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.