Electric CD Wagon Project

Bruce Derenski

Greetings, fellow Crosley fans! My name is Bruce; I'm a brand new club member from the Tampa area. My car is a 1952 Super CD Wagon, currently in a jillion pieces while I tackle the frame and body work. Overall, the car is in great shape and is a very good candidate for the type of restoration work I do. I've lost count, but I think this is the 8th body-off restoration that I've tackled. It's my first Crosley, though.

At some risk of offending purists, I've decided to convert this car to electric drive. I recently procured the motor, controller, assorted converters, wiring and contactors. The plan is to be extremely respectful of the originality and current condition of the vehicle, and keep any modifications non-permanent. That means using existing mounts, the existing clutch, transmission and rear axle, and not drilling, welding or grinding any changes into the car. I've studied this conversion for about 4 months, and I'm confident it can be done. The Crosley is a superb candidate...it's lightweight, mechanically simple, and has minimal electric loading. With modern lithium batteries, the weight gain should not be a problem. The wagon configuration offers ample room for the extra equipment, and the engine compartment is very spacious once the old running gear is out of the way.

Before I get to the fun part, though, there is the normal dirty restoration work to tackle. I plan to separate the body and frame this week and do all the underside repair and refurbishment over the next couple of months. Then the bodywork and paint job, aiming to install the electric stuff over the Fall and into the winter. This is a long-term effort, with the project probably not seeing a road test for at least a year, and more if I get bogged down. I'm excited about trying something new, and I'm committed to doing nothing to the car that can't be un-done if I ever decide to rebuild the original engine and put it all back to factory.

I'm also looking forward to meeting Crosley fans and working with the community here to make the car something that the Crosley Club can be proud of. Thanks in advance for your assistance and hospitality. Regards, Bruce D

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