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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). 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:
<i>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 had 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.</i>
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 14 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 many such hobbyist and special-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 gone into decline or have reorganized into Web discussion groups.
See also Powel Crosley, Jr.
CROSLEY CAR OWNERS CLUB (CCOC)
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