|The prewar 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 "jiffy."
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.