Letters From Readers, December 1952

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60

Sir,

The vintage Crossley has been periodically mentioned in these columns during the past 18 months, and a Register for these cars started.

Readers may, therefore, he interested in the enclosed photograph of my somewhat rare motor—the Silver Crossley.

It is a 1931 model [A year too young to be strictly vintage.—Ed.], fitted with a three-door fabric tourer body—apparently of Crossley manufacture.

The engine is a 2-litre, 16-h.p., six-cylinder, push-rod o.h.v., whilst the four-speed gearbox, which is in unit with the engine, is operated by a right-hand lever working in an open gate. Ignition is by Scintilla magneto, and an Autovac supplies the updraught Stromberg carburetter.

The 21-in. triple-spoked wheels are shod with 5.25-in. tyres. The front brakes are cable operated, those at the rear being operated by a combination of rods and cables. Semi-elliptic springs are fitted front and rear.

The whole car is very massive and typically vintage. The mudguards, I suspect, are not the original ones, which were probably helmet type with valances running down to the chassis sides.

There have been doubts among readers about the 16/80 Lagonda engine of 1933/4 being of Crossley origin. Perhaps the photograph of the engine in my Crossley will convince them, as the only apparent external difference is the carburetter and inlet manifold. (See photograph of Lagonda 16/80 engine, page 132, Motor Sport, 1933.)

I have not seen an open 2-litre Crossley similar to mine—the saloon version was listed at £695 in 1931, and was stated to be “capable of 75 m.p.h. fully equipped.”

I am, Yours, etc., L. R. Montgomery, Bromley.

 

Sir,

I should like to comment on the letter from Dr. Brian Scott which appears in your November issue. No one (not even a vintage fanatic) in his right mind would deny that the modern car, when new, is efficient, economical and usually reliable. After all, considering what he paid for it, it would be a poor show if Mr. Scott could not get 34,000 trouble-free miles in his car’s first 2½ years!

No, our argument is that the modern car, for economic reasons, is not made so well, nor from such good materials, as were its vintage forebears and that, compared with them as a thing of intrinsic worth, it is indeed merely “tinware.” You yourself, sir, have often commented on the somewhat pathetic standards of construction and finish which prevail today.

We also contend that, in consequence, the modern car will not serve so well, for so long, as ours have done. I know several vintage cars which are climbing steadily up their second hundred thousand, and one, in particular, which in 28 years has covered 280,000 miles with only one rebore.

What will Dr. Scott’s car be like not in two, but in twenty-two years’ time? The fact that he may not wish or intend to keep it that long in quite outside the argument. Let me conclude by quoting the case of another 1950 car (not a Sunbeam-Talbot) known to me. After 30,000 miles, having had two new starter-rings fitted, all shock-absorbers replaced, and many minor repairs and adjustments made, the owner was advised to get a replacement engine. As rust was already coming through the cellulose at various points, he decided to get a replacement car instead !

I am, Yours, etc., Frank D. Longhurst, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

[Another aspect is that entirely new cars are often experimental and the owner buying them in their early years does some of the testing for the manufacturer—which can hardly happen to someone buying a well-tried old car which has already seen years of staunch service.—Ed.]