Barn Find 1952 Crosley Super Sports Project!

There were regular Crosleys and for the hot rodders, the Crosley Hot Shot and Super Sports. What we have here on eBay in Scottsdale, Arizona is a rare and reportedly rust-free 1952 Super Sports, only 358 of which were built in this last year of production. It’s completely disassembled, so bring your wrenches to the party. The starting bid is $4,500, but no one has made an offer as of this writing.

The Crosley comes with four NOS tires on powder-coated wheels. The chassis was media blasted and painted, and there are new nine-inch brakes and lines. The west coast body, which has been stripped for a repaint, does indeed look straight and rust-free.

The bumpers and windshield frame have been re-chromed. The wiring harness is new, and the gas tank cleaned and sealed with a replacement sending unit. The seats are reupholstered, new shocks installed, and radiator rebuilt. “I haven’t even gone through all the boxes of parts that came with it,” the owner said.

The engine isn’t the original, though the transmission is. The motor is reportedly running, though that’s about all we know. A convertible top and bows included, but would best be used as patterns. The radio is missing, as are the badges, and it’s unclear if the instruments are included. There’s no title. One rebuilt headlight is in the parts bin, plus four hubcaps and whatever else is in those boxes.

The Super Sports was a version of the sporty HotShot and added in 1950. It featured solid, hinged doors and a fold-down top, with snazzy red plastic upholstery. It was originally called the Super HotShot but then renamed Super Sports for 1951 and ’52. That last year, the Crosley was available in a huge range of body styles, including Standard Business Coupe, Super Sedan, Station Wagon, Super Station Wagon, Super Coupe; VC Four including Hotshot Roadster and Super Sports Roadster; FR Four including Farm-O-Road. Some 1,522 cars left the factory in 1952, but it wasn’t enough.

Powel Crosley, Jr. made his fortune in radios and auto parts, before introducing the Crosley microcar in 1939. They were innovative, including the very early use of disc brakes. The original motor was a little air-cooled Waukesha two-cylinder unit, connected to a three-speed transmission.

After the war, Crosleys came with a four-cylinder, overhead-cam CoBra engine designed by Lloyd Taylor. It displaced 44 cubic inches or 724 ccs. In stock form, it produced just 26 horsepower. But that unit was supplanted in 1949 by a more reliable, water-cooled CIBA version of the motor. CoBra owners could get the newer motor for $89.

The vendor says he’s traced this car back to Los Angeles in 1959, and that it was raced by one C.T. Olsen. The second owner said, “I want to say we bought it in 1970 but it might have been earlier. I was eight, but I seem to recall that my dad bought it for a small amount of money, with the intention of teaching me to drive on it at an early age. In fact, I started driving the Crosley with him as the passenger when I was 11. Dad told me the car was all original metal with no dents or damage. I’m pretty sure it was 1987 when I sold it.”

The car sat in a garage for more than 40 years. The body has some custom features, and a trunk is crudely cut into the rear of the body. The doors were modified with carved wood bolted to their tops. The front-wheel wells were radiused.

This Crosley was featured on Barn Find Hunter, episode #41, identified as a Crosmobile, but that was the export model seen in Europe and Cuba. It’s a domestic SS. A nice photo file showing the previous owner taking it apart comes with the car. The vendor says he’s willing to put the body back on the frame and return it to the status of a rolling car. It looks like a fairly easy restoration for some Crosley enthusiasts. “Could be a nice little restoration or hot rod,” the vendor says. “Or turn it into a gasser or H mod.” Is the car calling to you?


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  1. Little_Cars

    Gasser or H mod? No! Jeez, how often do you have a Hot Shot handed to you with the basic resto work already performed? I know these were never cherished sports cars–but given the production numbers this one should be brought up at least to a driver standard. I know of another one without a for sale sign sitting in a clearing between two wooded areas on my way to Virginia four times a year for family gatherings. Property owner keeps claiming it is a Corvette body, expanding rust and all!

    Like 6
    • Little_Cars

      They can come out nice, like pimped out golf carts.

  2. Classic Steel

    Cute for a basket 🧺 case stripped down.

    A car in pieces scares me on missing parts and the where at what is this thing a majiggy 🤨

    This thing looks very small but hard to fantom size . I have seen other Crosley cars and they are tiny.
    Okay don’t hate the outside the box thought .. It could if dimensions were big enough make a fun A/C cobra type design 😋 to drop a 289 or new modern V6 that outputs 340 hp.
    It of course would need bracing of frame and swap drivetrain.

    Keeping original would be okay too.

    The owner should contact the Cincinnati natural history center (old railroad center) as they have some Cincinnati made Crosley cars

    Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Classic Steel-you weren’t paying attention: Jim wrote that it HAS a coBra engine!

      Like 4
      • Fred

        Engine shown in the picture is a CIBA (Cast Iron Block Assy) but appears to be a ’49 block – no big deal, nice project car

        Like 1
  3. Ike Onick

    Did this hit the Lambo Jalopy?

    Like 1
  4. Andy

    LS swap: Little Suzuki.

    Like 4
  5. Dave Anspach

    To whomever buys this car, the Crosley Auto Club will be happy to help you in your restoration. I am the club roadster helper and am now restoring my 4th one. Happy to help any Crosley owner.

    Like 2
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    First car was a ’49 station wagon we put a ’48 body on. Did a frame off on it at the ripe old age of 13. the comment about getting all the parts reminds me that these cars don’t have a lot of parts! This car looks like fun. If it was available 20 years ago it would be Vintage racing now. Stuck with Bugeye Sprites but have the Crosley memories. This is a car that finished would be great to see.

    Like 1
  7. jimmy the orphan

    These cars are tiny. They look like a Bug Eye Sprite with the head lights mounted. Only smaller. The engine is tiny as well. Check out the standard size starter and the giant looking breather cap. All the real heavy lifting seems to have been completed. There’s end less power train units that could be used to perk up the power. But if you tried to DROP a 289 in this little peanut rig you’d crush the whole front end. And 340hp would tear the poor little thing in half. I’ve seen one up close and their really really SMALL ! I’ve been in it for 50 yrs. but this would be a great starter build for someone whose just starting out in this crazy bus. Who cares if a few parts are missing. make them yourself. Go find something that fits ect. Half the fun in the old days was going out looking for parts making something work. Cars are a poor investment. If your not in it for the fun and love of cars this is not a hobby for you. In my humble opinion. Just say’n Later JIMMY.

    Like 4
  8. Little_Cars

    Compared to any Crosley, my MG Midget would be considered downright spacious. I’ve only seen a wagon or two, lots of magazine articles, plus the aforementioned Hot Shot body up close on a local farmer’s property. I would guess several inches of passenger cabin narrower, and sans bumpers a late 40’s Crosley is probably a foot or two shorter than a Sprite or Midget. Then there is the abhorrent lack of space to work under the hood and truck of these Hot Shots. Too much reach to be comfortable. Should modify with a flip up front as some have done with Bugeye Sprites.

  9. Little_Cars

    This is the one I’ve seen up on boards just across the state line into Virginia, for years. It has some unusual features like a cavity behind the cockpit presumably for access to trunk or maybe the spare tire vertically?

  10. Little_Cars

    And here is the subject vehicle with uncut doors and restored “stock.”

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