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Sheet Metal Engine: 1948 Crosley Wagon

1948 Crosley Wagon

Some cars just make you smile, and this is certainly one of them. Remember the Crosley? This 1948 has seen better days but it looks like it’s all there and the floors are solid. Perhaps it was parts hauler or even a sign for a while. What would you do with it? It’s a project that won’t take up much room. You could get the tiny sheet metal engine running and have your very own clown car. Roomy is not a word that could be used to describe this. It wouldn’t take much horsepower to make this little thing fast, but what would it take to make it stop and perhaps go around corners? It’s for sale here on eBay with a BIN of $3950, but they are open to offers.


  1. Ed P

    You could be the only person in your neighborhood with one of these!

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  2. JW

    Hope I don’t offend anyone but he would have to pay me to drag it home, then I would sell it for scrap. Ugly and unconventional.

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  3. Chip H.

    Interesting, but not at that price. Solid for its age, good hedge. JW, unconventional is good if you have a business you want noticed. Conventional these days means a Japanese econobox. But calling this a rat rod? Just another catch phrase to cover a rusted vehicle. Patina is another good one IDK, I guess I’m weird, I like paint on cars.

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  4. packrat

    -Just curious, what would the right price be on one of these, in this condx? Interior is fairly burnt out, but it didn’t have much in the first place. Chrome appears to be made out of metal stampings slightly thicker than furnace ductwork. the engine “runs”, and the interior footwell doesn’t have you studying the weeds and gravel. This was my family’s first car, and I’ve touched one in real life, only the occasional artifact. The ones on ebay seem pretty sporadic and pretty spendy, as it’s not as big a deal to bring one of these to glossy condition than an import exotic or musclecar: No Unicorn Hair needed.

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  5. Chris A.

    Crosley changed from the brazed copper sheet metal engine block to cast iron during the Crosley’s production run. Seems the brazed blocks had a tendency to leak coolant. I don’t know if a brazed sheet metal Crosley block can be rebrazed or made to hold coolant. But a cast iron Crosley OHC engines can develop serious horsepower for their size when hot rodded. Later Crosley’s even had disc brakes. See articles on the Crosley Hot Shot car for the real potential of these small displacement early sports cars.

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  6. Karl

    Crosley recalled a lot of the sheet-metal-engine cars and installed a cast-iron block at their own expense. If these guys actually got the engine running, I doubt very seriously if it has the original engine.
    What amuses me is that this Crosley apparently ended its automotive career as a static display sign for an automotive scrapyard. When I was a kid in the ’60s, it was common for junkyards around here (SE Louisiana) to have one of these up on a pole out front with the establishment’s name and phone number painted on both sides. Why buy a expensive sign when you’ve already got a Crosley sitting in the yard, and all you need is a couple cans of paint? There’s a scrapyard outside of New Orleans that still has theirs up there. I have never personally seen a Crosley in real life that wasn’t up on a pole.
    I wonder if the BIN price includes a pole.

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