|The pre-war Crosley was introduced in
1939 as economical and dependable and offered in the following
five models: Two-door sedan, $390. DeLuxe two-door sedan $400.
Convertible coupe, $339. Covered wagon, $441. Wagon, $496. They were
touted as seating up to four persons with a top that operates in a
Promotional material from the time indicates that Powell Crosley
may have been ahead of his time. He boasted that his car could be
parked in one-third the space of a typical car and could deliver 50
miles per gallon easily. A two-cylinder, air-cooled Waukesha engine
in the Crosley powers the 9 feet, 8 inch long vehicle. The
40 cubic inch 135 lbs motor with a single-barrel Tillotson carburetor
holds 3 quarts of oil and develops a whopping 12-horsepower. Waukesha
is still in business making stationary propane engines and celebrated
their 100th anniversary in 2005. Their largest a V-18 is about
the size of 4 of these micro cars.
|The 975-pound convertible rides on an
80-inch wheelbase supported by 4.25x12-inch tyres. The driver
seated behind the three-spoke steering wheel can clearly see the amp and
gas gauges and 60-mph speedometer, although no one has ever seen
the speedometer needle come close to 60 mph. There's a one-piece windshield
and each door has two sliding windows, which helps add a couple of inches
of hip room for the couple in the front as the windows don't roll
down. Rear-seat occupants are protected by side curtains with plastic
windows when the top is in place. If the driver observes rain
clouds forming, it is prudent to find a bridge to hide under rather
then stop and attempt to raise the top and attach the side curtains.
|Crosley is a name most don't recognize
at first. Powell was often ahead of his time. In 1949 he
introduced the first Post War Sports Car the Hot Shot which went
on to win the first Sebring race in 1950. It sported Americas
first all round disc brake system. Powell introduced the first affordable
home radio and first portable television. He introduced the Shelverator
refrigerator...the first to offer in-door storage. He also owned
clear channel WLW in Cincinnati which broadcast the games of the Reds
from Crosley Field...as he also owned the ball club!
| When the WWII arrived Crosley made prototype
Motorcycles WITH electric starters, motorized Snow Sleds, and even
an outboard motor with water cooled heads...all based on the same
Waukesha Engines used in the pre war car. He then got patent rights
for a novel US made engine with single overhead camshaft. The
CoBRA (which stood for Copper Brazed) Engine was made of steel and welded
together. It was extremely light weight, block 15 lbs, engine 58 lbs,
complete with all accessories including flywheel only 133 lbs! and saw
a lot of duty in all branches of the service and especially for the CBs
as a stationary power source often used to power generators. The
25 HP, 773 cc engine, was later made of cast iron and formed
the basis of Crosley's new lineup introduced after the war in 1946.
In 1948 Crosley sold more Station Wagons then any car maker in the world.
1952 was the last production of Crosley Automobiles.