Crosley Engine Family Tree - CIBA Years

The birth of CIBA - "The Cast Iron Block has only a slight increase in weight and is a distinct engineering achievement of the Crosley Engineering Laboratories that has taken over a year in it's development. It will definitely be better in territories having hydrant water containing chemicals with corrosive or electrolytic action and will also be better for marine use where salt water is used as a coolant. These Blocks will have all the characteristics of Cast Iron Blocks that you have known in other motor cars. The new Engine will retain all of the exclusive advanced features such as overhead cam shaft, valve rotators, four-ring pistons, etc." (Dealer Letter)

Crosley CIBA - 1949 to 1952

CIBA - Cast Iron Block Assembly

After numerous problems and a loss of public acceptance, Crosley switched to cast iron construction for the block in early 1949. COBRA owners could retrofit CIBA units for $89 with exchange.

Several variation of the CIBA were made, starting with a flat top combustion chamber and ending with a Turbulator combustion chamber. A limited number of 10:1 QuickSilver engines were made for some Super Sports models, they used an alcohol/water injector on the carb to keep them from spark knocking.

Below you can see some of the running variations in the block. The most common casting number was R209900 but there were many variations with that casting number.

Note the placement of Crosley and the shape of the casting on the back of the block. It has a flat top combustion chamber and a thinner bottom flange. I think this is an early cast block, maybe a replacement block for the tin when the engines were rebuilt by the factory.

New location for Crosley, same back casting, most seem to be flat top, a slight variation with 2 water plugs in the back can be either flat or turbulator combustion chamber.

Later block same Crosley placement, has a different casting shape on the back. This change was make so adding a cam driven governor could be added for industrial and military applications. You can't see it in this photo but it also has two water outlets on the back. These appear to all have turbulator style combustion chambers.


A Crosley product book put out in the 1951-52 time frame, shows a "Commercial Engine" for general industrial uses. It has also been reported that this engine has been seen in a forklift application. Note the unique position of the Crosley name. It also has a different casting number R209501, which is actually a lower number than the standard number. The specs are the same as the car engine but they may have been built tougher/different inside for this application.  Three of these blocks that showed up off the engine, show a flat top compression chamber, that would be different than production engines in 1951-52. A thinner base plate may make it higher compression. Has anyone rebuilt one of these engines that can give any info on what might be different inside?

This one was at the 2001 Crosley Nationals. Other have shown up and so far all have had very late serial numbers.

What is CWC

Campbell Wyant and Cannon Foundry Co in
Muskegon Heights Michigan cast all the Crosley blocks.


QuickSilver Engine with VitaMeter

The QuickSilver engine is still a bit of a mystery. It was sold as an option for the Super Sports and apparently could be special ordered for other uses from the dealer (dealer cost $162.95, standard engines were $152.95). Several reports them marked with a small HC stamp on a flat on the upper spark plug side of the engine.  One member reported that the extra compression ratio was obtained by using special pistons with the kingpin hole slightly lower. I assume this means a flat top compression chamber. Another report was that .050 was shaved off the bottom of the block.

They are very rare today but may have just gotten mixed in with all the other engines and just fall into the class of an extra hot engine that you don't know why. The VitaMeters would be a giveaway but even fewer of those have survived. The photos to the right show a VitaMeter on a Super Sports. Apparently the design changed over the production run as it is different in style from the one in the picture above.

A different style of VitaMeter than first released.

Another variation of the R209900 block, notice the freeze plugs on either side of the water outlet. This appears to be a late block primarily used on Generator engines. So far the ones that have shown up fall in the after car production time frame SN 140000 range. Possibility after AeroJet took over production. It has the turbulator combustion chamber.

Crosley Marine

Crosley inboard boat motor at Nationals
Factory Photo

Still a Mystery

Click on the pictures to see the full block.
So far five blocks have shown up like the right block. Not sure what the X means. The first one of these I found was reported to be the original engine out of a Super Sports. I thought maybe the X was for 10:1 compression Quicksilver. One of the blocks is on what looks like an unmolested engine and shows a serial number that places it in late 1949 or early 1950 (pre Quicksilver. Yet another neat X block has shown up on a 1948 crankcase so it would have been a replacement block. The right block has also shown up a couple of times with what I call a sloppy X.

A theory has been sent in for both these X blocks. Foundries mark experimental runs of castings with an X when they are trying something new. Notice that the neat X is a tag held on with some round headed nails in the form that made the block. If the experiment worked they use the part and make the change permanent, removing the X. This would explain the wide variety of X engines and years that have shown up. Any other ideas?

Crosley Engine Serial Numbers

The engine number is to the rear of the distributor on the crankcase.

Exact dates for CIBA production are not known, here are a few approximate dates and numbers of Crosley engines.







12/1950 118000



01/1952 130000
06/1952 133000

Just from observations:
Late engines with 6 numbers in the serial number (late 51 to 52), not counting any letters, have a higher frequency of nodular iron cranks (often mistakenly called cast steel) and strapped mains. Most late generator engines have a C stamped by the serial number. All late generator engines have nodular iron or the better drop forged steel cranks, strapped mains and heavier crankcases. The date is not known when the block embossing changed to AeroJet.

Mystery Engines

Mystery 1 - I was told of a block with Crosley cast on the manifold side by the carburetor.  Nothing else was reported.  Any ideas?

Mystery 2 - was seen on eBay with no extra info about what it was used in.

Gear drive water pump

Other side of engine shows a down draft carb, a stack manifold and a governor.  Any ideas.

A member sent this photo of a piece of a block that he cut up to show how much the core can shifts and ruin an over bore if you go to far on the wrong block.

Post Crosley

Este 500cc

Really need more info on this one. A single report was the following from the book, 500c.c. Racing by Gregor Grant, Copyright July 1950. "During the past few months, the makers of the Crosley car have shown interest in European-style 500-c.c. racing, and one of their o.h.c. four-cylinder engines, suitable linered down, was used in a new Swiss-built "500" named the Este, which was exhibited on the Crosley stand at Geneva."

Beaver-Boat Marine

Don't know much, it has a Crosley script block.  Here is the manufacturing plate.
Correction or additions are welcome.
Taylor Years CoBra Years
CIBA Years
Post Crosley Big Block Years

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