THE NEW SMALL CROSSLEY A LIVELY AND INTERESTING ADDITION TO THE LIGHT CAR CLASS
LIKE most pioneer firms in the automobile industry, Crossley Motors Ltd., have in the past taken an active part in the world of motor racing. More recently, however, to the regret of many, they have figured less conspicuously in the sport, and it was, consequently, welcome news that the famous Manchester concern has plans for staging a” come-back” during the season now at hand. This imminent re-entry of the Crossley into the racing field naturally gave us an extra interest in testing an example of one of their new standard 10 h.p. models, especially as it is this type which will be used—in modified form, of course. The most pleasing feature of this new “ten ” is the fact that it is not “just another small car,” but has a real character of its own, and although one can find some points to criticise out of the many individual features, it is far preferable to be able to do this than to have a car which is merely mediocre on all points, and which one forgets almost as soon as one leaves it. The engine is unusual in appearance as well as in design, having a special patented combustion head, using overhead push-rod operated inlet valves, and side exhaust valves. Mixture is supplied by a down
draught S.U. carburettor centrally mounted above the head, to which fuel is supplied by an electric Petrolift pump from the rear tank. A balanced three-bearing crankshaft with all bearings pressure fed contribute largely to the exceptional
smoothness of running which we noted at all speeds. The valve-gear is well arranged for accessibility, and items such as the dynamo chain adjustment are also well thought out.
The drive is through a singleplate clutch with fabric friction disc to a very easily operated four-speed gearbox with silent third and thence to a semi-floating spiral bevel rear axle.
On the road the outstanding impressions were exceptional liveliness and a very fine performance on the gears. Time and again when encountering much more pretentious vehicles we slipped into third and left them on acceleration, changing up at over 50 m.p.h. and humming along without a sign of effort at over 60 m.p.h. on top.
The maximum speed on the level was 68 m.p.h. at which speed there was no engine vibration whatever.
This gives some indication that the sports model now in course of construction should be a very remarkable job.
The engine is fairly sensitive to the ignition control, which, being by coil, gives a very wide range. This gives added interest to driving, and enables an intelligent driver to make really full use of the very lively engine. The steering is characteristic of
the car, having plenty of life, and ample caster action, and is pleasantly high geared. The result is that the driver can always feel just what is happening, and cornering is safe on indifferent or greasy surfaces.
We should have preferred a rather ” harder ” feel about this, as it was inclined to be too springy, but this was chiefly due to the fact that the suspension of the car we tried was rather too lively for the best results. For fast driving a considerably tighter setting of the spring dampers would have improved the roadholding, though the degree of comfort was above the average for this type of car.
The brakes, which give the excellent stopping distance of 51 ft. from 40 m.p.h., are extremely powerful, having self energising servo type brake shoes. The only criticism we have of this particular braking system was the rather high initial effort required to bring the brakes into operation, which, combined with the small pressure actually required to attain the maximum retarding effort, made the brakes none too easy to operate really smoothly. A little attention to the return spring pressures and initial friction of the operating mechanism would effect a marked improvement in this respect. The chassis feels extremely rigid, the finish is good, all parts are of robust design, and the car is evidently intended for really hard work
in the true Crossley tradition.
The marked economy of running of this type of car-the engine is just over the 1100 c.c. mark-has made it extremely popular, and the entry into this market of a firm with such a fine engineering record should ensure a big demand from all who want a lively vehicle which will stand hard driving.
The price of the open sportstourer is £295, and the makers are Crossley Motors Ltd., Gorton, Manchester, their London service station being at 50, Page Street, Westminster, S.W.1.