Brawny Bug: 1962 Crofton Bug

Many car companies have come and gone, including a relative giant in the small car industry: Crosley Motors. This 1962 Crofton Brawny Bug is an offshoot of a Crosley Farm-O-Road and they’re even more rare. This one can be found here on eBay in Oliver Springs, Tennessee with an unmet opening bid of $6,500.

After Crosley pulled the plug in 1952, Aerojet General acquired the interests of Powell Crosley’s company. Several years later, Crofton Marine Engine Company produced the Crofton Bug which was based on the Farm-O-Road and would be made from 1959 to 1962. A few were sold in 1963 but the company had ceased production before then.

The Crofton Bug was the base version but the Brawny Bug option, which a few buyers shelled out an additional $400 for, included bigger flotation-type tires (not like the aggressive tread tires shown here), a skid plate, and a few other features to make them more useful off road. They were all rear-wheel-drive – a 4×4 option wasn’t available – but the Brawny Bug had a Power-Lok differential and sort of a twin-stick transmission which turned the normal 3-speed into effectively a 6-speed complete with two reverse gears. Even though it was 2WD, at four-feet wide and just under nine-feet long, it would be a fun trail machine.

This example has been restored and the seller says that the previous owner loved to show it along with his 1956 Chevrolet collection at car shows. I know which vehicle I’d be studying – this Crofton. It looks like a bed liner-type material was sprayed on portions before it was painted red which probably helps with chipping and maybe even noise. That’s just a guess, I don’t know for sure what that material is. The interior looks great if not exactly how it would have been as new.

The engine should be similar to the 35-hp, 44 cubic-inch overhead-cam inline-four that Crosley vehicles had towards the end of their run. It starts and runs great according to the seller. It looks like it may have been modified a bit but again, I don’t know for sure. Have any of you heard of a Crofton Brawny Bug?


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  1. Classic Steel

    So can this 35 ponies be used as a golf cart?
    Cute but other than a golf cart what would one do with it?

    Its a one off so off roads is not feasible for parts to replace.

    So trailer Queen , put in a collection with moth balls or 🏌️‍♀️ cart 🛒😉 (just not seeing it otherwise)

    Like 1
  2. KevinLee

    I’ve never heard of this. It looks like a Japanese tin toy version of a Jeep.

    Like 1
  3. Dennis Marth

    Actually, as a neighborhood buggy it seems like it would be a cool little ride. Out on the open road, probably not so much. For the road I’d like to find an original HummBug.

    Like 1
  4. BR

    Looks like they may have removed the fan in lieu of an electric one and removed the air cleaner to give it more power .
    Never heard of this one before, but it’s cute. And you’ll have a smooth running engine instead of the lawnmower sound.

  5. William Cockayne Member

    I own a 1959 Crofton Brawney Bug and am slowly restoring it and trying to find the correct parts. Most parts are totally different than the Crosley. In fact this one appears to have the crosley engine. Mine has the Crofton engine whereas the manifolds are on the opposite side. Twin Borg Warner transmissions married to each other and a Dana rear end. Big balloon tires. I paid $3500 for mine rust free. Then already spent another 4 G`s on rare NOS and used Crofton Bug only parts. This one looks like a bargain even though incorrect.

    Like 1
  6. Bob C.

    OMG it looks like a pedal car! Yes, I’ve heard of a Crofton, but I think it was a different model.

  7. Mike

    Drive a Bug, get squashed like one.

    Like 2
  8. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Never heard of these. Besides car shows, what could one do with it— Parades? Tool around the subdivision (as long as the residents don’t mind, there is minimal traffic, not police patrolled, etc.)? Teach teenagers the basics of manual transmissions? Check the irrigation gates?

    For what it is, I’ll admit it looks pretty good.

    Like 2
    • grant

      What do the police or the neighbors have to do with it? It’s a road legal vehicle. Drive it anywhere but the interstates.

      Like 1
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I could see this being used for a farm/ranch vehicle just for riding around checking things. Sort of a mule type vehicle.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  10. Michael55

    It looks like it would be a great vehicle for driving around the Lake Erie islands in the summer – more interesting than a golf cart.

    Like 2
  11. canadainmarkseh Member

    As nicely restored as it is I’d say it should be in an automotive museum. Its not really any good for anything else. If your going to drive around the farm or back country you’d be better off in a side by side quad. More power, better brakes, 4×4, better suspension, and better steering. This is one of these deals where the seller is trying To get his restoration money out of it. That rarely happens, cars for the most part are money pits.

    Like 1
  12. ken tillyUK Member

    Looks like a truncated British, Austin Mini-Moke. Mine will do 60 mph all day with it’s 1275cc motor.

  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $10,700.

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