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View Full Version : America's first post-war sports car, 1951 Crosley Hotshot (old Hemmings Classic Car article)



Milaca
02-20-2019, 07:05 PM
To clarify, the Hotshot began production in 1949.
https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hcc/2016/09/The-Little-Car-That-Could---1951-Crosley-Hotshot/3750019.html?refer=hccweekly

https://assets.hemmings.com/story_image/615037-870-0.jpg?rev=2 (https://assets.hemmings.com/story_image/615037-1000-0@2x.jpg?rev=2)

8E45E
02-20-2019, 08:11 PM
Here's a '49 in the LeMay Museum in Tacoma:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7876/40217081933_57ce706d5b_k.jpg

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7812/47109798872_4bdde9f516_k.jpg

Craig

jnormanh
02-20-2019, 08:58 PM
Was the Crosley built before this considerably sportier 1949 car - (prototype built 1948)?


https://hymanltd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/6131_1.jpg

Milaca
02-20-2019, 09:05 PM
Good question about the Kurtis car, with which Motor Trend recently purchased the exact car that they had tested back in 1949 for their very first issue of the magazine. As for claiming first post-war sports car, it may only mean that the Crosley Hotshot was the first mass-produced sports car. However, I am only guessing.

studegary
02-20-2019, 09:05 PM
Was the Crosley built before this 1949 sports car - ?

https://hymanltd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/6131_1.jpg


I believe that Crosley started in 1939, but they may have been 1940 models. I believe that Crosleys were discontinued in 1952.

Milaca
02-20-2019, 09:07 PM
Gary, you are correct in that Crosley offered automobiles for 1939, but they didnt offer a sports car until 1949.

studegary
02-20-2019, 09:13 PM
Good question about the Kurtis car, with which Motor Trend recently purchased the exact car that they had tested back in 1949 for their very first issue of the magazine. As for claiming first post-war sports car, it may only mean that the Crosley Hotshot was the first mass-produced sports car. However, I am only guessing.

I guess "mass produced" is open to interpretation. Certainly more Crosleys than Kurtises. For Crosley roadsters, there were 752 built for 1949 and 742 built for 1950.

How about the 1949-1950 (to 1955) Imp with a fiberglass body or the King Midget starting in 1946 or the Playboy of 1948?

8E45E
02-20-2019, 09:14 PM
Here is a '39:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7860/32220369177_8e856f8e70_k.jpg

1941 truck.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7802/46439228934_0b45b0d965_k.jpg

Craig

studegary
02-20-2019, 09:17 PM
Gary, you are correct in that Crosley offered automobiles for 1939, but they didnt offer a sports car until 1949.

Yes, Crosley did not offer a sports roadster until 1949, but they did offer a convertible in 1939 for 1940 (which is what the Kurtis/Muntz was).

Milaca
02-20-2019, 09:19 PM
Here is a 1951 Crosley Super Sport. The main difference between this and a Hotshot is that the Super Sport has doors.
https://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Crosley/51-Crosley_VC_Conv_DV-08_CC_001-800.jpg (https://www.conceptcarz.com/view/photo/925562,15430/1951-crosley-super-sport_photo.aspx)

8E45E
02-20-2019, 09:22 PM
Yes, Crosley did not offer a sports roadster until 1949, but they did offer a convertible in 1939 for 1940 (which is what the Kurtis/Muntz was).

Crosley had a short 1939 model year:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7860/46439010704_79fcf93c4b_k.jpg

Craig

8E45E
02-20-2019, 09:45 PM
A Super Sport in the ACD Museum:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7873/47162481841_712c417639_k.jpg

Craig

8E45E
02-21-2019, 07:40 AM
And a different 'no door' Crosley besides the Hot Shot: https://forums.aaca.org/topic/315324-the-crosley-sports-utility/

And MSN today doesn't give the Hot Shot a very high rating at all: https://www.science101.com/30-cars-that-never-should-have-been-built/27/

Craig

jts359
02-21-2019, 07:58 AM
I used to belong to a All makes vintage car club back in the eighties , We had a couple who had one and they drove that car everywhere. It was pretty quick. They also had I believe it was called a Sabre Race car. It was Crosley powered and he Raced that car until he was almost 90

jnormanh
02-21-2019, 01:10 PM
I guess "mass produced" is open to interpretation. Certainly more Crosleys than Kurtises. For Crosley roadsters, there were 752 built for 1949 and 742 built for 1950.

How about the 1949-1950 (to 1955) Imp with a fiberglass body or the King Midget starting in 1946 or the Playboy of 1948?

I was simply responding to the OP about the Crosley Hot Shot being the first American postwar sports car. To call either it or the Kurtis "mass-produced" is a stretch. In fact to call the Hot Shot a "Sports Car" is a bit of a stretch. To call any Crosley prior to the Hot Shot a sports car is, well....

The 1948 Playboy might be a "sports car", but 48 HP makes it an anemic one at best. Whether the Playboy predates the Kurtis, I don't know.

To call the King Midget a "Sports Car" is preposterous. There are more sporting golf carts. The 7.5 HP Imp, sports car? Then so's my lawn mower.

The Kurtis, however, was most certainly a rip-snorting sports car. Chassis by the legendary Frank Kurtis, big brakes, hopped up Ford V8, top speed 140+ mph. First one built in 1948. It would have given the 1948 Ferrari and Maserati road cars a run for the money.

(S)
02-21-2019, 02:32 PM
If that's a sports car, my Hawk is a muscle car!

Stude Shoo-wop!
02-21-2019, 04:56 PM
It is just amazing how well these cars did in the marketplace for that brief yet glorious period after WWII, considering that Powell Crosley and his company primarily made consumer radios! I believe these things actually used surplus COBRA (COpper BRAzed) engines that were used by the military as backup power generators. Fun stuff!

voxnut
02-21-2019, 05:59 PM
If that's a sports car, my Hawk is a muscle car!

Damn skippy the Crosley was a sports car! Crosleys were all over road racing tracks in the US in the 50's and won the Sebring six hours race in 1950.

http://www.crosleyautoclub.com/Sebring/Sebring19-WinnerCircle.jpg

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BylkdX3-PKc/WoHDL1NL2oI/AAAAAAAFAqM/CD3rEZ8CC6cFE4ATbda8XWGyW5v31RHUACLcBGAs/s640/b103.jpg

Not to mention all the Crosley powered variants that tore up H-Mod SCCA racing for years.

http://sportsracernet.smugmug.com/photos/214711533-M-2.jpg

http://www.cliffreuter.com/hmod_1.jpg

http://www.cliffreuter.com/candy_1.jpg

http://www.cliffreuter.com/tannerphoto_005.jpg

http://www.cliffreuter.com/jabro_1.jpg

http://www.cliffreuter.com/etceterinihmodcarscliffreuter.htm

jnormanh
02-21-2019, 06:17 PM
It is just amazing how well these cars did in the marketplace for that brief yet glorious period after WWII, considering that Powell Crosley and his company primarily made consumer radios! I believe these things actually used surplus COBRA (COpper BRAzed) engines that were used by the military as backup power generators. Fun stuff!

It's true, Crosley won a good many 750cc sports car races with both CoBra and CIBA engines, but of course there wasn't much competition in that class.

voxnut
02-21-2019, 06:33 PM
It's true, Crosley won a good many 750cc sports car races with both CoBra and CIBA engines, but of course there wasn't much competition in that class.

Other than FIAT, Panhard, BMW (motorcycle), SAAB, Bandini, and OSCA powered cars in that class. :)