Monday, December 31, 2012

Time Slips Away

What a year.

Looks like I'm going to close 2012 with exactly the same number of posts as I had in 2011- which was a little over a double the number of posts for 2010.  Longtime readers may remember that doubling 2010's posting was an 'official' goal I set for 2011.   Although I never announced it here, I'd hoped to get up to 100 posts this year.  Obviously, that didn't happen.

What did happen, on January 12, 2012, was that I walked into a regular meeting at work and found out that the company I worked for was shutting down, and that my job was over as of 5PM that day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chopped Fibersport Crosley HMod on Ebay

This Crosley-powered Fibersport has seen better days, but it still wears the Fibersport 'factory' baby blue livery and the seller claims that the motor ran well when he started it a year ago.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heads Up, Ebay Pick Up Ain't Quite Right

John McKnight suggested I check out this cut down 1948 Crosley Station Wagon that is being sold as a Pick Up on Ebay.  The seller says he doesn't know anything about Crosleys so I doubt he's being dishonest... just not an informed seller.
The tip offs are: the rear body profile (should be flat, not rounded), the back of the cab (window should be pill shaped, should have stampings on either side of the glass), and the bed should be flat- this has a modified wagon floor.  I learned a whole lot about '48 pick ups when I bought one outta Utah last year.
Seems like a nice car for what it is, I just hope the bidders know what they are getting....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crosley TQ Midget for sale in SoCal - $1200

Interesting ad for a Crosley 3/4 Midget Race Car for sale on the LA CL.  Pictures are so bad that the seller must have taken that "How Not to Sell Your Car" class - it looks like the car has been recently painted but who really knows.  Engine does have speed equipment and he claims it's been hotted up with a big cam.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 West Coast Crosley Meet: Wow!

Last year I pitched the idea of having the Crosley Club's annual West Coast Meet in the quaint Gold Country town of Sutter Creek.  Liv and I have had a lot of fun daytrips in that area and it didn't take much imagination to picture Crosleys buzzing through those Gold Rush towns and zipping along in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  We put it up to a vote at last year's meet and the club members said 'go for it!'

Friday, September 14, 2012

Million Goggomobil March

My car-obsessed pal Jackson Griffith just tipped me to this - who knew there were SO MANY GOGGOMOBILS????

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Press Release: Crosley Meet, Sat Sept 8, Sutter Creek, CA


The Crosley Automobile Club (CAC) is pleased to announce that they will be holding their annual West Coast Regional Club Meet on Saturday, September 8, 2012 in Sutter Creek, California.  The club will host a large display of Crosley cars at the end of Main Street in Sutter Creek from 9AM to 3PM.  Over 20 of these rare cars will be on display at the show, making this the largest gathering of Crosley autos West of the Mississippi.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monterey, Part I

Everything in my life is over the top hectic right now, so I'm still scratching my head over the fact that I managed to squeeze in almost four full days at Monterey's Car Week!  The opportunity (as in a free pass to the Pebble Beach concours) presented itself and I cleared the decks in order to take advantage - I couldn't afford NOT to.  I've been to the Rolex Historic Motorports Fest at Laguna Seca before but I'd never seen the Pebble Beach Concours.... seeing the two together was almost to much stimulation for one weekend.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer 2012 Tin Block Times

I teased you all with the back cover shot from the new issue of the TBT so I figured I had to post the front cover too.  Kudos to designer Dean Seavers for the killer job!
Lots of good stuff in this issue, including the tale of Doug Hayes' H and H Crosley dragster and Mike Grimes' amazing 'how-to' on converting a Homelite engine for use in your Crosley.  And then there's the classified ads... can't talk about the TBT without mentioning those.  Here's a taste of the 'For Sale' ads you non-members are missing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sneak Peek: Tin Block Times

Just sent the new issue of the TBT (magazine of the West Coast Crosley Club) to the printer.. I think it turned out great and I can't resist previewing the back cover, which is a promo for the upcoming meet in Sutter Creek.
More when it's out!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Crumbling Crosley Building

Here's a report on the sad, sad state of the Crosley headquarters from WKRC in Cincinnati:

Once the home of Crosley's radio and auto empire, the massive complex was condemned in March.  The building's current owner, Hosea Worldwide, has been cited for neglect- they currently owe over $168,000 in back taxes on the property.  Both the owners and preservation activists are working to save the building, but it's going to take a lot of doing. has the full story (with lots of great photos) here...
Thanks to Lou Rugani for keeping up on this story...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Always a Good Read

Just got the new issue of the Crosley Quarterly yesterday. This issue of CQ is packed (as usual) with interesting stuff, including the cover story- a German auto writer's take on Crosley history and his visit to Tim Freshley's Crosley farm, notes on Michael Banks' new Crosley book, updates on the regional meets, piles of classified ads and more. Editor Fred Syrdal does a great job putting everything together.

Reading through, it struck me how much I've relied on CQ to keep me connected to the Crosley Crew over the years. Yes, I've got the internet and I follow the Crosley Gang bulletin board most days, but there is something special about the official club newsletter... probably something to do with the feeling that as I read, I'm among friends, and all of those friends are Crosley kooks too.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Too Good to Be True? $30 Les Schwab Powdercoat

Last year, I had an epiphany:  The best way to finish my '51 Super Sports project is to start from the ground up.  And by that, I mean tires.  And wheels.  And then axles. And then the frame.  And etc, etc, etc...  I'll just restore pieces in order and keep bolting stuff back together until there's nothing left to bolt on.  Simple, right?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Now That's Funny

Picked up a copy of Addams and Evil, cartoonist Charles Addams' 1947 collection of cartoons from The New Yorker, this weekend and was happily surprised to find this gag involving a prewar Crosley on about the third page.  (The rest of the book is good too!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Watkins Glen 1951: Seneca Cup in Color!

The Chicane posted a link to this great 10 minute movie showing the Seneca Cup Race at the 1951 Watkins Glen.  Most of the action centers on the duel between George Weaver in his Maserati and John Fitch in one of Briggs Cunningham's Ferraris, but there is plenty of other neat iron out there as well.  This originally came from Speed Vision, so you might want to fast forward past their intro... but don't go too far or you'll miss the only good* Crosley sighting: a nice shot of G. Vilardi's #4 Super Sport blasting by at about the two minute mark.
*Pretty sure I saw a black Hotshot in the background about a minute later, but the angle and distance makes it hard to tell for sure...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crosley Rides Again!

 One of the reasons I started this blog was to give me something to do when I couldn't be working on the cars in my garage.  We'd recently moved into this house with its tiny, overstuffed garage, and money was tight enough that I couldn't embark on any of the big stuff my cars needed.  And they all needed big stuff.

So, I started a blog so I'd have a place to put all the mental Crosleying that was taking the place of actual Crosleying.  It's been very therapeutic!

Three or so years later, things have kinda reversed.  Now I spend way more time working on the blog than I do working on the cars, but that's mainly because I really enjoy blogging and also because it's a lot easier to write about restoring and driving a Crosley than it is to actually do it. 

That said, it's time to get back in the garage.  My work schedule is somewhat back to normal, my finances are, if not regal, at least regular, and I've managed to bump a wall on the garage out to accommodate some real work space. 

First order of business was to get the '49 vert running again.  It's been sitting for a few years now, battery dead, covered with dust.  I found FOUR wasp nests inside, telling me I'd really ignored it way too long.

I soaked the cylinders with penetrating oil, drained the old gas, got some new gas, gave everything a quick cleaning and bought a brand new 6 volt ($100 now - WTF?).  With a little bit of coaxing and a lot of starting fluid it fired up.  Unfortunately it doesn't want to stay running unless the choke is way out, so I need to figure out what's going on there.

Filthy, rough, and shabby...but, it ran!  more to come....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jalopnik Names Ten Slowest Sports Cars of All Time

One guess what took first place.

They list it as a two cylinder, but at least they don't say it came with a sheet metal engine.  Could someone get all of their facts straight just ONCE in one of these lists?

Full results here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Update: Another Zero Candy Crosley

Following up on my earlier post about the Zero Candy Crosley, indefatigable Crosley researcher Jolly MacLean sent over this ancient photocopy of a newsclipping showing the Zero Candy car... only this car is a Hotshot, not a Super Sports.  That means there were at least two Crosley VCs dedicated to promoting this brand of candy bar.

Hard to tell much else because the image is so degraded.  This car appears to have a few less googaws tacked on, although it does look like the rubber cockpit trim has been replaced with diamond tuck upholstery.

Jolly also says that 'Hollywood' was the name of the candy brand, but that the company was actually based in Centralia, Illinois... and if Jolly says it, I believe it.

Thanks Jolly!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ebay Watch: Clean Original 1946 Crosley Sedan

I love cars like this '46 sedan that just popped up on Ebay: original, unmolested, clearly beloved.  It's amazing when any 1940s car survives in this kind of condition, but when the car in question was built cheap, sold cheap and designed to be run to death, survivors like this are almost never found.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ebay Watch: 1951 Crosley Station Wagon

I've been watching this car (listed as  'Crowley'?!) not sell via Craigslist for just about a year now - I don't know whether the owner finally managed to move it or if he's consigned it with this seller.  We'll see if Ebay improves its options.
I think it was listed for about $9-10,000 when I first saw the ads, and then slowly dropped into more reasonable - but still what I would call 'optimistic' - territory at $7000.  It was nice enough that I actually made a trip to Monterey to check it out when I went to Laguna Seca last summer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cruikshank the Crosley

"Cruikshank the Crosley" by Andrew McWhiney is probably the single best article about Crosley ownership ever written.  Originally published by Road and Track in their July 1952 issue, "Cruikshank" perfectly captured the absurdity, novelty and charm of Powell Crosley's pint-sized econobox; McWhiney's experiences still rang true when I read them nearly 50 years later.  Ironically, the article was published just about the time Crosley halted production.

Below are some high res scans of the whole original story, along with some other nuggets from the same issue...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Adrian, Texas

I've been taking advantage of my newfound downtime to sort through and organize the contents of the attic, AKA my office.  I've been finding lots of semi-forgotten treasures and yesterday i turned up a copy of my pal Tim White's self-published magazine, which brought back a lot of memories.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back on Track

Found this nice period shot of the Little Giant buried on a confusing Kodak picture-sharing site. Little Giant was a crowd-pleasing '51 Crosley B/Altered run by George Brazee from Watertown, Connecticut. The car took home plenty of trophies in its day and drag racing fans from the Northeast still remember it very well. Sadly the car hasn't been seen in decades and is presumed to be long gone.  I'm assuming the hood got swapped out for a '49 or '50 since it doesn't have the notch for the spinner.
I wish I knew more about the navigation of the site the photo is from - the Little Giant pic is in a KILLER slideshow of early and mid-sixties drag strip pics... but I can't figure out who took the pictures or posted them - hope they don't mind me using it here. If you have any fondness for early sixties hotrods be sure to set aside some time and check out the whole slideshow.

And a side note... wow, can't believe it's been almost three weeks since I made a post. I won't get into details, but life has been pretty hectic - some job changes and other stuff going on that's gotten me way off schedule. I think my life is sorta back on track so I think I can get back to my regular obsessive Crosleying....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Oddball Fifties Crosley TQ Midget For Sale

Spotted an ad for this very odd Crosley race car which was built as a TQ Midget around 1955 and is reputed to have been run at the old San Jose Speedway.
It's neato but it doesn't look like any TQ I've ever seen - in fact, it doesn't look like anything I've ever seen!  Partially restored but not quite runing - it does come with spares and a matching homebuilt trailer.  The car is located in Scotts Valley, just outside Santa Cruz.  $3500 OBO.  call Marc 831-234-5010

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ebay Watch: Ultimate Clown Car?

Fresh off his Zero comments, Minnesota Crosley nut Fred Syrdal tipped me off to this Ebay listing for a 1951 Crosley sedan formerly owned by world-famous clown Emmett Kelly!

Zero Crosley Today!

Crosley Auto Club veterans Jim Bollman and Fred Syrdal quickly sent follow ups to my post about the Zero Candy Hot Shot.  Apparently the car's current owner had been in touch with the club not too long ago and sent in pics of the car as it sits today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Zero and his Super Sports

This is the coolest Crosley postcard I've seen in a while: the Zero Candy Crosley.  Zero was the name of 'The Little Hollywood Candyman' who drove this customized Super Sports as his promo vehicle.  I wouldn't pay 25 bucks for it, but if you want to, it's for sale here on Ebay with a $24.99 Buy-it-Now.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Speed Channel: When a Crosley Won Sebring

Just spotted this recent Speed Channel article about the winner of the very first Sebring race back in 1950. The story of Fritz Koster and Ralph DeShon's improbable victory in a stock Crosley Hot Shot is well known to most Crosley fanatics, but the rest of the world continues to catch up.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

That Was Quick

My wife already knows the routine:  I come down the stairs slowly, shaking my head, looking slightly pale.  I have a distant look in my eyes.  "Does it run?" she asks.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter 2012 Tin Block Times is in the Mail!

All the cool kids (members of the West Coast Region of the Crosley Auto Club) are getting their new issue of the Tin Block Times in the mail.   Are you one of them?....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gold Country Crosley Meet: Sutter Creek, Sept 8-9, 2012

I posted this over at the West Coast Crosley Club page, but thought I should make a note here too... the West Coast Region of the Crosley Auto Club will be holding our annual regional meet in the Sierra Gold Country this year on September 8-9.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hers Since 1947

The Washington Times recently posted an article about Sandra Alger, who has had her 1941 Crosley convertible since 1947, when her Uncle Arvel gave it to her at the age of 6.  Sadly, no photos, but it does mention that she once took the car the Crosley Auto Club national meet in Wauseon.  Full story here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ebay Watch: Picture Perfect Project - 1948 Wagon

There aren't a lot of half-finished projects I get too excited about. There's usually a good reason that someone quit in the middle, and even if not, there's just too much head-scratching when you're surveying box after box of greasy, rusty parts.  It's bad enough when I'm the one who took it apart - it's another thing entirely when it was someone else.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two Wheel Driver Challenge: 60 Miles?

My pal Jon Von couldn't resist showing a bit of pride for his adopted home (France) after I posted the photo of a Crosley pickup being driven on two wheels yesterday. He sent along a note about French daredevil Jean Sunny who drove a Simca 95 kilometers (roughly 60 miles) from Versailles to Chartres! Being France, they didn't even bother to close the road!

Two Wheel Drive

Found this great shot of a Crosley pickup-driving auto daredevil on Flickr. Sadly there's no info other than the 1947 date, and I wonder about the accuracy of that date that given that this isn't a roundside. Could be a cut down wagon, I suppose.

Be warned! Flickr user coconv has thousands of other auto pictures posted on his site - you could lose a whole day in there if you're not careful...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1954 Pebble Beach Race Footage - in COLOR!

Oh what a tease!  The Old Motor blog posted a link to five minutes of beautiful color film of the 1954 Pebble Beach race - probably the best racing footage I've ever seen from that era.  You may remember that I wrote a little bit about the this race when I discovered that Crosley/Hmod racing legend Harry Eyerly can be seen in The Fast and the Furious, a Hollywood movie filmed in part at the race.  And Eyerly's 'Porsche Duster' wasn't the only Crosley-powered car on hand: two Crosley/Siatas and several Crosley specials were also entered.  I believe that one of those specials, #122, driven by Doc Young, was powered by a twin cam Crosley engine that Young had built in his home workshop!  I had high hopes of spotting multiple Crosleys, but alas, I didn't spot a single bit of Cincinnati iron in this footage, although there are a couple of unidentifiable small cars that possibly might have had Lloyd Taylor's baby under the bonnet.  Good stuff none the less.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Original Photograph

I missed out on this vintage 8X10 of a Crosley auto wreck on Ebay yesterday.  My $20.50 bid just wasn't enough.  If you bought this picture I'd sure love to get a high res scan WITHOUT 'Original Photograph' stuck on top...  let me know!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little Red Car: Gene Voigt's Crosley Special

Ohio's Gene Voigt was like many aspiring sports car owners of the 1950s: he didn't have a lot of money, he didn't have a lot of racing experience, but he had a dream and determination.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Look at the Almquist

Almquist was one of the very first names I came across when I got the idea of looking for a Crosley powered sportscar. Back then (1997) fiberglass bodied Crosleys weren't particularly more expensive than a Hotshot or Super Sports, unless it was one of the few with major race history, of course.  They were just considered old 'kit' cars, back then, so there wasn't a huge following... even if they were harder to find than a stock Crosley.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

American Pickers' Late '48 wagon

Guess what the American Pickers dudes found in Minnesota?  Believe it or not, that's the original paint!

Thanks to Doug Cottis for the Tip!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Midwest Drag Race Footage 1958-60

Spotted 2 (maybe 3) Crosley-bodied drag cars in this flick posted on my fave Hotrod site, the HAMB.  Great fun 8mm footage from the Jurassic era of straight line motorsport.  First up (about one minute in) is an early Crosley sedan body sitting inside a full size frame that's sporting some real pizza cutters. At about six and a half minutes is the monster above - sadly we don't see the run.  One of the very last cars in the film is a highly modified white coupe that looks to me like a VERY chopped Crosley sedan... like mailslot windshield chopped.  I'm not 100% sure it started out as a Crosley, but it sure looks like it. I also don't know what else it could be...  Whole show is about 10 minutes - well worth it if you're fond of mid fifties middle America - check it out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hotshot or Golf Cart?

HAMB user '46steel' posted this great pic of his father's HotShot in a thread about Dad's old cars... looks like it's doing duty as a golf cart here.  Lots of great detail - you can really see how the top was constructed and the close-up really underscores how tiny these are.  Great shot!