Category: Crosley

How a Tiny Crosley Hotshot Beat Ferrari and Jaguar To Win the First Sebring Race – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

How a Tiny Crosley Hotshot Beat Ferrari and Jaguar To Win the First Sebring Race – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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Briggs Cunningham prepared his stable of entries. Luigi Chinetti and Alfredo Momo looked over the Ferrari they would drive. John Fitch, Jim Kimberly, Fred Wacker, Phil Walters, and Bill Spear, they all circulated through the pits as exhaust notes from Jaguars, Astons, and MGs rapped, roared, and rumbled. The former Hendricks Army Airfield buzzed with activity as American sports car racing’s most well-known names of the time gathered for the first race of what was billed as America’s counterpart to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, each driver and car owner as confident as the rest of their abilities to win the race.

Even the trio gathered around a 1949 Crosley Hotshot way down at the back of the 28-car field, a car that had only been entered in the race a day before and that had an advantage the far more powerful cars ahead of it didn’t: math.

Alec Ulmann had taken part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans many times before World War II and after immigrating to the United States looked for a place to replicate the famed race. Though its surface was bumpy and better suited to the B-17 bombers that flew out of the base during the war, Ulmann decided to focus his efforts on the runways and access roads of what had become Sebring’s municipal airport. His initial effort, slated for December 31, 1950, didn’t have the length of Circuit de la Sarthe (3.5 miles versus 8.4) or the duration (six hours versus 24) but it would have a Le Mans-style running start, the blessing of the SCCA, the aforementioned drivers and owners, and an index of performance.

At many other endurance races before and since, overall winners completed the most laps in the given amount of time. Different classes of cars might take to the track at the same time and have their own separate class winners, but the method of winning still boiled down to the same criteria of distance covered. With the index of performance, which set a target distance to cover based on the vehicle’s engine displacement and which would be the sole deciding factor for the overall winner of the race, Ulmann intended to level the playing field and ensure that smaller cars could compete against larger cars. As Sports Illustrated explained the index a few years later, the index actually favors small cars.

No. 19 in race trim. Photo via Bill Cunningham.

The small cars … can generally exceed their set minimum average by a wider margin than the big ones. Thus, if you are driving a 66 cu. in. machine and have to average 58 mph, it is easier to up this average by 10 mph than with a 330 cu. in. car which must average 70 mph, all pit stops included.

Nobody at the race seemed to realize the full implications of Ulmann’s decision to declare the overall winner based on the index of performance until Tommy Cole laid eyes on a most unusual car. Cole, who had entered a Cadillac-powered Allard J2 in that inaugural Sebring race and who had raced at Le Mans earlier that year, needed tires and called around Florida Cadillac dealerships until somebody at Vic Sharpe’s Cadillac dealership in Tampa answered the phone. Sharpe also held the local Crosley franchise, and his son, Vic Sharpe Jr., volunteered to drive the tires down to Sebring in a Crosley Hotshot on the dealership lot. Almost as soon as Sharpe arrived, according to Ken Breslauer’s account of that first Sebring race, Cole looked over the Hotshot, questioned Sharpe about its cast-iron overhead-camshaft 724-cubic-centimeter four-cylinder, and asked to take it around the track that Ulmann had laid out.

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1954 Crosley Powered Roadster Proposal Resulted in “Panda”- Monium – @UndiscoveredClassics

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Crosley Powered Roadster Proposal Resulted in “Panda”- Monium
By Robert D. Cunningham

Following Crosley Motor’s 1952 demise, it seemed as if the glut of intrepid entrepreneurs who gave birth to dozens of postwar baby cars was nowhere to be found. Then, Norwegian immigrant Finn S. Hudson stepped forward. Hudson was a mechanical engineer and one of few former Crosley dealers to come up with a viable plan to keep the Crosley dealer network afloat.

In February 1953, he established Small Cars, Inc. in an outlying section of Kansas City, Missouri. His stated purpose was to manufacture and distribute the Panda, a Crosley-based “small utility vehicle” — so described because of the public’s resistance to the term “sports car.” But Hudson’s Panda truly would be a sports roadster powered by the durable Crosley engine.

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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1951 Crosley Super Sport – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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26.5 hp, 4 cylinder engine, 3 speed manual transmission. I purchased this from the estate of the second owner. Clean! only 19,000 miles, no rust, paint has some blemishes I can’t say for sure but I have been told it has the orignal paint. Runs good. Chrome is in great condition with optional front bumper guards and chrome wheel trim rings. The convertible top is in good condition along with side zipper-in-place windows and convertible top boot cover. Engine has been fitted with adapter for modern oil filter. Comes with a clear NYS registration.

See the listing here

 

Cheap Fun: 1952 Crosley Super Sport

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Cheap Fun: 1952 Crosley Super Sport

There probably isn’t a single one of us here who doesn’t dream of finding a Cobra or some other super rare roadster hiding in a barn, but the truth is, very few of us will ever have that kind of experience. That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t a lot of other great finds out there, many of which fit into any budget. Sometimes the budget finds are just as much, if not more fun, than the expensive ones anyway. Sure this 1952 Crosley Super Sport won’t ever beat a Cobra in a race, but it would bring just as many smiles to my face as any high dollar exotic. The fact that I could drive it like I stole it and not have to worry about breaking any speed limits would be a massive plus. This one is going to need a lot of work before it will be ready to be driven hard, but there really isn’t a lot to these little cars. Find it here on eBay in Houston, Texas with bidding at $2,000.
Read more at http://barnfinds.com/cheap-fun-1952-crosley-super-sport/#pL3S2EoHXwsceuyI.99