1923 Crossley 19.6hp

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1923
  • Chassis number 
    to be advised
  • Lot number 
    531
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1923 Crossley 19.6hp Two-seater plus Dickey
Registration no. SV 9311
Chassis no. to be advised

'The 19.6 was another favourite with the Prince of Wales, and in 1923 one was the first ever to succeed in a 20,000 mile RAC trial.' ? Nick Baldwin, 'A-Z of Cars of the 1920s'.

Previously a manufacturer of proprietary engines, Crossley Brothers Limited of Manchester built their first motor car in 1904. The first Crossley to make any impact was the A W Reeves-designed 20hp, introduced in 1910. The model was taken up by the military in World War I, seeing service as a staff car, ambulance, and light truck. In the post-war years the company continued to concentrate its efforts on transportation for the middle classes, a policy helped considerably by the marque's popularity with the British Royal Family, in particular the Prince of Wales.

Unlike many rival manufacturers of up-market cars, Crossley continued to favour four-cylinder sidevalve power units for all its models until the advent of the 18/50 in 1926. Despite this apparent handicap, the 20/70hp model (a more sporting development of the 19.6hp) was described by The Motor as 'One of the best cars ever produced in England'.

Introduced in 1920 at the London Motor Show, Olympia, the 19.6hp was the company's first new post-WWI design, deliveries commencing in 1921. It was powered by a 3.7-litre sidevalve four producing a maximum of 53bhp. Power was delivered via a cone clutch to a four-speed gearbox and spiral-bevel rear axle, and there were brakes on the rear wheels only at first. Perrot-type front brakes were an option for 1924, standard for 1925, and there were semi-elliptic springs all round. The 19.6hp continued in production together with the 20/70hp into 1926, by which time some 1,100 had been built.

This car's lightweight chassis carries a two-seat-plus-dickey sports body, the latter very rare as most were four-seater types. The Crossley was re-imported from Australia in 1990 and had been restored by 2000; it was first registered in the UK in 2002 and is one of only two of its type in this country. The restoration was carried out by Nigel Parrot (N P Veteran Engineering). Engine work (including an increase in compression ratio) cost £5,793 and a new crown wheel/pinion and bearings cost a further £1,200. Other works carried out include rebuilding the radiator and fitting a new Autovac, interior upholstery, hood, tonneau cover, and clutch lining, the latter in 2014. An alternator has been fitted but the original Rotax dynamo (in working order) comes with the car. Other noteworthy features include aluminium wheel discs, an RAC radiator mascot, and a Smiths five-jet carburettor with 'Bentley' type electric heater (for winter starting). We are advised by the private vendor that the car is in generally very good condition, the engine displaying excellent oil pressure (15psi hot or cold).

In the present ownership since 2012, the Crossley was driven to Nice in the South of France for a holiday in 2017 without any problems, winning overall the Concours d'Élégance at St Brieuc while there. It has also competed in the VSCC's Goodwood Sprint and is a winner of the prestigious Pomeroy Edwardian Trophy for non-FWB cars.

Sold only because the owner is downsizing his collection, this delightful and rare early Vintage sports car comes with a good file of history to include sundry restoration bills, copies of marque-related literature, all MoTs up to 2014, etc.