(From Mini-Motor News, Winter, 1970 - Volume 1, No. 3)
FORMER CROSLEY DEALER TELLS IT LIKE IT WAS
Meet Bob Heinze of 7914 West Kimsey Lane, Scottsdale, Arizona 85257!
Bob is formerly from the Buckeye State of Ohio, and was a certified
Crosley automoble dealer there from 1949 thru 1952 (when Powel threw in
the towel and closed shop in Cincinnati, Ohio).
But long before the Crosley, Bob got his initiation in the small-car field. In fact he was a mere nine years old when he saw his first
American Austin and liked what he saw right off the bat! Bob says he
was an Austin/Bantam fan from then on. When he was old enough to drive,
he began tinkering with A-Bs, and naturally has owned and driven them.
Bob knows a great deal about both the Am. Austin and the Bantam models, and in fact still owns a Bantam Panel.
The Crosley is a 1950 Super station wagon whch Bob has now sold, along
with a Super Sports. (He's replacing them with a '48 Crosley Sports
Utility). The body on the '50 wagon was in mint condition!
He is presently restoring a pre-war 2-cylinder convertible Crosley and the '48 Utility. The 2-cylinder convertible is in primer minus hubcaps, headlights, top, etcetera. Bob does most all of the restoration work on his cars, and from the looks of the recent color photo sent me of the 2-banger, his work is excellent! Latest project was making up a new top from scratch by looking at a picture of the car in a sales folder. Bob made his own patterns, cut out the top and sewed it, and believe me, it looks like a factory job!
Bob says he was pretty much hung up on Austin-Bantams until he drove
one of the first 4-cylinder Crosleys. Here are his own words on the
subject: "I'll never forget when I started in with Crosleys. Boy, what
a surprise when I drove my first one. I was expecting Bantam
performance - did I ever get a surprise! From then on I was sold on
that little car."
Mr. Heinze states he totally enjoyed selling Crosleys, and if someone
would start building them again today he'd do it again. New Crosleys
were hard to sell initially, but after he did make a sale he generally had another Crosley enthusiast, and many times made repeat sales. One fellow bought three new Crosleys in four years!
One thing that helped Mr, Heinze in being a successful Crosley dealer
was by giving topnotch service to his customers, doing little
uncalled-for extras that made owners' Crosleys run better, and then too,
being enthused about the little cars. It's my feeling a lot of Crosley
dealers (and other orphan makes also) weren't too successful simply because they had little interest in the cars or their customers!
Bob says doing business with Crosley Motors, Inc. was a real pleasure.
There never were any high-pressure tactics, and company officials never interfered with his business. Mr. Heinze also sold Kaiser-Frazer cars and says the money he made selling Crosleys he lost with Kaiser. In his own words, "When I made $100 or so on a K-F, they'd be around wanting more! (This is not meant as a testimony against K-F-built cars however, as your editor has always been partial to the Kaiser in the
special-interest large car field.)
Presently Bob's pride and joy is the 2-cylinder convertible; however he is very interested in the Crosley Farm-O-Road (jeep) built from '50-'52, and is in the market for one at a reasonable price. He also has an original Cobra Copper Brazed 4-cylinder Crosley engine all spruced just for show, and this was indeed a revolutionary powerplant. Not many are
in running shape today.
Recently Mr Heinze paid a visit to Harrah's Automobile Collection in
Reno, Nevada where he saw a '41 Crosley cabriolet, a '33 American Austin roadster, a Crosley Farm-O-Road, a King Midget, several English Austin
Sevens and a Henry J, just to name a few in Harrah's collection.
As stated earlier, Bob is a real small-car enthusiast and an excellent mechanic. He has sent us some helpful restoration aids and tips - some of which I intend to list elsewhere in this issue of MMN.
The Ohio winters got to be too much for Bob Heinze, so he moved from
Brunswick, Ohio (where his Crosley garage was) to the land of the sun
"where no snow's a-fallin' ".
Oh, yes, the Bantam panel truck is for sale. If you're interested,
write Bob in Scottsdale, Arizona.
(From Mini-Motor News, Winter 1970, Volume 1, No. 3)