Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crosley Automobile Heir Gone!

The spiritual heir to the Crosley automobile is gone. Yes, the campy little Yugo is going out of production. In a time when nearly everyone wants a small, economic automobile, too! The same car that brought back the Crosley jokes. ("Why does a Crosley need a rear-window defroster? So you can see when you're pushing it.")

The details are in news reports, but one can't help but wonder whether they would be a successful import in America, if properly marketed. It might save GM or Ford to buy Yugo with their coming windfalls.

That sounds good, but when did a mega-corporation ever do anything smart? (Digression: Ford and GM and Chrysler continuing to turn out massive gas hogs for all these years proves something I've been telling people for years: too much money makes you stupid!)

Naturally we think, "Bring back the Crosley!" A Japanese company was ready to close on a deal to license the Crosley design and buy the tools and templates in 1954, but that deal went away. Probably for the same reasons the Crosley went away: few people were interested in the novelty or the high gas mileage. It was no longer the only new car available.

But the basic design could be upgraded. The automotive rights are probably vested in whatever company Aerojet General became (not in some trumpeting descendant). But that won't happen, either; it's easier to draw up a new car from scratch, or buy the Yugo and upgrade it.

Still, what would it take to update the Crosley as we knew it to meet 21st Century safety and performance standards? Brakes, for sure! Any thoughts?
(That's Tom Miller's '48 wagon on the right.)


twofoot said...

Retro is very hot these days. So is high mileage. LOL

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