Pickup or Sports-Utility? 1948 Crosley Pickup

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Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This is a 1948 Crosley Pickup and it’s in Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $2,899. This one is a head-scratcher for me, let us know what model you think this one is. The seller has had this Crosley in storage for 15 years and they aren’t going to get to the restoration.

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I can’t quite figure out what this thing is. Crosley was the first company to use the term “Sports-Utility”, and that’s initially what I thought that this was. But, their official Sports-Utility model didn’t have doors or a top. It was their cheapest model, maybe because it had fewer body panels and the rear seat was an option.

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The seller calls this a “Panel Delivery”, but it definitely isn’t an official Crosley Panel Delivery as those were a hard-sided vehicle. I think this is a regular Crosley Pickup that someone modified with the rear bows and canvas cover. What do you think? Whatever the heck model it is, it looks like it’s in decent condition but it has some metal work to do as you would expect on a vehicle that’s almost 70 years old.

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The interior actually looks much better than I thought it would. A restored Crosley Pickup would probably bring $10,000+ without too much trouble so if you can do most of the work yourself you would have a super fun project and hopefully wouldn’t be upside-down, value-wise. This is my kind of vehicle, it’s small and easy to store and work on, and it’s unusual. It usually comes up that yes, if you get hit head on by a 2016 Suburban on the freeway you won’t make it. But, of course, these vehicles were never made to drive on freeways. They’re for bopping around town, around your neighborhood, for driving to a local car show on city streets, etc.

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The post-war Crosley CC models were made for the 1946, 1947, and 1948 years and they had the famous CoBra engine. CoBra stands for “Copper Brazed” and it was referred to as “The Mighty Tin”  because they were made from sheet metal. The engines were originally made to power generators and other non-vehicle applications and they helped the war effort with their super reliability. But, used in vehicles they developed corrosion problems and in 1949 they were replaced by the CIBA (Crosley Cast Iron Block Assembly) engine. This 44 cubic-inch 1948 CoBra engine had 26.5 hp and sadly, they almost ruined Crosley’s reputation for quality and reliability. This engine hasn’t run in at least 15 years so it’ll need work. I think this could be a good deal for someone who is into small vehicles and knows how to do most of the restoration work themselves. What model do you think this Crosley is? I think that it’s a Pickup with a custom cover on the rear, what do you think?

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Comments

  1. Jeff DeWitt

    I agree, I think it’s a pickup with what was often called a “caravan top”.

    Neat little project for someone!

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  2. Howard A Member

    WOW! This is so cool, thanks, Scotty. Apparently, you never know what’s behind door 212.( hmm, sounds like a good TV show)( What? It’s been done?) I believe Jeff is correct, it was/is a pickup. I’ve never seen that canvas cover, but this would be so cool to have. Sorry, out goes the CoBra motor, and any modern 4 banger would do the trick.( I heard these motors weren’t the best.) As far as running down the highway, I don’t think so, but for a quick in town errand, what could be better? Other than a Morris Minor pickup, this would be my 2nd choice. It seems there were several models, as most I’ve seen don’t have that, whatever it is, in the center of the grill( 1 Dagmar?)In my little town, a guy I knew, said he saw a car that he couldn’t ID, he said, I’ll show you. I saw it and knew right away it was a Crosley. He never heard of it, and thought I was FOS. Internet proved me right. Coolest vehicle to come through here yet. And it needs a “Crosley” radio. Can’t believe it’s not gone yet.

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    • Yellowjax Member

      Morris minor pickup had style this one is just plane odd.

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  3. Mike L

    I would say it’s a pickup. I just drove one of these across the block at Mecum Auctions Louisville. It sold for $9,250. It was not original but very nice. Went to a dealer that now implies it was picked up at an estate in Carson city NV…. Loved that little truck. This would be a super fun project!!!

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  4. Ben T Spanner

    I helped a friend move a newly purchased old Buick convertible. The seller had a Crosley pickup which he had “restored” by using eave gutters for rocker panels. Better than no rocker panels, but not by much.

    The driver of the van picking up the Buick has a Morris Minor Pickup. It is much larger. His has a 5 speed Datsun transmission and can be driven on the freeway.

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