The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum | Lot 288
1949 Crosley Farm-O-Road Prototype
$32,775 USD | Sold
| Madison, Georgia
15 February 2013
The original prototype.
Manufacturer: Crosley Motors, Inc.
Origin: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Production: 2 (total built: 600)
Motor: Crosley COBRA 4-cyl., 4-stroke
Displacement: 724 cc
Power: 26.5 hp
Length: 8 ft. 7 in.
Identification No. N/A
Powel Crosley Jr. was a talented and successful entrepreneur, inventor, and industrialist who pioneered radio and television broadcasting, produced a line of radios and home appliances, and a line of subcompact automobiles. His pre-war automobiles, in a variety of body styles, used a two-cylinder Waukesha motor. In 1946, he adapted the wartime generator motor, also the first mass-production overhead camshaft motor, called the COBRA (for COpper BRAzed water jackets) for use in his automobiles. This was superseded by the CIBA (Cast Iron Block Assembly) in 1949, and these motors were again fitted to a bewildering range of Crosley body styles.
Crosley also had an interest in farming, and he developed his ground-breaking, small utility tractor-cum-road vehicle during the late forties. It became available in June 1950, with power takeoffs and a long list of accessory plows, harrows, cultivators, mowers, and even snow skis, as well as weather protection gear for family road use. Sold until 1952, it re-emerged briefly as the Crofton Bug.
This vehicle is one of the two actual prototypes built and is the actual one pictured in the factory literature. The whereabouts of the second is unknown, making this particular vehicle a truly rare example worthy of consideration.