Saturday 29th April 1939
The compact Crosley was introduced to the press and dealers by Powel Crosley Jr at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana, US. Crosley was a small, independent American manufacturer of subcompact cars, bordering on microcars. At first called the Crosley Corporation and later Crosley Motors Incorporated, the Cincinnati, Ohio firm was active from 1939 to 1952, interrupted by World War II production. Their station wagons were the most popular model, but also offered were sedans, pickups, convertibles, a sports car, and even a tiny jeep-like vehicle. For export, the cars were badged Crosmobile.
Crosley introduced several “firsts” in American automotive history, including the first affordable, mass-market car with an overhead camshaft engine in 1946; the first use of the term ‘Sport(s-) Utility’ in 1947, for a 1948 model year convertible wagon; and the first American cars to be fitted with 4-wheel caliper type disc brakes, as well as America’s first post-war sports car, the Hotshot, in the 1949 model year.
All of Crosley’s models were lightweight (1,100 to 1,400 pounds (500 to 640 kilograms)) body-on-frame cars with rigid axles front and rear, and engines with less than 1 litre (61 cubic inches) displacement. With exception of the late introduced Hotshot and Farm-O-Road models, the vast majority of all Crosleys were built on an 80 inches (2.03 metres) wheelbase, and with leaf-springs.