Monterey

Monterey Conference Center
18 - 20 August 2022
Lot 278

Crosley 3/4 Midget

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$20,000 - $30,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

United States | Monterey, California

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To be offered on Friday, 19 August 2022
  • A nicely prepared 3/4 Midget racer in the post-war style
  • Crosley four-cylinder power; fitted with rare Braje finned aluminum valve cover
  • Abundant details throughout, including knock-off wheels, finned rear drum brakes, and adjustable suspension
  • A charming piece of American motorsport history
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Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

Much of midget car racing’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its accessibility. The formula offered would-be champions with big dreams a relatively approachable means of getting onto the track and—with a little luck—onto the podium. And if things went just right, success while racing midgets could lead to a career in a higher-profile series.

Even within midget racing, there were a variety of cars available to suit the needs of drivers of varying ages, skill levels, and budgets; 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 midgets were, as their names suggested, smaller versions of the full-scale cars. As this 3/4 midget demonstrates, however, small size did not mean a lack of sophistication. Thought to have been built in Oklahoma, as an inspection of the quick-change rear end reveals a component with “Tulsa” cast into it, it is an excellent and well-constructed representative of the mid- to late-1950s style.

Riding on a 60-inch wheelbase with a live rear axle, it is powered by a cast-iron-block Crosley four-cylinder engine. Itself a marvel of miniaturization, this Crosley motor was lightweight and punchy, and could be further modified with speed equipment. Indeed, a log-style intake topped by a single carburetor, as well as a rare Braje finned aluminum valve cover, are present here. As it is unknown when this engine was last started, an inspection and recommissioning would be advisable prior to any use.

In the cockpit, instrumentation is pared down to the essentials, with nothing more than temperature and oil pressure gauges on the dashboard ahead of the three-spoke steering wheel. Finned rear drum brakes provide stopping power, while petite knock-off wheels sit at each corner. The exhaust, suspension components (including adjustable front suspension), and front and rear bumpers are chromed, indicating a high overall degree of attention to detail.

Wearing an appealing red and white livery over a black upholstered interior, this racer is cosmetically well-maintained with a pleasing, gently used patina overall; some areas, including the nose near the hood shut line, exhibit moderate paint and bodywork damage. Ideal for display, or with suitable preparation, perhaps even a few exhibition laps at your local dirt track, this Crosley 3/4 Midget embodies the rich history of American grassroots racing.