Fighting Fascism With a Sheet-Metal Block: Crosley COBRA

Illustration for article titled Fighting Fascism With a Sheet-Metal Block: Crosley COBRA

What has 44 cubic inches, weighs just 133 pounds (including all accessories and flywheel), a block made of copper-brazed sheet steel, and joined with the Willys Go Devil to help plant a big steel-toed boot in the asses of Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tojo? The Crosley COBRA! Yes, UDMan, your suggestion has been heeded (in spite of the fact that I had a childhood of anti-Crosley propaganda from my grandfather, who bought one new in '46 and considered it the dumbest decision of his entire life). To be fair, however, an engine designed for stationary, fixed-RPM operation as a military generator powerplant can't be expected to hold up well under the temperature fluctuations and stop-start demands of a motor vehicle. By '49, Crosley had switched to a cast-iron block, which was more reliable but nowhere near as cool. [Crosley Auto Club]


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Rob Emslie

@UDMan: Most all of the Crosleys I have seen moved with such an utter absence of alacrity that I suppose you could consider them to be "stationary applications."

I still see one, a wagon, cruising around town, however it's a later, iron-block car. In fact, there used to be quite a few Crosleys in the area, and they would meet at a restaurant called LeRoys for lunch. It was fun to watch them- two to a parking space.