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56 Years Of Storage: 1949 Crosley Station Wagon

1949 Crosley Station Wagon

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been a fan of the odd little cars built by Crosley. It isn’t a name we hear often these days, but at one time Crosley was a household name. They built a variety of electronics, we actually have two Crosley radios sitting in our office, and for 11 years they built cars. Much like their appliances, there cars were functional and that’s about it. They did build a few frivolus cars, like the Hot Shot, but most were like this Wagon. They were meant to get you and whatever items you might need to haul from point A to point B. Given their basic design and low entry price, it’s amazing so many have survived! This one has some rust issues, but look solid! It was stored in a box truck for over 50 years. You can now find it here on eBay in Jonesboro, Arkansas with a BIN of $2,900.

1949 Crosley Engine

The seller claims the tiny engine in this wagon turns over freely, but it needs a fuel tanks, so they haven’t tried starting it. Getting it running could turn out to be a relatively simple task! The 44 cui CIBA straight 4 is both a basic and durable engine, so as long as it isn’t seized and has compression left it should run. Once you do get it running, don’t expect much in the performance department. These engines had about 26 hp when new, although if you could find the head and accompanying parts from a Bandini you could get as much as 70 hp from this tiny engine!

1949 Crosley Interior

As you can see, the inside is going to need work. It looks to all be there, but the seats will need attention and the floors have rust that needs to be addressed. Given how simply these cars are, it really shouldn’t be too difficult to get this one looking great again!

1949 Crosley Wagon

While it’s definitely odd, I really like the looks of these tiny cars! I recently looked at a similar example in Montana that was in nearly identical condition and the seller was asking $4k for it, so this might not be too bad of a price. Personally, I’d get it running, treat the rust issues and just drive it looking rough. Over time, the cosmetics could be addressed, but until that time I would enjoy all the looks it would get by passerby as is! What about you? Would you leave it looking rough or repaint it?


  1. Avatar photo Scotty G

    I have to quit saying, “This looks like another great, winter project..”, but, it does! This car looks like it’s pretty unmodified and would be a nice restoration project, it’s mostly there and isn’t too huge to soak up a person’s garage space too much. Nice find. A person with a media-blaster, welder, and some basic tools could most likely restore this car to like new for not too many thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours.

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  2. Avatar photo sir mike

    Crosley’s are just cute.And the owners club web site is very informational.This one needs saved..

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  3. Avatar photo Rick

    I’d source a motorcycle engine, one w/ about 150hp and install it along with its transmission (don’t know bikes well enough to say what make) Anyhow, then I’d chop the top 4 inches, tub the rear, slam it and throw on a set of 24s and take it to SEMA and steal the trophy away from Foose and all the other Foose wannabees

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  4. Avatar photo David

    I have a restored and running Crosley Shelvadore refrigerator that works fantastic. The name Shelvadore came from it being the first refrigerator with interior shelves, or so I’ve been told. It’s a cool piece of artwork that actually works.

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  5. Avatar photo z1rider

    Forget the Bandini idea. Those are especially rare and would be wasted on this. Worth much more money in the whole Bandini car.

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  6. Avatar photo Stephen

    I’m thinking this would be fun with some strategic updates. But every plan I come up with sounds better when applied to a Morris Minor. So I’ll leave this one for someone else.

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  7. Avatar photo Mark S

    The thing to do with it is a stock body restoration, then restore the engine/ trans and put them on a running stand. The next thing to do is install about a 1200 cc Honda gold wing engine/ tran in it, this is a nice 90 bhp shaft drive liquid cooled combination. I think that any time you do a restomod like this you always want to Do the work in such a way that it can be put back to stock. The real advantage in doing this, you end up with a car that can actually be driven in traffic and the original engine / trans stay fresh. It would then be a fun little driver.

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  8. Avatar photo Luke Fitzgerald


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  9. Avatar photo Bob Hess Member

    Don’t know about the Bandini head. If the engine is original it’s cast iron with the head part of the block, not separate.


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  10. Avatar photo rancho bella

    I bad mouth almost all cars……….but never a Crosley.

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  11. Avatar photo hans grafftenberg

    I have a crosley wagon with the stock running gear and it is surprisingly drive-able. I looked for one that wasnt a total rot box for years before i found one in my price range. The bodies on these things are very flimsy and prone to rust so keep that in mind if youre interested in bidding.

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  12. Avatar photo Brakeservo

    Powell Crosley drove a Duesenberg. Maybe he kept on of these in the trunk??

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  13. Avatar photo Jim Marshall

    I couldn’t stand these sleds when they were new. Nothing has changed,

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  14. Avatar photo Chris A.

    I’m thinking that this is about the size of the little Fiat, but lower. Restored it would be neat and you are not likely to see another one at the usual car shows. I can’t tell from the pictures, but you have to hope it has the cast iron block, not the brazed together copper sheet one shich couldn’t be kept from leaking. Anyone figurig on beefing up even the stock engine had better count on upgrading the brakes too. Crosleys weren’t noted for their brakes until they became one of the first production cars to use a form of disc brake. Very clever engineering and a product that initially sold well in the late 40’s when everyone wanted a new car.

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  15. Avatar photo Bdabs

    I’m with you- I would restore it mechanically, fix up the interior somewhat,and leave the body as is! Just cool…

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  16. Avatar photo Ed Williams

    I remember these little Crosley cars. There were a few seen around Los Angeles when they were new.

    Crosley is still in the appliance business. Last year I got a new Crosley refrigerator. Yes, it is somewhat basic but it has an ice maker and it does a good job of keeping my food items fresh. It is a very good product and somewhat less money than other makes.

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  17. Avatar photo Tundra/BMW Guy

    Is it just me or does this look like the go cart version of the previous Tin Woodie Wagon, albeit minus a little bit of rust???

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  18. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    I’m not a fan of small, junky economy cars, but I’ll make an exception here. This reminds me of a Willys station wagon, a very tough car to find that hasn’t been sacrificed to the ax of a customizer. My dad bought one of these in 1954 and spent several weeks trying to get it to run, but was never able. He and my uncle eventually put a chain on it and towed it off somewhere.

    The colors on this are nice, too.

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