1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 549
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer
Registration no. SV 8632 Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645

£ 47,000 - 53,000
US$ 59,000 - 67,000
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer
Registration no. SV 8632
Chassis no. 2401
Engine no. 7645

Footnotes

  • With its twin rear wheels, this imposing Edwardian four-seater tourer is a rare survivor of Crossley’s immortal ‘Royal Flying Corps’ model of WWI. Powered by a 4.5-litre four-cylinder engine driving via a four-speeds-plus-reverse gearbox, these rugged cars served as tenders to the RFC’s aircraft as well as providing transport for its officers. The RFC Crossleys were among the first motor cars to see service when war broke out in August 1914, for several were sent with the Allied Expeditionary Force to France, where two were allocated to each scouting RFC aircraft with the difficult task of following its movements, ready to give assistance should a forced landing be made. During hostilities some 10,000 of this model were supplied to the RFC, which took Crossley’s entire production from 1914 to 1918, and there was even a scheme to build them in Russia before the 1917 Revolution. The RFC model gave such excellent service that Crossley continued to supply vehicles to the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force for the next quarter of a century.
    The 20/25 hp Crossley was designed by Walter Iden, a former railway engineer like so many of the great early automotive designers, who began his career with the Motor Manufacturing Company of Coventry in the 1890s; it was the most long-lived of all Crossley's models, remaining in production from 1909 to 1925.
    Crossley's slogan ‘Of Gas Engine Fame’ celebrated the fact that this Manchester-based company had pioneered the production of internal combustion engines in Great Britain, for it was as early as 1869 that the brothers William and Frank Crossley had acquired the world patent rights to Nikolaus Otto's ‘atmospheric’ gas engine, Germany excepted. Crossley subsequently took up the four-stroke ‘Otto Cycle’ engine and by 1900 had made some 26,500 stationary engines. Cars came along relatively late in the day, for it was in 1904 that W M McFarland and motor agent/racing driver Charles Jarrott, seeking a company to build an ‘English Mercedes’ to the designs of James Critchley (the original chief engineer of the Coventry Daimler company) convinced Crossley to undertake the task. Apart from Sir William and Lady Crossley, early devotees of the new Crossley motor car included prominent members of the local community, but the sterling qualities of the fledgling marque soon brought a wider fame. Though the first Crossley cars used a Belgian-built chassis frame, an ‘All-British’ model was available from 1906 and the company promised ‘perfect satisfaction if it’s a Crossley’.
    In 1910, Crossley Motors Ltd became a separate company, with Jarrott’s partner William Letts as serving managing director and Kenneth Crossley as chairman, promoting its products as ‘a perfect combination of engineering excellence and the highest art of the coachbuilder’. As Car Illustrated magazine remarked in 1913: ‘The mechanical features of the Crossley are, of course, superb. Made in one of the greatest engineering centres of the world, it is produced under conditions almost unique in their excellence.’
    This impressive tourer, with staff car bodywork finished in sage green with brown leather upholstery, is a nicely matured older restoration by a former chairman of the Veteran Car Club who, we understand, commissioned the finely-proportioned replica coachwork. The latter boasts full weather equipment consisting of a hood and front/rear tonneaus, as well as an impressive mahogany-framed Auster rear screen, a full set of original brass CAV electric lamps and an electric klaxon. There is also the convenience of electric starting.
    The cocktail cabinets on either side of the passenger compartment have Brammah locks and allegedly contained Scotch whisky, which was supposedly used to settle the airmen's tummies after they had breathed in castor oil fumes emitted by the engines of their aircraft!
    In more recent times chassis number ‘2401’ has participated in numerous rallies in the UK with the VCC and also in France, including Paris, Deauville, Dieppe, etc. Presented in good condition throughout, the car is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to September 2008 and Swansea V5, while a quantity of assorted spares a full set of patterns to cast a new cylinder block is included in the sale.
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
1914 Crossley 20/25hp Royal Flying Corps Model Tourer  Chassis no. 2401 Engine no. 7645
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.