Crosley Engine Family Tree - The Later Years

We start the 4th part of the Crosley engine family tree, with the sale of the assets of the company including the rights to the engine to General Tire in July 1952.

Post Crosley Production - 1952 to 1961

Not sure how long AeroJet produced engines. Any Info would be appreciated.

AeroJet - General Tire

When Crosley sold to General Tire in 1952, they sold the rights and tooling for the 4-cylinder engine, who were primarily interested in producing engines for government use. The engine was renamed AeroJet and was cast in the block where the Crosley name had formally been. Their marine division produced the "VIP" version of the engine (Vertical Inline Power.) The entire assembly rotated to achieve steering.

Military Engines shown up with manufacturing dates of 1953 and Crosley still on the block. Crosley Corporation existed for awhile after the sale to General Tire, they just owned controlling interest, common stock was still held by investors. So filling orders with existing stock of blocks makes sense.

The best I can tell the AeroJet stop production in 1955 and was sold to Fageol.

See the whole side by clicking on the picture. You will see the addition of freeze plugs to the left of the water plug.

Similar rear casting to late Crosley with an extra nub sticking out and extra numbers.
Dragon Inline 8

The Dragon 8 was built in limited numbers by John Peek, who build one for Sammy Crooks' L-Class Hydroplane "Dragon" (the source of the "Dragon" motor name?) as well as another 8 to 10 engines. The engine was made by bolting two Crosley engines tail to tail around one flywheel.  The back engine runs in reverse direction.  Burt Davidson after working on the Peek engine for Sammy built another 6 to 8 engines for L Class Hydroplanes in the mid to late 50s.  At least one is still in existence and running in the hands of Burt's family. 

I received info that Burt passed away towards the end of 2005.  The engine is now in the hands of his great grandson and still runs.

A movie of Burt running the Dragon 8 in 2004.  A photo of Burt starting up the Dragon.  A picture of Burt in his younger years working on the Dragon.

Rotary Valve Crosley

Another very limited addition (possibly only one) Rotary Valve Crosley engine was spotted at Speedy Bill (Speedy) Smith Museum of Speed in Lincoln, NE. They don't know much about it, does anyone else?


Not sure where this branch goes or if it is a branch or just an application. ThermoKing used the engine for refrigeration trailers running them on propane with DY10 Tillotson carburetors. These engines were supplied by Crosley starting in the CoBra days, and appears AeroJet supplied engines also.  A report of gasoline versions also being used in France in the mid 50s. No information found yet on if Crosley built the unit ready to drop in or just the engine.

This one appears to be a mid CIBA production style block.

A block reportedly off a ThermoKing had the standard R20990 casting number. I have only see one serial number and it was different that Crosley production numbers.

May move this to the CIBA years next go around of updates.

How unique was the design? How long were they used? Help?

Italian Job

I have little information on the Siata, Nardi, and others if anyone can help with what engine they used. 

Bandini - Mid 1950s

Bandini had single and  dual overhead cams versions.  The Bandini used both a modified single overhead cam almost stock looking Crosley and the highly modified dual overhead cam version where Bandini built the block and head assembly. Some reports are that the true Bandini Single Overhead cam engines also had a removable head like the dual engines and were 4 port intake.

Ilario Bandini with Dual Overhead Cam Bandini/Crosley engine

Jack Reuter's twin cam Bandini.  Weber carbs and Marrelli distributors.

1955 Bandini Siluro 750cc DOHC Rated 71hp

Barry Seel had a DOHC he rebuilt on a Dyno and said it hit 106hp at 9500RPM. One report of 60hp at 7000rpm for a Bandini built SOHC engines. Bandini website has been planned for awhile now.

Bendix Connection - 1955 - 1957

I bought these Bendix Aviation photos off eBay. They have Bendix Aviation Corp, Scintilla Division in Sidney NY on the back. Two views of two different engines.  One is marked Two Cycle Engine on the back.

The rest of the story, told by Leigh Knudson. - Bendix Scintilla efforts with Crosleys.  It was nearly all at the direction of my Dad, Gil Knudson. Bendix needed new products and Dad had a Crosley powered SIATA Amica, which I still have. He was hill climbing in Class H modified and giving away about 500 Lbs to the specials and SIATA Spyders. He needed horsepower and Bendix needed new product. After designing and getting the Auto Mag into production he tackled fuel injection. I think he had about eight patents on fuel injection but was monitoring and metering entirely mechanically. The injection system bore no resemblance to the Hilborn system except in function. He told me, many years later, the Bosch J-Tronic system was basically his system with electronic controls, but the patents had expired so no gain for Bendix. The 2 cycle engine was an attempt to build a 2 cycle with wet sump and have it stand on end for outboard use. This would have been clean burning and low polluting. The block was cast specifically for the project not a hacked up stock block. It only developed about 35 HP in supercharged form so the project was dropped. My Dad passed away in Jan. 1999.

1955 - 4 cycle fuel injected engine.

1957 - 2 cycle fuel injected

Fageol - flat 8, not clear how many were made, parts show up from time to time. It was reported that this was the experimental model. Anyone have a Flat 8? How about pictures of the production model?

Fageol 88 Vertical opposed 8. 80hp out of 88cu. in. Weight 295lb.  January 1958 Ad.  I have a report of one of these engines existing in Trenton, NJ in 1957.

Here is how the 8 worked off a 4 cylinder crank.

This flat 8 showed up in California and is believed to be a real Fageol/Crofton engine.


Lou Fageol of Twin Coach bus and automobile company of Kent, Ohio picked up the motor from General Tire in the mid-1950's, probably 1955 and built it as the Fageol 44 boat motor. The first motors shipped as Fageol were just left over AeroJet engines with a Fageol decal and possibly a Fageol intake manifold. This early 4-stroke outboard did not achieve enduring success or wide distribution. The Fageol 44 was sold in 3 performance forms, single carb, dual and supercharged (see curves to right).  Mirror image blocks were cast to be used in the opposing, pancake design, to put the intake and exhaust ports on top of the engine.

All under covers the Fageol 44 outboard hides its heritage well.

Standard 9:1 Compression 44 CI block, rated at 35HP with normal carburetion. 306 cast # has tubulator top combustion chamber.

High Compression Option

Late 44 CI block with 11:1 compression.  Reported to deliver 40HP with normal carburetion.

Hi compression Fageol 308 cast # has flat top combustion chamber and uses wedge topped pistons that takes the place of the turbulator top. 

High Compression 11:1 Fageol piston. 

Mirrored Block Fageol/Crofton

Mirrored block for normal Fageol with Fageol Lettering, block casting number to the right.  Possibly one bank of the Fageol 88 opposed 8.

Another Mirrored Fageol block with out lettering but the same casting number as the one to the left.  This was possibly the one used in the Crofton variant.

Fageol 44 VIP in a restored Yellow Jacket Boat owned by Jim Seitz
Crofton/Fageol Vertical Outboard with Pepco Supercharger. Engine sits flywheel down.

Click on the picture for the full engine view.


The Elgin was built by Fageol for use in Sears boats. This was another vertical design for boat use with the flywheel down. It drove a drive unit through the bottom of the boat like the Fageol. The whole engine rotated to steer the boat. Any other info?

Another casting number change. Click on the picture for the full engine view.


W.B. Crofton bought out Fageol's Crosley engine business and inventory around 1959 including the Fageol Marine name. They sold to the military, made boat motors and used the engine in their Crofton mini jeep, an updated version of the Crosley FarmOroad.

Crofton used both regular and mirrored blocks in their engine production. The Mirror engines were put together from the left over blocks from the flat 8 production run

53CI Crofton/Fageol Block
Probably late in Fageol ownership or early in Crofton's ownership a 53 CI version was offered and you could have your old engine rebuilt in to a 53 for $375. The 53 CI model had a 2.75" bore instead of the standard 2.5" to get the extra cubes.  Several of the 53 CI engine have shown up, seems to be very rare, so production musty have been very low. There are also reports of a Fageol/Crofton Gold Cup 60 which may be the origin of the 59 CI that became Homelite, but none of these engines have turned up.

Above is a brand new Crofton military engine that was still in the crate and had the protective wrapping pulled back.

From Crofton Engine Manual

Big Block Year


Randall made after market aluminum blocks for racing. They were made in the early 60's for Crosley retrofits for improved breathing, for whatever application desired, vertical or horizontal. Used all stock or after-market parts [required larger valves] and could be bored to 2.6 inches. $395.00 f.o.b. Note exhaust ports were moved to spark plug side and 4 intake ports were made to give cross flow system.

Scott Atwater

Heard reports of another Crosley variant called the Scott Atwater.  It was another vertical boat engine.  Was this made by Fageol/Crofton? Anyone have a picture of one? Where does it fit?

Taylor Years CoBra Years
CIBA Years
Post Crosley Big Block Years

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