St. John's | Lot 171
1951 Crosley Hot Shot Roadster
$19,800 USD | Sold
| Plymouth, Michigan
30 July 2011
26.5 bhp, 44 cu. in. OHV inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 85"
- Completely restored and carefully maintained
- A great example; highly successful 1950s competition heritage
American industrialist Powell Crosley, Jr., who owned Crosley Broadcasting and the Cincinnati Reds, always wanted to sell cars of his own design. Working with younger brother Lewis, a trained engineer, the first Crosley automobile was priced at just $250, and nearly 5,000 were built before America’s full-scale involvement in WWII halted production.
Crosleys were the first American cars with four-wheel disc brakes. Notable owners included General Omar Bradley, President Dwight Eisenhower, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gloria Swanson, Humphrey Bogart, Art Linkletter and Nelson Rockefeller.
In 1949, the Hot Shot roadster debuted. America’s first postwar sports car, it sold for $900, less than half the cost of Chevrolet’s base model. It was highly successful in competition, winning the Index of Performance and taking overall victory at the first Sebring 6-hour race in 1950. Other stellar results included victory in the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix and second in the 1951 Tokyo Grand Prix.
Crosley engines also powered a number of racing specials, including those built by Bandini, Moretti and Siata. They were highly effective, with a Siata/Crosley winning the 12-hour SCCA race at Vero Beach, while a Bandini/Crosley won the 6-hour event. Crosley specials also dominated the SCCA H-modified class throughout the late 1950s, and at Bonneville, a Crosley-powered belly tanker demolished the Class O record at nearly 100 mph!
The current owner acquired this Hot Shot after it emerged from a complete and high-quality restoration. It has benefited from careful maintenance ever since and is described by the owner to remain in outstanding condition. Attractively finished in red with a black interior and equipped with a convertible top, this 1951 Hot Shot roadster is simply a wonderful example of these remarkably effective sports cars.