Monday, October 31, 2011

A Crosley-Based Mystery Special from the HAMB - H-Mod???

HAMB user 'Mr Forty' just posted some pics of a handbuilt all-steel race body a friend of his had acquired a few years ago. It came with some Ford V860 heads and matching tranny, but no other running gear - or even any wheels! The measurements match up with Crosley components, and, as John McKnight quickly noted, the steering wheel is definitely Crosley. Hard to say from the pics, but the two largest holes in the dash look like they'd match Crosley gauges too.
The body came with a story (ah, don't they always?) Here's what the owner was told when he bought it:

"Sometime in the late 60's a long haul trucker was in Midwest when he spotted this body in a warehouse. The guy storing it wanted it out of the warehouse, the owner had not been paying storage on it for some time. He said it was a prototype sports car that Ford commissioned but all that was left was the body and a few other items. The trucker made a deal and brought the car back to California where it was stored for almost 40 years before my friend acquired it."

Uh huh. Well, If you count Edsel's personal 1934 Speedster Custom, Ford did make one car that kinda-sorta-but-not-really looked like this, but no one, including the current owner, believes this is a Ford prototype.
But, what is it? The steel bodywork is all leaded (no bondo) and from the description MrForty posted, it sounds like the frame could be Crosley too. Some HAMBers came to the same conclusion I did: it was probably conceived as a Crosley special and then had a V860 stuffed in when the builder realized exactly how heavy all that steel was.
Don't know if we'll ever solve the mystery, but if any group of folks can it will be the HAMB.  One way or the other it's a neat piece of work and MrForty is hoping his pal will build the car based on specials of the period. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 28, 2011

1952 Crosley Super Sedan For Sale is a fairly new website that basically cloned the Bring a Trailer model, albeit with a less distinct editorial voice.  Where BaT leans heavily toward driver-friendly sports cars, Barn Finds tends toward immaculately restored oldies with a smattering of exotics.  
What should pop up today but a resto/kustom 1952 Crosley Super Sedan in BRIGHT turquoise. Fit and finish look good in the pics, but the choice of materials on the door panels and seats aren't really to my taste.  I'm half mystified, half fascinated by the front bench seat.  Crosley buckets are easy to find, so this would seem to be an aesthetic choice.  I'd have to see how it works in person to comment, but I kinda like it, at least in theory.  I really wonder how much it restricts access to the rear seat?
 Bad news is that the seller, Exim Cars out of Lexington Kentucky is asking a whopping $10,500 for this baby.  That's about double what comparable cars have sold for recently.  Add in a radio, a full complement of Braje speed equipment, a shed full of spares and a baby food jar full of the original owner's tears and maybe you could get close to that amount.

But then what do I know? I'm a cheapskate - that's probably why I got into Crosleys in the first place.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SOLD! Minus One Pickup Truck

This is the way you want your Ebay auto auction to end: a phone call from the buyer two minutes after the auction closes and the car being loaded on a trailer 24 hours later.
I listed the '48 pickup on Ebay just over a week ago and it got a LOT of attention... 2827 views, 85 watchers, two bids (one retracted) and a bunch of questions, although most of them came in less than an hour before the end of the auction.  (Who waits til the 23rd hour of the ninth day - of a 10 day auction - to ask the seller a question? Sorry I didn't answer, dudes - I didn't even see 'em til the auction was over.)
New owner Ron drove down from the Gold Country this morning to load 'er up.  He currently has a small fleet of vintage Mopars, but this is his first Crosley.  He told me he'd driven a Crosley exactly once in his life - the memory of piloting a '51 Crosley station wagon on a four lane freeway has haunted him for decades.

Since the auction had gone so smoothly there had to be a wrinkle, and when I went to get the truck out I discovered a flat tire.  I grabbed my hand pump to fill it back up, and after putting about eight pounds of air in the tire felt a peculiar 'grab' in the pump.  That was the cue that my $70 bike pump had seized up.   I could move the truck with one hand when the tires were up, but I could barely manage to push it to the street with the flat.  Luckily Ron had a winch for the trailer.
Ron's not sure exactly what he's going to do with the truck.  He seemed unfazed by the bodywork it's gonna need, and wondered aloud how a V8-60 would fit in the engine bay, so I suspect the little truck may be in for some extra horsepower at some point.

We got everything loaded up and I waved goodbye as the little truck headed off in the middle of that huge trailer.  I can hardly believe that it was only six weeks ago that I was heading to Salt Lake to pick it up, and that I've dragged it over 1000 miles since then.  It was all a fun adventure and I'm glad it's off to a good home.  With any luck I'll see it at next year's Crosley meet.   We'll see.

Friday, October 14, 2011

One 1948 Crosley Pick Up Truck FOR SALE!

Got the little truck cleaned up, got the parts organized, took some pictures and posted it here on Ebay.  Good luck to the bidders - this is somebody's dream winter project!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pickin' Up a Pickup Finale: Thunder Mountain

After getting the the truck on the trailer we loaded up on coffee for the road and headed west.  We didn't have a set itinerary, but we both had to be at work in less than 48 hours so we wanted to get as far along as possible before we stopped for the night.  We made good time - we would have made even better time if I hadn't stopped every hour or so to check the load.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pickin' Up a Pickup, Part III

OK, so I've said before that the last thing I need is ANOTHER Crosley project car.  So, then what am I doing driving 700 miles to buy a partially-disassembled rusty heap of a Crosley that hasn't run in decades?