Your mention of the Crossley 15.7 and works drivers reminded me of the time when I wanted to demonstrate one of their Weymann tourers to a titled woman in Warwickshire.
We ‘phoned the works and they sent their senior demonstrator along, one De Solla, with a lovely run-in car in black with red upholstery, but he would not consent to my driving the car on the demonstration until we had spent a couple of hours together first. Her ladyship, the tough widow of a self-made man, did not come on the run as the car was for the son, but she did make a solo inspection of it while the rest of us were having tea, after which I took her order and arranged to deliver in person when the new car arrived two months later.
On delivery the family had a short run before tea, during which milady went out for her solo inspection before making out her cheque.
She returned with a face like thunder and made me kneel down and peer up underneath the near side-front wing where there was a large cross scratched through the paint to the metal—scribed by herself with a nail file under the wing!
I was dumbfounded, as were my employers, and we lost the deal and the customer for good.
W. A. Emett.
Letters, February 2014
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