The Crosley Hotshot was the work of Powel Crosley Jr., an Ohio industrialist who owned Crosley Broadcasting and the Cincinnati Reds. Despite this impressive resume, he was unsatisfied. Crosley longed to make cars, and in 1939 he founded Crosley Motors. Despite his success in several different businesses over the years, however, the car company never took off, and it became a black mark on Crosley’s otherwise impressive career.
One of the company’s biggest embarrassments was the 1950 Hotshot. A stylish enough car on the outside, its major design flaw was its engine. The car could only manage an average speed of 52 miles per hour, and instead of casting it in iron, it was welded together with tin. The welding failed on a regular basis, and heated the inside of the vehicle to an alarming degree. Crosley Motors closed its doors in 1952, but the Hotshot lives in infamy for a generation who saw a mangled specimen in the 1961 driver’s education film “Mechanized Death.”