A Pair Of Crosley Specials!

A special thanks to reader Chuck F. for sending us this seriously cool find of two Crosley-based specials! They are listed for sale (incorrectly as Crosley-Bugattis) here on craigslist and are located in Bessemer, Pennsylvania. The price for the whole package with extra parts is listed as $4,995, but the seller will also swap everything for a Chevrolet 409 engine! These cars show a lot of creativity and apparently were both roadworthy at some point in the past!

The car closest to the camera in the original shot is wearing a 1968 Pennsylvania license plate and resembles a period open-wheeled Indy car more than anything else. The front end is small enough it could have been adapted from a pedal car and has tiny, non-legal headlights. The windshield actually looks like one on a 1948 Crosley customs Josh posted about five years ago, although nothing else about the appearance is similar between the two cars.

Does anyone recognize the taillights? I’m not sure what the rear bodywork is from. Given the pattern of the surface rust on the rear sides of the car in particular, I suspect it may have had fenders of some sort mounted. There are a lot of additional parts that come along with the pair of specials, so perhaps there’s something in there.

The other car appears somewhat more finished and is wearing “boat tail” coachwork (which may be why it was labeled as a Bugatti). Cycle fenders complete the look, although I’m guessing there was a grille at some point.

Not sure I would have gone with headlights quite so big?

The true small scale of these cars is very visible in this picture. For comparison purposes, stock 1948 Crosleys (at least one of the cars still has its Crosley ID plate that can be dated as one of 29,084 ’48 models built) weighed about 1,300 pounds, had a wheelbase of 80 inches and had 44 cubic in CoBra engines (a SOHC design that included a copper-brazed block).

However, the two engines pictured both appear to be the later (1949-on) CIBA cast blocks, which are preferred from a durability standpoint. A total of four engines are included with the package. Overall, I’m thrilled when unusual finds like this pair come onto the market and I hope the new owner will return both to the road!



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  1. BlondeUXB Member

    The “boat-tail” was somebody’s hood in another life.
    Folk art to go. Just gotta love it…

    Like 8
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t see any art in these two but I wouldn’t take either one of these past the end of my driveway. Fendered car looks like they put the body on backward. The original Crosleys were pretty good looking cars. Wonder what happened to the original bodies.

    Like 2
  3. Fred Veenschoten

    There are a lot of mechanics that think they are car designers and just ruin a perfectly good original car. there have been quite a few show up here.

    Like 3
  4. lc

    Those tailights on the Mini Indy apppear to be 1941 Studebaker – would be great to hear the history of these two gems.

    Like 6
    • Bill McCoskey


      I can vouch the taillights are ’41 Studebaker.

      Like 2
  5. Steve Clinton

    If my memory isn’t too rusty, I believe Pat and Tina owned these.

    Like 2
  6. Christopher Gush

    What a hoot and simply fun to look at. Recommissioned, they should provide some interesting public reaction when back on the road, their 25 Hp powertrains groaning to achieve 50 mph and resonating like your riding lawn mower, which probably has more horsepower. Will be a great project for someone who hopefully will not modify what is actually there.

    Like 2
  7. Glenn Reynolds

    Crosleys are proof that rare doesn’t mean valuable. I had a couple of Crosleys (A hot shot and an H-mod race car.). I would value the pair between $500 and, if he found the right Crosley nut, $1500.

    Like 1
  8. Howie Mueler

    So no ran when parked on these?

    Like 1
  9. Clay Bryant

    Tail lights? I couldn’t get close enough to really see them while running at Indy. Both these cars were running like scat when they blew me away. A quick glance and I thought they were hopped up Fords.

    Like 1
  10. Richard Haner

    more interested in the red 69 Z28 in the backround

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