Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Powel Crosley had ambitious plans to build a compact car. In May 1939 the first car was shown at the Indianapolis Speedway. It was a two door convertible that weighed under 1000 lbs (453 kg) and sold for $250. It wasn't an instant success, but in 1941 more body styles were introduced.
The chassis had an 80 inch (203 cm) wheelbase, half elliptic springs with beam axle in front and quarter elliptics in the rear. The power came from a 2 cylinder Waukesha air cooled engine that had the fan as a part of the flywheel. The engine was connected with a three speed transmission and then directly via a torque tube to the rear axle, thus eliminating the need for universal joints.
In 1941 the body styles available was expanded to include two and four passenger convertibles, a convertible sedan, a station wagon, a panel truck, a pickup, and two models called "Parkway Delivery" (a mini-panel with no roof over the front seat) and "Covered Wagon" (a convertible pickup truck with a removable back seat).
During WW2 the Crosley became attractive because of gasoline rationing and the good mileage (50 miles per gallon).
With 24,871 cars sold, the best year was 1948. Although there were four models, including Crosley Hotshot and a sporting one, sales continuously declined. In 1952, only 1522 Crosley cars were sold. Production ceased that year and the plant was sold to the General Tire and Rubber Company.
Crosley CoBra (1945-1949)
The CoBra (Copper Brazed, also known as "The Mighty Tin") was originally developed by Lloyd Taylor , of Taylor Engines in California, for military use aboard PT boats and B-17 bombers. The engine was made from sheet metal rather than cast iron like most other engines. This was done to get a thin, uniform wall thickness and thus avoid the creation of hot spots around the combustion chamber that could ignite the fuel and causing the pre-ignition (knocks). The engine wasn't adoped for automobile use until 1946. It was a very lightweight engine, the block was only 14.8 lbs (6.7 kg) and even complete with all accessories including flywheel it still only weights 133 lbs (60 kg). The engine produced 26 hp at 5200 rpm.
CIBA (1949-1952 (1955))
The CIBA (Crosley Cast Iron Block Assembly) was a more traditional, and more reliable, engine with cast iron block. When Crosley cars was sold the engine was renamed to AeroJet and production continued. Production of the AeroJet ended in 1955 and was sold to Fageol .
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