About the Crosley Car Owners Club in Yahoo Groups

About the Crosley Car Owners Club:

The Crosley Car Owners Club (CCOC) was historically
notable as being one of the first American support
groups for owners and enthusiasts of American-built
automobiles, in this case those built by the Crosley
Corporation in Richmond, Indiana between 1939 and
1942 and by Crosley Motors, Incorporated in Marion,
Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio between 1946 and 1952.

The CCOC was organized in early 1952 by Edward
Herzog (November 5, 1903 - July 7, 1982) of New
York. The first director was George W. Drum
(October 3, 1925 - December 16, 1997) of Charlotte,
North Carolina. At that point, Crosley cars and
trucks were still in production, but Crosley Motors
was sold to General Tire that July and production
halted forever at the close of the July 3rd shift.

Although there were sporadic outside efforts to
acquire the automotive tooling and fixtures and
resume production, the necessary finances were
never assembled and eventually the tooling was
scrapped, although the founders of the CCOC
worked to preserve the spare-parts stock.

A CCOC brochure of the period read:

"America's most exclusive automobile organization
adopts orphaned Crosley owners.

"When production of Crosley automobiles was
discontinued in July, 1952, some 60,000 Crosley
owners suddenly found themselves out on a limb.
Would they be able to find parts? How about service?
And what had happened to the company anyway?

"The last question, at least, was fairly easy to
answer. Crosley's downfall had been the efficient
but short-lived copper-brazed Cobra engines. These
warped and rusted out of shape, leaking a mixture
of oil and water into every conceivable part of the
sedan and convertible models that were unfortunate
enough to be equipped with them. Over 43,900 of the
Cobra-engined models were produced before the
company raised enough money to switch to the Ciba
engine, which had a cast-iron block. Sales then
started to rise, and the little Hotshot appeared,
followed by the Super Sports.

"These two cars proceeded to make a name for
themselves in sports-car competitions, consistently
knocking off cars with much bigger engine
displacements and astronomical price tags, much
to the delight of the company and owners alike.
But it was too late. The bad name of the Cobra
engine ahad been too much of a financial drag,
and soon Crosley Motors was no more.

"For a while, Crosley owners everywhere felt like
poor homeless orphans. But then, out of the air
of confusion and chaos there came the Crosley Car
Owners Club. Before long, a parts purchasing service
had been set up by the club, and a service booklet
covering repairs on all Crosley cars bumper to
bumper was printed.

"By now, club enrollment has swelled to 600 members,
who use their cars daily, keep them in perfect shape,
and hope for the day when Crosleys again will be built."

By early 1953, 588 members were registered. On July
18, 1954 the CCOC organized its first national
gathering in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The CCOC
publication (the Crosley Car Owner's Club Bulletin)
reported that fifty-one members from twelve states
brought forty-three Crosley vehicles to that meet,
the oldest of which had been built only fifteen
years prior and the newest was but two years old.

Early in 1955, member Donald W. Rice of Bedford,
Pennsylvania became the new CCOC president and
oversaw the second national summertime Crosley
gathering in Perkasie, Pennsylvania on August 14th
of that year, at which thirty-seven Crosleys from
ten states were in attendance. In early 1956, Rice
turned the CCOC over to the last Crosley
distributorship then still operating, Service Motors
(of 581 Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont, New York and
later of 616 Burnside Avenue in Inwood, New York),
which appointed George W. Drum as the CCOC managing
director. As the 1960s approached, the summertime
CCOC national meetings had tapered off but the
Bulletin was still published, and CCOC membership
lists and Bulletin publication responsibilities
were again assumed by George W. Drum. The Bulletin
became sporadic in nature and finally ended in mid-1961.

However, the Crosley Car Owners Club remains active.
As the Internet age dawned in the 1990s, the methods
used by car clubs and other bspecial-interest
groups for communicative purposes have altered,
spreading to instant, electronic text-and-image
messaging and, like the CCOC and a number of other
formerly mail-based groups, have often reorganized
into Web discussion groups, such as the CCOC is today.

President Dwight David Eisenhower was Member No. 1300 of the Crosley Car Owners Club.

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