Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is David Carradine's Crosley For Sale?

Just stumbled across this nicely-restored 1950 Hot Shot for sale on Ebay.  It's clean, but the $19.5K asking price is, uh, 'optimistic', even if an unnamed Hollywood star is claimed as the former owner.   Maybe you could hope to get that kinda scrilla if this was James Dean's Hot Shot, but for any lesser star you're probably looking at about half that.... maybe.  Interestingly, the ad is silent on the star's identity, although it does mention that he is dead.  Hmmm...
 Some years ago I read that actor David Carradine (Kung Fu, Kill Bill) was a Crosley fan.  I have no idea where I came across this bit of info, but I do recall finding out that he had bought a Hot Shot for the then astronomical price of $13,000.  OK, that'd still be an incredible price for a Hot Shot today, but it was even MORE incredible back then.  I'd always found it an interesting factoid, and wondered if he would someday drive into the West Coast Meet in his roadster, ready to take all comers in the Funkana. It never happened.

When Carradine met his end a few years back, I (and pretty much everyone else) was a bit surprised - his particular hobby was not one I usually associate with Crosley owners - it turned out that Crosleying was the least of Mr. Carradine's quirks.  If you're not sure what I mean, I'll refer you to google.  In any case, he seemed to suddenly drop off the list of people fellow Crosley owners bragged about.
I'm guessing that this is probably Carradine's car, and the circumspect nature of the info in the ad is due to the lurid nature of the star's death - why else would a seller not list a famous former owner?  Apparently the buyer will get documentation of the star's identity... if this car ever sells.  Sadly, I just can't see a Carradine connection bringing this car to the price they are asking.  There's no speed equipment - or even a radio.  With nicely-restored VCs regularly selling for $7000-$8000, I can't imagine who would spend $19,000 for this car.

Now James Dean's Crosley... that might be worth $19,000.  Dean never 'officially' owned a Crosley, but, according to the late Dick Scanlan, he used to drive one.    The story, as Dick told it to me, was that there was a Hot Shot used to get around the Warner Bros. studio lot.  Dean, being a sports car nut, immediately commandeered it while working on one of his films.  According to Dick, Dean used the Hot Shot as his personal car the whole time he was making the movie, and then turned it back in when the filming was done.  The car went back into regular use on the lot, and then was sold a few years later.
No documentation exists, and no photo of Dean driving a Hot Shot has ever turned up, so the story could well be pure bunk, but Dick Scanlan swore by it, and until the day he died he claimed he had the original interior from James Dean's Crosley in the rafters in his garage.  For all I know, it still might be there.  Find THAT Hot Shot (and prove it) and you'll have your $19,500 car.


smitty said...

20 grand and it leaks oil and has a wonky starter. Sounds like a deal!

Anonymous said...

It was David Carradines and the new owner took first place at Heshey last year.