Cars We Remember – Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club infoReader Harry Black built a wooden Crosley Hotshot complete with a 30-inch wheelbase. The real Hotshot came with an 85-inch wheelbase, the only Crosley to exceed all other model’s 80-inches. Black carved the hood ornament bird. (Harry Black Collection photos)

Q: Hi Greg, your Crosley automobile articles recently appeared in our Lancaster, Pa. newspaper, and prompted this email.  

I am a product of the 1950’s, graduating from high school in 1956. I remember in 1952 walking by the Kaiser/Frazer and Crosley dealership in Uniontown, Pa. with three friends and having an “encounter” with a Crosley Hotshot.

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info
Looking at the side of Black’s Hotshot shows amazing attention to detail. The Hotshot was Crosley’s initial sports car effort. The gas pump and soda machine are also Black assembled wood creations.

This happened in the days that the new car showroom window was right along the sidewalk, and there was a display pad on an outside corner of the building.

Well, a new Crosley Hotshot was sitting on the display pad facing out on a 60-degree angle. My friends and I decided to each pick up a corner, and we turned the Hotshot car around. We then just stood there, thinking that it was now in a better view!

Then we just walked away.

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info
Considering Black’s wooden Hotshot is a near half-size reproduction with its 30-inch wheelbase and near 4-foot length; the work of art is a centerpiece in Black’s garage and takes up a full bay. Shown from the rear, the interior, dashboard and seats are smaller wood replicas of the real vehicle.

That was a long time ago and since then, I have restored several cars over the years. However, I never restored a Crosley Hotshot. Now, in retirement, I have created an all-wood model with a 30-inch wheelbase and 47.5 inch length. And, I can look at it from any angle.  

I thought you might enjoy these pictures and thanks for your weekly car nostalgia columns and feature stories. Harry Black, New Holland, Pa.

A: Harry, I have never seen such an outstanding woodwork and design as your beautiful Crosley Hotshot. Thanks for the many photos you sent and I’m hoping to leave enough space for each newspaper to use more than one of the photos you sent. Thank goodness that Hotshot was so light so each of your friends could easily move it.

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info
The rear shows amazing wood assembly abilities as tires, fuel tank cap, whitewalls and hubcaps are all wood. The only non-wood items are decal like reproductions of the antique license plate, headlight lens, and taillight lens and dashboard gauges/radio. Everything else is all wood designed, cut and assembled.

I, too, remember the new car dealerships from back in the 1950s, and the fact that the dealership you mention sold both Kaiser/Frazer and Crosley models under one room. Nowadays, if a dealer wants to sell different brand automobiles, they need dedicated buildings to each brand, even if they halve to “half” a showroom off with sliding patricians to make it happen. 

Thanks again for your photos and kind comments. I also want to mention the excellent Crosley Car Owners Club (CCOC) Internet homepage and Facebook pages, where Crosley fans and club members interact. I’m sure you will see your beautiful work of art at these Internet sites that have Crosley auto, truck, appliance, and Crosley family archives on both CCOC sites. They make mention of my columns when I do features on the Crosley.

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info
Photo of the Crosley Hotshot steering wheel, shifter, gauges and dashboard with Black conceived decal style reproductions for the gauges and radio. The Hotshot appeared in 1949 and was the first doorless little sports car in America post WWII.

Check out Crosley Car Club on Facebook at facebook.com/crosleycarclub and at groups.yahoo.com/group/Crosley. The latter has over 5,000 photos and I want to thank Lou Rugani, Moderator of the CCOC, for the above information. There is also another Crosley website at Crosleyautoclub.com

Also, if anyone would like to contact Harry about his masterpiece, contact me and I will pass along any requests to him.

Cars We Remember - Talented reader builds four-foot long wooden Crosley Hotshot; Crosley Car Owners Club info
Black’s Crosley Hotshot under construction test fitting the wheels. 

(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist. He welcomes reader questions and comments on auto nostalgia, collector cars or motorsports at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pa. 18840.)  

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