- this adorable 1948 crosley cc four is our bring a trailer pick of the day.
- the cc four stood out among the chrome-covered barges of post-war america, powered by a 0.7-liter inline-four.
- the blue-and-white crosley was restored by the previous owner, including a fresh paint job.
when you think of cars from the postwar era, you likely picture gigantic boats stretching nearly 20 feet long, bedazzled in chrome trim and sprouting jet-age fins from the rear fenders. but not every vehicle that emerged after the end of world war ii was a portrait of american excess. one of the few companies not building lavish boulevard cruisers was crosley, which focused instead on lightweight subcompacts. its most popular model was the cc four, and this station-wagon example is now for sale on the bring a trailer auction site—which, like car and driver, is part of hearst autos.
crosley launched its first car in 1939, a tiny two-door that competed with the american bantam. the company continued building road cars into 1942, with wartime fuel rations making the efficient little runabouts an attractive choice. in 1946, civilian production resumed with the new cc four, which was offered in a plethora of body styles: sedan, two-door convertible, station wagon, panel van, pickup, and even a convertible wagon called the sport utility. the cc helped crosley reach new heights, more than tripling sales to over 20,000 units in both 1947 and 1948, but reliability woes hurt the brand's reputation. crosley launched a miniature sports car called the hotshot and an off-roader called the farm-o-road, but sales plummeted and the company ceased production in 1952.
this blue-and-white 1948 crosley cc four station wagon represents the most common crosley, but the little long-roof is a fairly rare find today. powered by a 0.7-liter inline-four mated to a three-speed manual transmission, the rear-wheel-drive cc is not a fast car, and it would probably struggle to reach the 70-mph limit shown on the speedometer. you probably wouldn’t want to get going that fast anyway, since stopping power is provided by drum brakes at each wheel.
the tiny red-painted 12-inch wheels are wrapped in 155/80 kumho power star 750 tires, and the car comes with a matching spare. inside, the two front seats and narrow rear bench are cloaked in a brown vinyl, with olive door panels topped off with faux-wood trim.
the cc four won’t win you any light-to-light drag races, but the cheerful little crosley would certainly stand out in traffic and it represents an unusual piece of automotive history. this is one of the cleaner crosleys to crop up on bring a trailer, with the previous owner having bought it as a running project car and refurbishing it, including a fresh layer of paint. bidding is already past the $10,000 mark with five days to go.