Monday, October 7, 2013

Report: 2013 West Coast Crosley Club Meet in Sutter Creek

Hard to believe it's been two weeks since the annual West Coast regional meet - it already seems like ancient history, kinda the way it is the week after Christmas.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

West Coast Crosley Club Meet: Next Weekend!

Sutter Creek, September 21-22 - Details HERE.  See you there!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

GPNW MicroCar Extravaganza, Part III

We soon came to the small town of Carlton and stopped for lunch.  This was a choose-your-own-adventure affair... there were a half dozen food options on the tiny main street. Dave, Kris and I chose a food cart right by where we parked - great food but we were totally on our own - everyone else had gone for a 'real' restaurant.   Kris called her folks who happened to be close by.  They drove over and eyeballed the street-full of micro machinery while giving Dave a hard time just like any daughter's Dad should.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mind = Blown! 2013 GPNW MicroCar Extravaganza, Part II

Dave, Kris and I were up early and on the way to Forest Grove before 9AM.  We led a Citroen DS21 for much of the trip and then were shocked when they rolled past the show entrance without stopping - apparently they weren't MicroCar fans because we never saw them again.  The parking lot at McMenamin's was already rich with Micro and Mini cars - several of which had arrived since last night.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 Great Pacific Northwest MicroCar Extravaganza, Part 1

By the time Dave and I actually got on the road for Portland it was after 9PM. We made it about 50 miles past the Oregon border before we pulled into a truckstop and got a few hours of sleep in the car.  I'd brought my computer so I managed to do a little work while we ate breakfast and Dave frantically tried to nail down a really good job offer in China that had come in just before we'd left Sacto.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

But First, Jumpin' Johnny....

Dave and I had planned to leave for Portland as soon as I could get off work Thursday, say 4PM or so. His pickup was running hot so we decided to rent an econobox for the trip and we were scheduled to grab the rental at 5PM.  Then, Jumpin' Johnny called.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Guess Who's Going to the Great Pacific Northwest MicroCar Extravaganza, June 14-16

Just firmed up plans to make a quick trip north to check out the Great Pacific Northwest MicroCar Extravaganza that will take place in Forest Grove, Oregon this weekend!

I've wanted to go to this annual show for years but have never managed to make it happen - this time my luck is good: my pal Dave 'Smith' was planning a roundtrip to Portland this weekend before he heads off to parts unknown in his continuing quest to drive a 1966 Ducati 250 around the world.  He hasn't actually driven the Ducati any further than the local Kwik-E-Mart in a few years, but hey, a man's gotta dream.  His blog about his (mis)adventures can be funny as hell but is not for the faint of heart.
Like me, Dave has microcar fever, such that he currently owns a 1963 NSU Sport Prinz and is making deals to acquire three more NSU cars in the month or so before he leaves US soil.  Then, they can gather dust while he works in Saudi Arabia or Korea or Beijing or somewhere, salting away cash to extend his global Ducati assault.

In any case, he was eager to check out the MicroCar Extravaganza and even more eager to visit his girl in Portland before he flies off into the sunset.  I'm stoked to split driving duties and sleep on his girlfriend's couch, so if all goes well I'll be posting from the show soon.  MicroCars ahoy!

*photo on top is from a great Flickr page from last year's event... check it out here!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Small is a Crosley?

Crosleys are tiny.
This 1952 photo of the aftermath of a flood at the intersection of Whittier and Norwalk in LA is the best example I've seen for showing exactly how small Crosleys were compared to the other cars of the era - the little Crosley sedan is dwarfed by every car around it!  Amazing shot from the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.

H/T: Crosley Automobiles... Fun Little Cars 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Incredible: Putt Mossman's 1949 Crosley Thrill Show

Just noticed this INCREDIBLE photo of a Crosley Stunt Show: Jimmy Leach and His Death Duckers' Thrill Show of 1949 - 'The Show That's Alive With Death!'  Some lucky soul parted with $42 to win one of the coolest Crosley pictures I've ever come across.

A quick internet search turned up zero about Jimmy Leach and his Death Duckers, so I don't know how 'alive with death' the show was, but it seems to have been alive with Crosleys, including a pair of sedans, one of which is airborne over what looks like an uber-rare Crosley Sport Utility.  Seems like the Sport Ute should have had fabric doors, tho, so maybe this is just a cut-down wagon.  Whatever - this whole package is COOL.

The daring driver of the leaping sedan appears to have been Orren 'Putt' Mossman, a stunt driver best known for his motorcycle escapades.   By 1949 Mossman was a thrill show veteran, having been jumping, burning and wrecking two and four-wheeled vehicles for decades.  Despite a penchant for poor prep, and thus, severe injury, Mossman lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1994 at the age of 88.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chuck Klein's Hot Rod Almquist Crosley

Ed Almquist has a long and storied history as a Hot Rod speed equipment pioneer, and the story of his foray into fiberglass sports car bodies has recently been explored in some depth.  Though the story of the Almquist company is becoming better known, the stories of the dreamers and schemers who built themselves an Almquist have gone largely untold.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Crosley Factory Photo, 1946

Don't know where The Old Motor got this picture, but it's a good one: a whole line of 1947 model sedans on the line at the Marion, Indiana plant.  The photo is dated October 1946; that sounds right - these sedans don't have the Crosley script that went on the bumpers of the very first postwar Crosleys, and they lack the running lights of the slightly later cars.  Neat!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is this Harrison Ford With His Crosley?

A few months ago I stumbled across a scan of a vintage photo of a Pre War Crosley convertible with a boy in a t shirt leaning on it, staring into the camera.   It was posted on a 'good old days' themed thread on the HAMB hot rod site, and the the person who posted the picture didn't know the original source for the image.
From the boy's hair, clothes and the houses in the background I'd say the picture could have been taken anytime from the late thirties to about 1955.  Aside from the Crosley, it would be a fairly nondescript image - except that the kid in the photo is supposed to be future movie star Harrison Ford!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ebay Watch: Woodland Farm-O-Road

It's unusual to see any Farm-O-Road for sale, given that there were less then 500 made - and it's even rarer to find one 30 miles from home - but that's what happened to me this morning when I spied this Yolo County driver listed on Ebay.
I don't know anything about this particular car - it hasn't been to any of the West Coast meets in the 15 years that I've been going, but it appears to be straight and fairly original.  The seller says it's had one repaint.
Farm-O-Roads were available with all kinds of options, including plows, well drillers, and this car has one of the coolest options: a hydraulic dump bed.

You might have noticed that the dump action grazes the seats... those are stock Crosley seats, but I don't believe they are correct for the Farm-O-Road.  Those appear to be seats from an earlier Crosley (a '46 or '47); by 1950 Crosley had moved to a more square-backed seat.  I'm still not 100% sure that the dump bed would clear the later seats either, but that's a question for the new owner.
Sure looks like a nice car, and I wish I'd had the opportunity to see it up close at some point.  The price is climbing - it's currently at $4,100 with reserve not met and eight days left on the auction!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

World of Speed: Part III

After the initial shock of being at THE Bonneville Speedway you get acclimated pretty quickly.  It helps that almost everyone is so dang nice - even the folks who are having a really bad day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

World of Speed 2012: Part II

We drove out onto the salt flat, slowly crunching our way toward the line of brightly colored objects about a mile off.  As we approached the line the objects began to differentiate themselves: cars, trucks, motorhomes, motorcycles, trailers and people took shape.  Most of the vehicles were lined up in two lines that stretched for about a quarter mile each and terminated a couple hundred yards apart.

We parked, administered sunscreen and headed toward the nearest lineup.  Davide and Karin seemed slightly giddy, like they were not quite convinced that they were actually standing on the same salt that had borne Burt Munro, Malcolm Campbell and Craig Breedlove.  The weather was amazing- warm but not too hot, with heavy clouds that cut the brutal reflection off the salt and made for dramatic photo backdrops.
The speedways at Bonneville are usually two black lines on the salt that start very near each other but head slightly apart as they get further away; they would form a 'V' if you looked down from a plane.  One track is longer (five miles I think) for high speed runs and the other is shorter, for the slower (like under 150MPH or so) runs.  I say 'usually' because when the salt is just right the organizers sometimes add a third track a few miles away.  There were only two tracks this time out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Better Late Than Never: World of Speed 2012

So I got WAY off track with my posts at the end of last year... I finished up the 2012 Meet report and then dropped into a wormhole of work.  I skipped some stuff.

The biggest thing I skipped was a whirlwind trip to World of Speed at Bonneville.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vintage Picture: Crosley Wagon and Toddlers

Sadly, no story with this one - just a great vintage photo of a Crosley wagon and two cute kids.  John McKnight found this on the HAMB and I thought it was too good not to share...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hot Rod Pickup

Skimming through some of my back issues of Hot Rod Magazine I noticed this goo-gaw laden roundside pickup in the August 1951 issue.  The article is part of a series exploring America's speed shops - this particular Crosley was in the fleet belonging to the Hot Rod Shop of Detroit, Michigan.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quality Crosleys at Barrett-Jackson

I never know what to think about the Crosleys that occasionally go across the carpet at the big auto auctions.  One would assume that they'd be the cream of the crop, especially given the prices some of them go for... but the truth is that some of them have been downright unimpressive.

I'm happy to say that's not the case with
the offerings on tap at the next Barrett-Jackson auction.  These are some of the nicest-appearing Crosleys I've seen anywhere.