1930 Crossley 15.7hp Six Saloon Coachwork by Crossley Registration no. WM 5096 Chassis no. 81062 Engine no. 81053
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 British royalty.
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 1925. The 18/50 featured a 2.6-litre, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine, which was stretched to 3.2 litres in 1928 for the broadly similar 20.9hp model. At the same time the firm introduced a smaller and lighter 15.7hp six, also marketed as the '2-Litre' and 'Silver' in the 1930s, which offered similar performance but superior fuel economy. Four-wheel Perrot brakes and a right-hand change, four-speed gearbox were chassis features. Available in a variety of body styles, many built by Crossley themselves, the model lasted until 1934. It is estimated that some 20-or-so survive, many of the saloons having been re-bodied as tourers.
Restored in the 1960s, this ultra-rare 15.7hp Crossley had been on display in the Hunday Museum for some 25 years prior to the collection's dispersal in 1989 when it was acquired by the vendor's father. Noteworthy features include the marque's distinctive V-shaped radiator; Rotax head, side and rear lights; original interior and dashboard with correct instruments; and Crossley's own aluminium panelled coachwork. Last taxed in 2006, 'WM 5096' is running and driving but will require gentle re-commissioning before returning to active use. The car is offered with Swansea V5C document.