A while back, we wrote an article describing the Crosley Hot Shot as America’s First Sports Car.
And though the Hot Shot certainly deserves plenty of attention, it’s important not to overlook the rest of the Crosley Motors lineup, which included an array of wagons, trucks, and coupes.
So when we saw a couple drive up to a local Cars & Coffee in this delightful 1951 Crosley CD Wagon, eyelashes and all, we had to go talk to them.
…And we’re glad we did, because they reminded us why many gearheads got into the classic car hobby to begin with.
This 1951 Crosley CD Wagon is owned by Dennis and Sue Coning, two bona fide car lovers that also have in their garage a Ford Model T and vintage Ford station wagon—that once served as a push car at a local dragstrip, no less.
The Crosley designation “CD” is simply derived from a sequential model series, with earlier models stretching back alphabetically, e.g. “CC” and “CB,” etc. The CD models were made between 1949 and 1952, and were available as a sedan, pickup truck, and wagon.
But the Crosley thing sort of happened by accident. “I was looking for an Anglia,” Dennis admits. “But I stumbled across this one from a guy locally.”
He then describes meeting the seller. “I went up there and we just talked for several hours,” he says. “After that, I pretty much knew I had to buy the car.”
Suffice it to say, the Crosley came home with the Conings.
They’ve had it for about three years, and it hasn’t taken much to keep the ‘lil Crosley happy, just a few leaky gasket replacements, a carburetor rebuild, new plugs, and a conversion from points to a modern Pertronix ignition.
“It’s the same as an old Jeep distributor,” Dennis explains. “So [the conversion] wasn’t odd for this engine.”
Beyond the ignition and some cosmetic accents, the car is pretty much stock. And the Conings both say it’s been a fun, reliable ride. Since theirs is a “Super” model, it’s got a few more creature comforts over a base CD Wagon, namely a heater—which is really handy because the couple takes their Crosley all over the place.
Specifically, the Conings have made the trek up to the annual Crosley Auto Club Nationals in Wauseon, Ohio twice already, as it’s only about three hours away from their home outside Cincinnati.
In fact, that first trip to Wauseon is what made Sue fall in love with the car.
“She had not driven the car yet. And when we got to Wauseon, she took off in it, and spent two, three days driving all over,” Dennis chuckles. “It’s been hers ever since.”
Then, both Sue and Dennis spend a lot of time telling us about some of the finer details of the car, along with where else they’ve taken it—and where they’re going next.
And when we asked them to elaborate on those future plans with the Crosley, Dennis offers this final, salient point.
“We’re gonna keep it. Have fun with it,” he says. “And that’s what we enjoy about our cars, going out, having fun with them.”
Want to learn more about Crosleys? The Crosley Auto Club website has a trove of info on Cincinnati’s innovative car company.