A few springs ago, my brother and I went for a morning hike in the woods of mid-Missouri. The snow had melted sometime prior and, although the trees were bare, the landscape had returned to its autumn hues. We shuffled through the fallen leaves and crossed cricks that had started flowing once again. As we worked our way up an embankment, we noticed a dark, triangular object propped against a tree in the distance. Upon closer inspection, we realized it was an early-’50s Chevrolet pickup hood that had been unbolted and forgotten. What appeared to be a ’39 or ’40 Fordoor sat nearby, dented, rusted and stripped of just about everything worth anything. If my memory serves me correctly, it was flipped upside down.
After stumbling upon a couple more cars in similar states of disrepair, it was clear that the game had changed; this hike from Point A to Point B had turned into a hunt for vintage tin. Under grey skies, we moved through the woods, finding everything from truck frames to burnt-out more doors. Unfortunately, there were no T’s, no A’s and certainly no Deuces. But, as we approached the final portion of our hike, we spotted a familiar roofline in the distance.
That roofline belonged to a Crosley that was slowly sinking into the earth. It was missing its hood, grille, trim and driver’s side door, but overall it was a solid body. Yes, it was abandoned, and yes, it was certainly salvageable. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I began scheming about what we could do with the little car. Just think: extend the frame Batto Trucking-style, or make a short-wheelbase screamer a la “Blue Goose.” Or how about take some styling cues from “Cool Hand Luke,” which raced at the H.A.M.B. Drags during the early years. If we could find the right people to talk to, this could be our blank canvas.
The more numbers we crunched, the more we discovered that it simply wasn’t in the cards.
We never did rescue that car, but thankfully Cincinnati hot rodders Mike Lewis and Ryan Pope are hard at work on a drag Crosley of their own dubbed the “KamiCrosley.” If everything goes as planned, the quarter-mile terror will debut at the 2017 Meltdown Drags. To watch it come together, make sure to check out the build thread here.