Big Shooter: 1950 Crosley Hotshot

If 30 horsepower is too much for you, this 1950 Crosley Hotshot might just be the ticket. This fun little sports car is listed on eBay with a buy it now price of $9,500 or you can make an offer. It’s located in Skokie, Illinois. Let’s check out this big shooter.

This isn’t a big, hairy-knuckle rubber-burning muscle car, but it is widely accepted as being America’s first sports car – yes, even at 26 hp. It even has a Sebring win under its tiny belt! You can see that this one will need a lot of help to smooth out the once-smooth body.

Isn’t this thing cute?! Cute isn’t usually a word used to describe sports cars, at least the ones that have evolved into what we now think of as sports cars. The Hotshot, or Hot Shot depending on who you talk to, was introduced in 1949 which is pretty amazing if you think about what cars were available in post-war America. Giant, heavy, ill-handling behemoths, and then there was the Hot Shot. Crosleys, in general, were introduced before WWII, or at least before the US got heavily involved, but they really sunk their teeth into the market after the war as people were hoping for cheap transportation. The dream didn’t last long, and by 1952 they were gone.

The interior is about as basic as you can get with just two seats and basic gauges. This car has what I think may be a Crosley radio which is how Powell Crosley made his fortune in the first place. Although a lot of them used other radios. Hagerty lists the #4 fair value of a 1950 Crosley Hotshot as being worth $7,600.

Here’s the 44 cubic-inch inline-four with 26.5 hp. No, really!  The seller doesn’t give any info on this car at all really other than “it has always been stored inside my warehouse.” It would be really fun to own one of these Crosleys, not for daily driver use but for running to the store or heading to the cars-and-coffee or local car shows. Have any of you owned a Crosley?


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  1. Rick

    And ended yesterday?

  2. Madmatt

    This would be fun to drive on the freeway…,
    top speed of 40 mph..?, having giant semi trucks
    blowing you onto the shoulder…Lol…
    This would be a lot of fun in town tho..!
    Love the simple design of these.

  3. John Maurin

    My aunt gave me a 1951 wagon that she bought new and was in mint condition. It ran great but was extreemly slow.I heard they all came with goveners and maby it never had it removed. It was a great car.u

  4. XMA0891

    Even factoring in 1950’s safety standards, these have always seemed so patently unsafe to me. I couldn’t imagine driving one on anything other than the paths of a gated community in Florida. Seat-belts?! Why bother? In a collision with anything larger than a scooter; you’re dead before the car’s wheels stop spinning.

  5. Ron

    I own 5 Crosleys including 2 Hotshots. They are great fun. They cruise comfortably at 40 mph. Eventhough the suspensions are crude, with a very low center, they handle quite well

  6. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    I was surprised to see a motor under the hood. I was expecting pedals…………..

  7. John B

    This is very petite and cute alright, but really should not be a road-legal vehicle anywhere even if it could go 60mph. Sanity and safety have their limits…

  8. Wolfgang Gullich

    I love Crosleys, but it’s largely accepted that the Mercer Raceabout was the first American sports car back in 1912.

  9. Rex Rice

    I sat in one on the Crosley Showroom floor in 1949. I thought it was SO cool. I settled later for a TR-3, a much better choice.

  10. Andy

    All this talk about safety–raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a motorcycle. 26.5 hp is more than the original VW Beetle had, among other cars. I probably wouldn’t take a Crosley on the interstate, but when they were still being built, there weren’t any interstates! I drove a ’66 Microbus for over two years and lived to tell about it, so this thing doesn’t scare me at all.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! Thanks for the words of wisdom, Andy, I couldn’t agree more with everything you said.

  11. jw454

    I like many of the micro cars including this one. However, in my case I’d feel like an elephant sitting on a roller skate so I just admire them from afar.

  12. DonC

    LOL….44 cubic inches. Hells bells my Harley is 107 cubic inches!
    If you open up the cute little red engine (that could), you get to see the hamster wheel, right?

  13. mds47588

    Looks like one of the lil cars that go in circles at the travelling carnivals.

  14. Bob

    Frank Lloyd Wright had two!

  15. David J David J

    A perfect island car!

  16. tommy

    The listing pictures almost look like the scale of a peddle car!

  17. John Maurin

    In 1967, a co worker when I was 16 had a 1952 two door sedan and he painted it bright red. One day I see it at work and there were some scratches on the flat door. I said what happened? He said he was going around a right turn maby a little fast and he said a tire blew and it fell over on its side and scooted a little. He wasn’t hurt and he just got out and picked it up on the wheels again and fixed the tire and went on again. I had one and I didn’t drive like that and I loved mine. I had a 1951 stationwagon with basket weave decal on the rear sides instead of wood grain AND it had the propeller on the center of the grill which all 1951 had. It wasn’t that bad and real comparable to a Volkswagon in the day.

  18. Simon

    This is pretty much one of those ride on electric kid cars, but older, and better.

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