Powel Crosley Jr. was an inventive man building his first car by the age of fourteen and creating a home built generator to power his family home in about 1900. He sold novelty items door-to-door before becoming a self-made millionaire by offering Americas first low cost radios and home refrigerators. But since the time he built his first vehicle Crosleys passion lay with the automobile. He became infatuated with the idea of a small lightweight motorcar in the early 20th century during the short-lived cyclecar craze in America. In spite of his booming radio business the idea of building his own car persisted. After a couple of failed attempts the idea of the Crosley as we know it began to materialize in the mid-1930s.America was in the throes of the Great Depression when Crosleys idea of an affordable efficient small car was just coming to fruition. With the help of two outside engineers and with his brother as executive vice president the first Crosley car appeared at the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York. Initially powered by a 2-cylinder Waukesha engine (derived from an orchard sprayer) the diminutive car sat on an 80 wheelbase with a 40 track and weighed in at under 1000 pounds. Early cars suffered from numerous issues however they were ironed out just in time for WWII to halt automobile production. Post War Crosley resumed production beating most of the major car makers to the market with fresh products by a year or more. The Crosley was updated with a 717cc OHC inline four dubbed CoBra (Copper Brazed). Problems persited however so the CoBra was replaced with a new cast engine (CIBA) that was far and away the most advanced offered in any American car at the time. Rather interestingly the CIBA went on to power a great many Italian Etceterini 750cc class racers such was its strength and power potential.Even Powel Crosley saw the sporting potential introducing the sporty but basic Hotshot roadster in 1949. The Hotshot had a bit of a novelty charm to it but it was a serious competitor winning the Index of Performance at Sebring in 1951. To supplement sales Crosley followed the Hotshot with the SuperSports which added doors and a rudimentary top to the Hotshot platform. Sadly Crosley could not compete on price with the Big Three and his mission to alter American tastes on small cars failed with all production ceasing after 1951.This delightful 1951 Crosley Super Sports is a very desirable late production car fitted from new with the robust and high-revving CIBA engine. This car has spent its entire life as a racer and has recently been treated to a nut and bolt restoration featuring many period correct speed parts and is presented in a period race-ready style. Being a Super Sports it is fitted with full doors (as opposed to the open cockpit Hotshot) and the body is in very good order with straight panels and factory appropriate fit. It is finished in a pleasing shade of pale yellow accented by a dark red offset stripe down the body as well as rocker stripes and white roundels on the doors. The quality of the paint work is excellent far and above what we normally see on similar cars. The body has the full race treatment complete with a full-width cut down windscreen no bumpers and no trim. A pair of rollover hoops have been fitted and theres a tiny Crosley-sized Monza fuel filler cap on the rear of the body. It rides on the smallest set of Halibrand wheels weve ever seen complete with knock offs and 165/70 R12 Yokohama tires. The presentation is both charming yet purposeful leaving little doubt that this could be a serious racing machine in spite of its diminutive scale.Inside is understandably basic. The original style seats trimmed in dark red upholstery to complement the body stripes. As appropriate for a racer there is no carpet but the floors are lined in pyramid-pattern rubber mat which has been nicely fitted and finished. The dash is a simple sheetmetal affair with an array of Stewart Warner dials monitoring speed revs oil pressure fuel and temperature. The original steering wheel remains which has been restored to a high quality finish. While this is a simple machine it is very well presented with quality fit and finish.The CIBA four-cylinder presents very nicely in the engine bay in clean purposeful and tidy order. The engine has been upgraded for race duty with an array of original Brajo speed parts including a finned side cover finned cam cover and intake manifold. The engine is fed by a massive single Weber 40 DCOE carburetor and gasses are expelled via a beautiful tuned tubular header.This delightful little Crosley is said to have spent its whole life as a race car and the previous owner even embarked on a bit of racing himself however the car remains in outstanding order having seen very little track time. We imagine it would make an excellent entry into VSCCA competition and would be an absolute joy on hillclimbs rallies or circuit races. This is a rare opportunity to acquire what was one of the most advanced American cars of its day prepared for sport with genuine period correct speed equipment and finished to a very high standard. Very few of these cars were built and fewer still survived the rigors of motorsport as well as this example.
This 1951 Crosley Super Sport was listed for sale on 9-12-17 06:47:13. The vehicle color is Yellow and VIN is
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