Just when I thought I could recognize every strange little car out there, along comes something like this Crosley that looks like a cross between a mini-Jeep and a King Midget. Surely familiar to Crosley collectors, but not widely known by the uninitiated.
The Pick of the Day is a 1952 Crosley Farm-O-Road, a tiny craft built for rural living, although it could be a city vehicle for fun-loving drivers. The Farm-O-Road was produced during the last three years of Crosley production before the maker of sub-compact vehicles was sidelined for good.The Crosley Automobile Club estimates that fewer than 600 Farm-O-Roads were produced.
“And now for something completely different… a 1952 Crosley Farm-O-Road early ‘gator’ style of vehicle,” advises the Morgantown, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the Crosley on ClassicCars.com. “This Farm-O-Road took its cues from the Jeep and the wartime Pup. It has a boxy, minimalist body with everything you absolutely needed but nothing you didn’t.”
The Crosley is powered by a 44cid overhead-cam inline-4 that produces 26.5 horsepower, linked to a 3-speed manual transmission.
“This was a tiny, but very potent and surprisingly durable engine,” the dealer says in the ad.
The interior is completely spartan with few creature comforts beyond padded seats. The 4-passenger utility vehicle weighs less than 1,000 pounds, rides on 12-inch wheels and has a 63-inch wheelbase. The dealer says the Crosley was “meticulously restored” with zero rust present.
“This example comes to us as an older restoration, bathed in green and made of simple straight steel fashioned to emulate the looks of the ubiquitous Jeep,” the ad continues. “Much smaller scale though (than the Jeep CJ) but still using the curved hood, side flanking rounded integrated fenders and vertical oval grille.”
This Crosley might be small, but it’s no shrinking violet.
“An AACA National 1st place winner in 1986, and the same ownership for over 35 years, speaks volumes for this mini-SUV,” the dealer says, noting that there is some issue with its actual model years.
“Consignor states this is the first 1950 Farm-O-Road produced based upon the FR101 serial number tag, however, this vehicle is titled as a 1952 using the engine number,” the ad says, although that might indicate that it’s a 1950 Crosley with a 1952 replacement engine, with the title re-assigned after the engine swap. Whatever, it’s now considered a ’52 model.
The gallery of photos with the ad shows a Crosley that appears to be in excellent condition, with decent paint, good “interior” and a clean engine compartment. The underside also looks fresh, although the seller notes that the tires are old and need replacement.
The overall vibe of the Farm-O-Road is similar to the Mini Moke from the UK, which was also a pint-size vehicle designed for rough terrain. The vehicles of today that it most resembles are the purpose-built ATV off-roaders designed to carry people into the back country.
The asking price for this Crosley is a steep $45,500, which seems overinflated. But as they say, try and find another one like this.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.