If you haven’t seen the Flying Saucer on Chasing Classic Cars with Wayne Carini, then you missed an adventure. Not only was it a blast to work with the crew and Wayne, the car itself had a blast—with smoke coming from the engine bay!
As the car was cresting a hill in mid-July, the motor lost power and both oil caps blew off. Wayne and I got the Flying Saucer back to the garage, where I pulled the spark plugs. I cleaned and checked all the plugs before reinstalling them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to fix the problem.
The heat that was generated in that one incident melted a piston so Wayne wasn’t able to get back behind the wheel and finish what had started out as a really fun ride. I was bummed and worked like a crazy man for the next week to find a replacement piston. If you’re already a fan of Crosley’s cars, then you know how hard it is to find some of these parts. But, I managed to find a piston that would work if I replaced all four; the replacement wouldn’t work with the remaining three.
Luckily, the cylinder walls were in good shape so I could hone the block and go from there. With the new pistons balanced and the engine rebuilt, the Flying Saucer was back on the road. Wayne’s schedule didn’t allow him to come back to continue the story so what you’ll see on Chasing Classic Cars isn’t the happy ending I wanted, with Wayne smiling as he finished his trip in this one-of-a-kind car.
Still, the summer of 2019 was a good one and the Flying Saucer was not only invited to show at Sunday in the Park during Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 37, that crazy car took home a special award as named by none other than park owner Skip Barber himself!
It was great to see the car on Wayne’s show and I hope lots of people see it so they learn just how cool these micro cars can be. All old cars have their days, which means the people who love them have some exciting days, too. I have to say, as much as I wish everything had been perfect for the shoot, I knew the engine would be fine because Powell Crosley did make one hell of an engine.
Here’s to the early spring that the groundhog promised to us and some great cruising in Crosley!