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Maytag Man Takes on Crosley Car Sales Franchise

This set of images taken in August of 1939 contains new Crosley automobiles (1939 to ’52 Cincinnati, Ohio) that were being sold by the Moore Maytag Co. located at 307 South Main St in Ann Arbor MI. The photos contain 1939 Crosley convertible sedans powered by a horizontally-opposed front-mounted two-cylinder engine backed-up by a three-speed transmission and a live rear-mounted drive axle.

Learn more about the pre-war two-cylinder, and post-war four-cylinder models at the Crosley Automobile Club, and view photos featured here earlier of the interesting little economy cars.

  • Photo taken in front of the Ann Arbor News offices.

19 responses to “Maytag Man Takes on Crosley Car Sales Franchise

  1. Amelia Earhart seen 2 years after her disappearance, driving a Crosley for Moore Maytag. Classic swing and a miss, the Crosley. 25 years later, it could have been a hit.

  2. Powell Crosley was a master marketer. The cars were sold in department stores right next to the refrigerators and radios his company offered. As a result the cars were narrow enough to fit through the front doors of department stores. I have so seen photos of Crosley vehicles on the upper level of car carrier trucks sitting side by side.

    • Eventually, but not quite yet when this car was photographed. The overhead cam came to Crosley when they started using the CoBra (Copper Brazed) I4 engines from Taylor post-war. These ’39s had Waukesha Cub Twin flat twin engines with an L-head configuration.

  3. In the lead picture, beyond the hood of the ’39 CROSLEY & parked on the street facing right, is a 1935 CHEVROLET Master DeLuxe Sport Sedan.

  4. Herbert Austin was well aware of cylinder snobbery when he made his 7 4 cylinder .I wonder if Crosley had done the same his little car things may have been different?

    • Perhaps, but being a 2-cylinder car didn’t seem to hurt the Citroen 2CV, the Fiat 500, the Saab 92, the Subaru 360, or the Mitsubishi 500.

      I suspect the Crosley design would never have done well regardless of the engine because conditions were different. The Citroen was a farmer’s vehicle (one of its design requirements was to drive across a freshly plowed field with a basket of eggs and not have the eggs break) and the others were city cars designed for low speed, low distance driving. With the rise of the suburbs in the US and the relatively robust municipal public transportation systems of the 1940s and 50s, the demand for city cars was low and the need for decent high speed increased. Except for the Hotshot, Crosley’s cars (even the 4-cylinder CC and CD) were limited to 50 mph. Even the original 25 horsepower Beetle could reach 60.

    • In the pic with the four gents, somebody forgot to remove the wrapping paper from the front bumper brackets. And really… what is going on with the rear hub cap? Looks like a major fluid leak there. Funny with the folks peering out of the windows at the photo shoot.

  5. If I remember my Crosley history, the “bumper guards” were flat spring steel on the pre-war cars. I owned five Crosleys over the years, all gone now. The last one was the most fun, a ’48 sedan with a ’74 Mustang 2.6 V6 , and drive line.

  6. Over the holidays, I was visiting family in Pennsylvania and stopped by the America on Wheels Museum in Allentown. To my surprise and amusement, they had a 1942 Crosley Liberty (one of 30 built with steel tops that year) on display. According to the owner-supplied information, it weighed 1050 pounds, had 12.5 horsepower, and cost $545 FOB Factory. The gas tank held 5 gallons and the oil tank 3 quarts.

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