1951 Crosley Super Convertible
Original price: $886 – $1,030 (In 1951: Average car cost, $1,500.00; average household income, $3,510.00; average home cost, $9,000.00; gallon of gas, 19 cents)
Number made: 391
Engine, etc.: In-line valve-in-head, 44 cu. in. (724 cc); 26.5 hp; 4-cyl, manual transmission; 80” wheelbase; 148.25” length; 50” wide; 57” tall; 6.5 gallon fuel capacity; 1,320 lbs.
This car had a frame off restoration.
Crosleys were built by Powell Crosley, Jr. who was a radio and refrigerator industrialist. The company started in 1939 and advertised its cars as ‘Crosley: A Fine Car’. The dream was to make a small economy model so that every family could own two cars.
It was also a car of many firsts including being ‘America’s first sports car’. The Crosley was the first mass-production single overhead cam engine (SOHC), the first car with four-wheel disc brakes, and also was the first company back into automobile production after World War II.
Powell Crosley held it as a personal and challenging quest to build a practical, efficient, and affordable car. However, he also built a unique performance car. While only powered by a 26.5 horsepower cast-iron four-cylinder engine, this gave the little Super Sport enough power to make it a joy to drive.
While some regard the Corvette as the first American sports car, it was the Crosley with its two doors, two seats, an overhead cam engine, and disc brakes that was raced as a production model in many races of the era, long before the Corvette appeared. A new Super Sport won the inaugural Sebring 12-hour race in 1950. Another Crosley was entered in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1951 but had to drop out due to electrical problems.
While the door-less Hot Shot is more familiar, the Super Sport model (scripted in chrome on the front fenders) came with hinged doors, allowing the ease of everyday use. Made for just a few years before Crosley would finally cease manufacturing in 1952, the Super Sport remains one of the most economical and novel American cars ever built in volume production. It was a victim of the “bigger is better” market even though they were sold at extremely low prices. Given the car’s performance possibilities and how fun it was to drive, it should have enjoyed much larger sales.
https://auto.howstuffworks.com/crosley-cars.htm?srch_tag=4ge5vklnd62cay3rt2kxvavx5ty4gzbs (Scroll down for information about the 1951 Crosley)
http://uniquecarsandparts.com/lost_marques_crosley.htm (Crosley history)