It Goes To Town! 1950 Crosley Farm-O-Road

1950 Crosley Farm-O-Road

I know something about the various Crosley cars, but this version was completely new to me. Right after World War II, the Jeep was familiar to returning servicemen and became useful on farms all over the United States. The Farm-O-Road was Crosley’s attempt at a smaller version of the versatile Jeep; a vehicle suitable for farm work and driving to town as well (as long as one drove slowly). This nicely kept example is for auction here on eBay and is located in Anaheim, California.

Image courtesy of the Crosley Auto Club
Image courtesy of the Crosley Auto Club

It’s hard to believe with slogans like the above that the Farm-O-Road didn’t take the market by storm! As you can see, it was intended to be able to plow as well as take the family to town. Powell Crosley had made a lot of money before the war through manufacturing ventures, and decided that small cars were what America needed. Unfortunately, he was way ahead of his time.

Crosler Farm-O-Road

This Farm-O-Road is equipped with a dump bed and dual rear wheels for increased utility. The seller states that it has had recent work done to bring it into running order, and that it is not show quality. After looking at the pictures I think it’s in pretty darn nice condition!

1950 Crosley Farm-O-Road Interior

I think this dash and interior define “plain”. I’m left wondering who put the majority of those 14,137 miles on this unusual vehicle. Was it used as planned by a farmer who needed two machines but could only afford one? This is what the original dealer announcement had to say:

Here at last is the machine people have been longing for and wishing for- as a tractor, a powerful work horse for farming, plowing, cultivation, mowing, and so forth–a fast economical vehicle for road trips–a rugged truck for hauling and towing–a mobile power plant for sawing wood, spraying, etc., all combined in one lightweight, low-cost machine. That is the Crosley Farm-O-Road.

1950 Crosley Farm-O-Road Engine

The ad includes many detail pictures—this one is of the exceptionally clean engine. At the time this Farm-O-Road was built, Crosley had just converted from a sheet metal (!) engine block to this cast design. At 26.5 horsepower, I think of it as an overgrown lawn tractor power plant, although a curb weight of around 1100 pounds would keep performance at least somewhat lively. I think driving one at the claim of “twice the speed of a racehorse”, which is around 70 mph, would scare the heck out of me! How about you, are you up for a spirited drive in this dual-purpose utility vehicle?

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Comments

  1. cory

    that is really cool. I thought I knew my crosleys, but never heard of this. any idea how many were sold?

  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    The Crosley Auto Club estimates less than 600. They even made a fire engine version!

  3. William H

    I would love to have one of these little duallies for the lease. Let everyone else run around in their Mules and Gators. Looks like it would be a great little utility vehicle that could do pretty much everything I would need it to do.

  4. Maestro1 Member

    Strange and wonderful mutations of Crosleys are always interesting. Thank you for this.

  5. Alan (Michigan)

    Constantly amazed by the vehicles made at one time to fill some kind of niche.

    How cool this is.

  6. tom999p

    I just looked at one of the two prototypes for sale a few days ago. It needed a total restoration but was all there…

  7. Kevin

    It looks to be pretty heavy duty built. Back when family farms were small. I could easily see these being as tough as a Ford Jubilee tractors.

  8. RickyM

    I love your website – I just love finding out about vehicles that I have not heard of before (and I know quite a lot – I found the Gilbern for you!). This is in amazing condition, even though the seller says it is not perfect. Love this – great find.

  9. Horse Radish

    Cute,
    looks like somebody spent a whole lot of time on it.

  10. Cameron Bater UK

    Can I just but in. You’re suggesting that this is Crosley’s version of the Jeep, I disagree I think its their version of the Mini Moke, although it never saw asctive service the moke is now an iconic car and it is (I think) the same size as this crosley. It may also share sub-frames and running gear.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Cameron,

      The Crosley pre-dates the Mini-Moke (and the Mini) by 10+ years, although I agree the two were trying to fill similar product spots. That being said, you’re right in that the Moke is certainly an icon at this point!

      • Cameron Bater UK

        Yes I’m aware of the neiche market (as it was anyway) it was something that all the countrys were working on, Volkwagen had the “Thing”, it would appear that Crosley had what I’m currently refering to as the Farm0Road-Moke, Mini had THE Moke and so on but if you really look at them they’re cars that have no protection to an oncoming wind let alone a roadside IED, I’ve seen a moke after it got into a fight with a brickwall and its just… well there wasn’t anything left 30-0 in 5 Seconds and 120″-12 in the same time.
        I admit my knowlage of British car history with reguards to the Mini is not 100% as I prefer the Austin 1300, the same car (visually anyway) but bigger or the Morris “Moggy” Minors.
        If you look at he supplied image you’ll see that aside from indicator clustors and a badge on the front “Moke”, there isn’t any real difference in styling.

  11. Rancho Bella

    Want to further you ed-u-macation?…………
    Crofton Brawny Bug built in the San Diego. Yes it was a Crosely continuation
    http://www.desertclassics.com/Crofton62bug.html

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks for sharing! I saw mention of these while researching the Crosley version but didn’t realize they made that many!

  12. Gerf

    That poor guy in the ad. Losing the race to his hairline, beastly wife lolling in the back with his two hungry brats. At least she’s over the axle for traction. He’s probably all of 26 years old…..

  13. DT

    Crosley Farm-o-road ; introduced 1950
    Austin Mini-Moke ; introduced 1964
    Volkswagen Thing ; introduced 1969

  14. Adam

    Someone up the road from me has something that looks a lot like this. 2 in fact! Anyone know if they were sold in Britain.

    Like 1

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