1951 Crosley Hot Shot
This was America's first post war production sports car and less than 2,000 examples were produced between 1949 and 1952. First disc brakes on an American car, First low priced overhead cam engine, a Crosley Hotshot won the first race at Sebring (index of performance). Probably less than 300 Hotshots were produced in 1951 with less than 2 dozen remaining survivors.
This is a 'by owner' restoration completed in 2002 after a 2 year project by its current owner. The car was purchased from a family who had owned it since 1954 and had set outside for over 40 years. It has received several awards including 2005 and 2008 Champion Roadster at the Crosley National Show in Wauseon, Ohio; 22 class winners and 3 best of show awards.
Sold for $19,800 at 2011 RM Auctions - Concours d'Elegance at St. Johns.
Powell Crosley, Jr., owner of Crosley Broadcasting and the Cincinnati Reds, also wanted to sell cars of his own design. With help from his younger brother Lewis, a trained engineer, the first Crosley automobile was created and priced at just $250. Nearly 5,000 examples were built before America entered World War II and production ceased.
When War time ended, production resumed. In 1949, the Hot Shot roadster was introduced and is classified as America's first postwar sports car. These small vehicles carried a price tag of just $900, less than half the cost of Chevrolet's base model. They backed up their hefty 'sports car' title by winning the Index of Performance and taking overall victory at the first Sebring 6-hour race in 1950. Other victories included the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix and second in the 1951 Tokyo Grand Prix.
Engines built by Crosley were used to carry other racing specials, including those built by Bandini, Moretti and Siata.
This Crosley Hot Shot has been given a complete restoration. It is finished in red with a black interior and equipped with a convertible top. There are four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, a wheelbase that measures 85 inches, and an overhead valve four-cylinder engine that displaces 44 cubic-inches and produces nearly 27 horsepower.
In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the St John's Auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $15,000 - $20,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $19,800, including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
Powel Crosley, a manufacturer of radio's and refrigerators, began manufacturing automobiles in 1940. The Crosley cars were tiny, quirky and not very popular.
The 'Hot Shot' was America's first post-war sports car. With only 26.5 horsepower the car was not very fast, but handled well and offered an elemental wind-in-face experience typical of British MG's. Only 2,498 Hot Shots were built between 1948 and 1952. Even though production may have begun in 1948, they were listed as 1949 models. Also, the 2,498 Crosleys produced includes both the VC (Roadster) Hotshots and Supersports. Crosley left the car business after 1952.
Introduced in 1949, as a Super Hot Shot, the Crosley Hot Shot came with cut down sides without doors, or removable half doors. The Hot Shot was available at the low price of $849. With new styling that included integral fenders, smooth hood, turn indicators (on sedans and convertibles) and sealed-beam headlights in upright pods the 1949 was by far the best car produced by Crosley. An 80-inch wheelbase was found on convertible, station wagon, delivery and sedan models. On the new Hotshot roadster the wheelbase was updated to an 85-inch. The main variances between the previous model and the Hot Shot was the super side script, the folding top rather than assembled and the red trim around the cockpit. Before 9' hydraulic brakes were installed in June, current roadsters came with 4-wheel Goodyear – Hawley aircraft style disc brakes. This change was implemented due to the salt filled country roads that caused freeze up problems with the brakes.
While working on a U.S. Navy project during the war, Crosley used a block of brazed copper and sheet steel to develop the overhead cam four-cylinder. Eventually postwar cars were installed with these 60 lb engines. Displacing 44 cubic inches, this five-main-bearing engine developed 26.5 hp at 5400 rpm. This engine was popular during the war in powering everything from Mooney Mite airplanes to truck refrigerators. Subject to electrolysis that resulted in holes to developing in cylinders, the copper-steel block was updated to a cast-iron block designed and built by Crosley in 1949. Keeping the original dimensions, this engine added much more stability to the vehicle.
Unfortunately, Crosley's reputation for unstable engines affected sales in the future. The 1949 model was produced in only 7431 units, this drop from 19,000 units for the 1947 model and 29,000 of the 1948s.
By Jessica Donaldson
Winning the Index of Performance at the Sebring Twelve Hours, the Hotshot was sleek and speedy. Able to achieve 90 miles an hour, the semi-elliptical-spring front suspension and coil springs with rear quarter eliptics were impressive.