At 26.5 HP, The Puny Crosley Hot Shot Passed for a Sports Car 70 Years Ago


We’ve become so spoiled by easily accessible horsepower in modern sports cars that we’ve all forgotten what classics used to look and drive like. In the very distant past, this 1950 Crosley Hot Shot had only 25 and a bit horsepower to its name, but people back then thought this was more than sufficient. Crosley was such a brief but interesting footnote in the history of the American auto industry; we think at least every enthusiast should know their name. This automaker operated from 1938 until 1952. But, unlike other American makers, lightweight and puny engines were the names of the game. As if they were built in France, not the U.S., or something. The Hot Shot was revealed as Crosley’s halo car of sorts in 1949. The example we have here comes from 1950, the second production year for the model. As we mentioned, the Hot Shot made a paltry 26.5 horsepower straight from the factory. But that was more than enough for the 1,095 lb (497 kg) vehicle to achieve a top speed of 73 mph (117 kph) in its glory days, thanks to its 44 cu-in (724 ccs) four-pot engine. Sadly, American cars took a very different direction, and the company was bust by the early 50s. Only a handful of Crossley Hot Shots remain extant today. Surprisingly, this one for sale via eBay by user nbcgibbs, is in working order even though it spent that many years neglected and not running before making an appearance online for us all to marvel at like some kind of iron and steel newborn baby or kitten. The seller said, “We put some oil in the cylinders, gas in the carburetor, installed a battery, cleaned the points, disconnected the gas tank and got the little Crosley to start right up and idle smooth.” They didn’t drive it, though. If that kind of look is so your style, the current bid on the vehicle is only $3,550. Of course, there’s still a lot to work on this lightweight roadster, but at least it’s a complete car. Also, the canopy looks thinner than your porch’s screen door, and it definitely needs major bodywork repairs and new paint.