Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crazy Crosleys

As usual, I've been poking around the internets to keep an eye on Crosley stuff for sale.  Seems like there's always plenty of cars - a far cry from the good old days (i.e. 1996) when I was looking for my first Crosley - it took me months just to find a car to go look at!  Shees.  With all these cars available, there are bound to be some oddballs, and here's a few crazy Crosleys I've stumbled over recently.
First up is this '51 'Hotshot' (which actually looks to be a Super Sports) located in Atlanta for $5500.  Crosley roadsters sorta beg for headlight modifications, but this 'Jane Russell' treatment is the most extreme solution I've ever encountered. Makes you not even notice that giant grill that came off who knows what.
The stock driveline has been swapped out for a Datsun 4 cylinder, and the seller says it runs and drives.  I'd imagine it goes like stink, but unless they did some pretty impressive suspension work I can't imagine the Crosley frame (or brake system) is going to be happy for long.
This '1946 Sedan Delivery' has been on offer for quite a while- it's in Modesto (a couple hours from me) and has been on all the West Coast Craigslists a bunch.  I'm not sure what to make of it - Crosley didn't offer a sedan delivery (or even a station wagon) in '46, so I'm assuming this just got retitled wrong at some point.  Looks like it's a '47 or '48, but, with this I can't imagine a correct vin would really matter.
Engine is a Ford V6 (which I don't even know how they stuffed in the engine bay) bolted to a C4 tranny and a narrowed Ford rear.  I'll spare you those photos, along with those of the '80s minivan interior.  I'm really befuddled by that rear door, but honestly, I'm pretty befuddled by the whole thing.  That said, I don't have anywhere near the skills to put something like this together, so maybe I'm just lacking imagination.  $4500 and it's yours.
Last up is a car that is totally not my bag, but which appears to be exceptionally well thought out for what it is.  Listed as a '1951 Crosley Hi Boy,' this car is taking some cues from the many Crosleys that ended up as drag racer bodies back in the fifties.   The car was built by the Hot Rod Garage in  Bakersfield (nicer, bigger pics of the car on their site here), a full-service hot rod/custom shop, and from the detail pics it sure looks like they knew what they were doing.
I can't say for sure what that motor is, but according to my rule (any old car the color of an easter egg is 99% likely to have a Chevy 350), I'd say that a bowtie is a safe bet.  That header/collector going into the lake pipes is a thing of beauty.

Though all three of these Crosleys are unique creations, the Hi Boy is way ahead of the curve - it's the only one of the three that actually looks like someone planned it out ahead of time.  Of course you gotta pay for that, and at $17,500, it is more than triple the cost of the other cars.  Street rods aren't really my thing, but I will say that, unlike the two cars above, this one will probably handle better than any stock Crosley.

6 comments:

rocinanteridesagain said...

It looks like the guy with the black super sports was trying to make an XK70...

The dead visual giveaway for small block chevys is the exhaust pipe spacing, with the two center pipes very close together. But you say 350 chevy like it's a dirty word! ;-)

While common, there is sort of a good reason for that- lots of reliable horsepower for not much money. I love Flatheads, early Cadillac V8s, the 293 and 331 Olds, and Buick nailheads as much as the next vintage hotrod nutjob, but unless you are building an absolute period-correct hot rod there is something inherently weird about spending 4 times as much to rebuild an engine that will make 1/2 to 3/4 of the horsepower .

It depends on ones M.O. I suppose...

Ol' Man Foster said...

I'm not anti-350.. I just get frustrated because that seems to be the answer to EVERY question. It's weird to me that people will go to such lengths to make what they see as a 'unique' custom or hot rod and then use the exact same motor set up as everyone else at the car show. And if you're concerned with the budget, you probably shouldn't be building a show rod.

That's one of the reasons I love Big Daddy Roth's stuff so much- he spared no expense and his stuff WAS totally original, including bizarro engine choices - even Crosley!

Darrell Wilhelm said...

I think the grille on the top car was a Hudson Terraplane grille, too big to be a Jaguar grille.

I have to say that the hi-boy is my favorite tho.

Ol' Man Foster said...

I wondered about the grill- if that's a Terraplane grill that would be pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

i thought the grill was off an old English car but can't remember the name, standard 10 rings a bell or jowlet had one similar too early 50s.
my dad had a crosley wag that he stuffed a ford 60hp into back in the late fifty's when he was stationed out in cal.sorry to say he sold it before he came back to new york but was the best big block lol i think you could put in one.love to know if that one survived was butter yellow with a tuck and roll leather seats and doors fresh from Mexico in bright red. Gary Foster

Ol' Man Foster said...

I've seen that combo- the V8-60 was a good upgrade if you were ditching the Crosley. Did your Dad's have portholes off a Buick- I found one in SoCal with a V8-60 and portholes many years ago...