Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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.

Jim says that the owner mentioned plans to restore the car to its Zero livery and bring it to the annual Wauseon, Ohio club meet, but that he hasn't gotten any updates so far.
The car looks to be in great overall shape, and most of the unique specialty items like the sidepipes and foglights and are still there.  I see one of the bulbous headlight covers but not the other - that could be a problem if the other isn't in a box somewhere.   The interior is worn but perfect for patterns and the gauges appear to be sharp.  If the mechanicals are as solid as the body this should be a straightforward restoration.  I'll be curious to see the car if/when it ever comes out of the mothballs.  I'll keep you posted!


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you noticed but on Jan 20 at the Silver auction in Arizona, there was a 1951 Supersports that was also claimed to be the Zero car. I wonder if there was more than one???

Ol' Man Foster said...

Dave- good catch! I bet it was the same car - condition is listed as a 3, which would fit this if it was cleaned up a bit. Didn't see the final sale price, but here's the link to the auction:

Anonymous said...

The auction report lists it as a Yellow car VC 30599. I also recall somewhere seeing a red one styled similar mentioned as the Zero car.

Orphan Baby said...

Hollywood Brands, Inc. was located in Centralia, Illinois. The firm was quick to recognize the advertising value of the attention-grabbing Super Sports. The company’s advertising spokesman—a little person who answered to the name Zero, the Little Hollywood Candyman—drove a pale yellow Super Sports with bright red interior. He dolled it up with faux exhaust ports, spot lights, and other add-ons. Zero distributed thousands of colorful photo postcards in parades and special events. The cards showcased the man and his Super Sports on one side, and Hollywood Brands candy products on the other:

“Be sure to ask your candy dealer for my candy bars: Milk Shake - Payday - ButterNut - Smooth Sailin - Red Sails - Big Pay - 3 Big Bears - Zero - Polar Nut Sundae - Almond Nougat. They’re all delicious!”

Several Hollywood Brands distributors also puchased Crosleys and dolled them up to match the original. They were used in local parades and promotional events, and were often driven by little people who played the role of Zero. When Hollywood Brands adopted a new advertising campaign, the cars were sold to private owners.

The white Crosley in question was sold to the father of the current owner, who promptly covered the candy logo-coated shell in a coat of white paint. Zero’s wooden floor pedal extensions came in handy as the owner's young son learned to drive it. Although it is similar to the yellow car in the post card, close examination reveals it is not the same car. An old black and white photo of the white Crosley, which was taken on the day the private owner purchased it many years ago, reveals a few minor differences. The white car's faux exhaust ports are mounted a few inches forward of the yellow car's, and they are tilted slightly downward at the front. The radio antenna on the white car was mounted vertically behind the vent door, while the antenna on the yellow car was mounted below the vent door at an agle that matched the angle of the windshield. The spare tire on the white car was mounted Continental-style above the rear bumper, while the spare on the yellow car was mounted on the rear deck, in the factory-original location.

As others have commented previously, many Crosleys were painted with the Zero candy scheme, and several likely remain today, but restored to factory colors.