sold Bantam trailers. Feb '47, right after the war.
I know $180 was a lot of money back then but damn....
 
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Finally got back to this trailer after rehabbing a Datsun pickup bed trailer and a boned out Subaru (that's redundant, actually).

I mounted a 215-85-16 tire (think tall and skinny) in place of the rotted Chinese-made 16-6.0 tire that was on it. I saw these tires (set of 3 - perfect) at a junkyard and I got the set for $110. 2 are nicer and one is more worn and will make an excellent spare tire. I only mounted 1 at first to be sure it will fit, and will now do the other 2. Finding a tire store that is 'inner-tube-savvy' is tough. 30-something tire guys generally have never seen an inner tube rim and tire.

Since I had them on hand, I also tried to bolt up a military rim and 16-7.5 tire, and center hole in the military rim is too small.

I removed all the taillights and wiring on the trailer and am starting over with new stuff (not authentic, but US-made at least). I also removed a small piece of pipe welded (and caulked!) to the trailer tongue (probably to hold the title).

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I did the wiring and lights later today. Turned out nicely and I used quick-disconnects so I can easily swap out the lights when I paint the trailer. Everything that matters has a loom to prevent UV decay of the wiring. Soldered, with heat-shrink tubing.

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Re-bent the tailgate against a phone pole with a jack, and welded up the broken welds on the gate. It's now mostly flat.

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