When
purchased, the car carried the custom features pictured here. Its most pronounced custom tricks are its heavily Frenched headlamps and a HowardDutchDarrinstyle dip in each door. It also has a continentaltype spare tire mounted at the back. All of these features were in vogue during the 1950s. Additionally, the side window frames were fully removed, making the car a true roadster, albeit one currently without any sort of top. Yoho is exploring options for fabricating a top, but hes currently content with the Crolsey as a fully open car.
The body structure is reinforced with 3/4inch tubing, especially across the top of the body opening, around the passengers compartment, making the body quite sturdy. The doors and hood were also fabricated with the tubing using the original panels as a basis. All of the body filler consists of lead. While no one will confuse the body as the product of a professional body maker, its not too bad for a highly personalized car, and the work is better than most body fabricator wannabes armed with a Sawzall and a barrel of Bondo.

In finishing the car, Yoho wanted to retain as much of the original bodywork and character of the car as possible. The grille is a piece of prepunched metal resembling a 1955 Ford grille. Various other trim pieces were sourced from used cars of the era, including the52 Oldsmobile tail lamps.
When new, this Crosley would have been powered by its makers COBRA sheetmetal engine block. When found and restored, it had the later Crosley CIBA castiron block. Crosleys CIBA engine was also used in its Hot Shot speedsters with a few performance parts, and this Crosley hot rod employs those parts, such as a castaluminum valve cover, aluminum air cleaner adapter (to lower the profile to fit under the hood) and modern breather filter.
Another unique fitment to the car is the radio. It has an Arvin head unit, but connected to a Firestone vibrator and speaker. Yoho feels these unusual features, along with the cars unique appearance, may help jog someones memory of the car and help fill in its past.

When Yoho purchased the Crosley hot rod, it was not too far from being a rolling shell. The car was painted in recent years, which helped make the restoration a little easier. However, it was missing several components, most notably wheels, tires and seats.
Yoho sourced a set of stock Crosley rims and discovered that the first years of the base model smart car used a comparable tire size (155/80R12s). As most smart cars in the United States were upscale models, Yoho found a wholesaler who gave him a good deal on a set.
The seat frames were found online and Yoho had them reupholstered. The rest of the interior soft trim was installed by his sisterinlaw.

Since many Old Cars Weekly readers like a challenge of this sort, let us know if you know anything about the history of this car.
Write to Old Cars Weekly, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990, or email angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com and copy owner Brad Yoho at bccjyoho@msn.com.

Written by stavrovoleg

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