HomePick of the Day1949 Crosley Hot Shot

1949 Crosley Hot Shot



The 1949 Crosley Hot Shot roadster wears what looks to be a custom body
The 1949 Crosley Hot Shot roadster wears what looks to be a custom body

During gas-rationed World War II when every driving errand had to be considered carefully, Crosley Motors of Cincinnati produced teeny, tiny cars that became popular because of their fuel mileage. After the war, Crosley tried to stay relevant by upgrading its pint-size offerings with such things as a sporty roadster.

The Pick of the Day is one of those, a 1949 Crosley Hot Shot built in the company’s waning years of production. Just 12 feet long and weighing 1,100 pounds soaking wet, the Hot Shot was diminutive even by small sports car standards; the contemporary MGTC from the U.K. outweighed it by several hundred pounds.

The diminutive Crosley Hot Shot is just 12 feet long
The diminutive Crosley Hot Shot is just 12 feet long

The MG was also more powerful, compared with the Crosley’s 750cc engine that generated just 26.5 horsepower hooked up with a three-speed gearbox.

This Hot Shot, listed in ClassicCars.com by a Grand Rapids, Michigan, classic car dealer, is an especially attractive version with rounded fenders in place of the usual flat sides, a better-looking grille and a hot rod-style windshield. A custom body? The dealer provides no indication of its derivation.

The multiple photos with the listing show a pair of carburetors with velocity stacks feeding the engine, which seems to have an aluminum, finned valve cover, and dual exhaust. So what we have here might be a truly rare creature: a custom-bodied, hot rodded Crosley Hot Shot.

Whatever the case, this Hot Shot looks quite sharp, and with only 38,174 miles on its odometer should be in decent driving condition. According to the listing, the roadster was owned for many years by a local Michigan collector who recently passed on.

The Crosley appears to have had a performance boost
The Crosley appears to have had a performance boost

“The car has been gone through mechanically and has a rebuilt distributor,” the listing says. “It runs and drives extremely well. Shifting is smooth and for 26.5 horsepower, it really gets up and goes. The frame is solid and (the car) has always been garage kept.”

The asking price for this unique piece of automotive history is $14,900, which should provide loads of driving fun for an adventurous owner.

“This little car gets big attention,” the dealer adds. “No matter what stop light you’re at, you will have passersby giving you thumbs up (yes, it is street legal), that’s a guarantee.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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