1951 Crosley Hotshot Roadster

Summary

Rich from building radios and refrigerators, Powel Crosley thought a small, affordable car might appeal to Americans. His sporty $924 roadster had an overhead cam engine and removable doors. Although it won races against foreign sports cars, it lost the U.S. sales race to big American machines. After losing three million dollars, Crosley finally abandoned his dream in 1952.

Rich from building radios and refrigerators, Powel Crosley thought a small, affordable car might appeal to Americans. His sporty $924 roadster had an overhead cam engine and removable doors. Although it won races against foreign sports cars, it lost the U.S. sales race to big American machines. After losing three million dollars, Crosley finally abandoned his dream in 1952.

Artifact

Automobile

Date Made

1951

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

77.43.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Cloth
Glass (Material)
Metal
Rubber (Material)

Color

Green
Light yellow

Dimensions

Length: 2.25 in  (Stroke)

Diameter: 2.5 in  (Bore)

Width: 48 in

Height: 50 in

Wheelbase: 85 in

Length: 135 in

Weight: 1184 lbs

Inscriptions

Plaque on dashboard: Designed & Built Especially for Jerry Muhleman

Specifications

Make & Model: 1951 Crosley Hotshot roadster

Maker: Crosley Motors, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

Engine: inline-4, overhead cam, 44 cubic inches

Transmission: 3-speed manual

Height: 50 inches

Wheelbase: 85 inches

Width: 48 inches

Overall length: 148.5 inches

Weight: 1184 pounds

Horsepower: 26.5 at 5400 revolutions per minutes

Pounds per horsepower: 44.7

Price: $924

Average 1951 wage: $3,452 per year

Time you'd work to buy this car: about 3-1/2 months

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