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Completed Crosley club youth project car awarded to its 16-year-old restorer

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Photo courtesy Crosley Automobile Club.

Not all youth project cars like the one sponsored by the Crosley Automobile Club end in success, which was why the members of the club, upon the completion of the 1947 Crosley’s restoration, decided to award the car’s title to 16-year-old Lizzie Frey, who saw the project through to its end.

“I was pretty proud of her because we’ve got guys in the club who’ve been working on the same car for 12 years,” said Ron Sipe, Frey’s grandfather, who accepted the title in Frey’s absence at the recent Crosley club nationals in Wauseon, Ohio. “Youth projects are kind of tough – to have a young person stick with something like this with school and whatever else they have going on, it doesn’t happen a lot.”

In fact, Frey was the second teenager to attempt the project. Club members initially gathered the basic components of the car (for the sake of full disclosure, one of those components was a sedan body that the author donated to the project) for a boy in southern Indiana to restore and assemble. When it appeared as if the project had stalled after about three years, Sipe and Frey – who served as the youth reporter for the club – volunteered to finish the project.

Sipe had enlisted his granddaughter since she was eight years old to help with two of his previous Crosley restorations, so the club transferred the project to them. “I taught her how to weld, how to paint, how to turn wrenches on it,” Sipe said. “She wanted to do a lot of it herself, but once she had to redo things because she didn’t follow the procedure the first time, then she really got on with it.”

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Photos courtesy Melisa Pursley.

Frey exhibited the unfinished Crosley at previous Crosley club nationals and even earned a first in class award for it last year. At this year’s nationals, held earlier this month, club president David Anspach signed over the now-complete car’s title to Frey while announcing a second club youth project.

“(The youth project) is a concept we think is unique in the collector car club world, one fully supported by the club and its members and vendors,” Anspach said.


Photo courtesy Melisa Pursley.

Frey said she was happy to spend three years on the project. “It brought my grandpa and I really close,” she wrote. “My grandpa was my role model back then and he still is today. I have learned more than you can imagine by working on Crosleys. It has taught me patience, new skills, how to be creative, and how to be a hard worker. I named my car Freda after my grandma because she was such a bright lady, always very polite and most importantly she was very strong for all the things she went through in life which resembles my car.”

Anspach noted that another car, this one a roadster, has already been donated to the club for a follow-up youth project. The club plans to select another youth to restore it by next year’s Crosley club nationals.