- Written by webmin
Part of the Crosley legend is that Powel Crosley devised an innovative way to sell his cars: Rather than institute a network of dealerships across the country, as every other automaker had, he would sell the cars the same way he sold his radios – through department and appliance stores, many of which already sold his radios and Shelvador refrigerators. Of course, like most legends, this one is only partly true; the department store idea fell apart when it became apparent that the owners of the cars would need to have their cars serviced, a requirement that department and appliance stores couldn’t meet. So Crosley switched to the more common franchise system of dealerships, making dealers out of garage operators across the country.
Last month, Jim Bollman announced on the Crosley Gang mailing list that he had in his possession an incomplete and handwritten list of known Crosley dealerships, likely the result of a Crosley enthusiast intent on visiting each one to buy their caches of Crosley parts for pennies on the dollar. Fortunately, Jim took on the task of not only typing up the list, but also making it available to automotive historians via the Crosley Auto Club’s website. As we can see from the list, the cars were much more popular in the Midwest than anywhere else – for example, the list includes 23 different dealerships in Ohio, but none in Oregon. We also see that, unsurprisingly, Crosley dealership owners also took on franchises from other independent automakers and scootermakers, including at least one that took on a Tucker dealership.
So take a look through the list and see if you recognize any of the dealerships. Jim would like to note that these are old addresses, so the business owners and residents at the addresses today may not want to be bothered about their connection to a long-gone dealership. However, if you know of a dealership that isn’t on the list, or if you have stories or materials pertaining to a dealership that is on the list, let us know and we’ll pass word on to Jim to include that information.