As a Crossley enthusiast I was extremely interested in your article on the now, alas, defunct company.
My first introduction to the marque was at the Royal Tank Corps Schools at Bovington in 1928, where we underwent driving instruction on the 41/2-litre 25/30 model tender.
We also drove some very slow Crossley Keyress half-track lorries which were modelled on the Citroen, who were pioneers of this type of cross-country vehicle.
Later, in the early 1930s, I had a section of Crossley armoured cars in India. These cars had long-stroke side-valve engines with non-detachable heads. The cooling system was quite unable to cope with the mountainous roads of the North West Frontier and five gallons of water were normally consumed on the 80-mile run from Bannu to Razmah.
In 1956 I purchased a 15.7-hp. Crossley Shelsley saloon which had only covered about 25,000 with the original owner in Preston. On retiring from the Army in 1957 I drove this car, complete with family and 4 cwt of luggage through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and Italy to Trieste. We covered 4,000 miles in two months and only suffered one blow-out. The engine only boiled whilst negotiating the Brenner Pass but it was an extremely hot day and a following Rover was also blowing off steam. Petrol consumption averaged 23.5 mpg.
My present job entails spending the whole day in all types of modern cars but few of them have the comfort of the Crossley. I previously owned a 1935 Crossley Regis saloon with the 6-cylinder Coventry-Climax engine, but this car had not the quality of the vintage models as most of the components were bought out.
I always found the Crossley Company most helpful to deal with in connection with spares or technical advice, unlike the present impersonal combines.
I am, Yours, etc.,
MC Polyblank, (Major). Bromley.