It was with considerable interest that I came upon the photo in MOTOR SPORT (Oct. 1974) of the early Crossley chassis.
I have owned for just on a year the remains of a 1912 Crossley 15 h.p. car. I say remains because this car suffered the common fate (in this country at least) of being cut down into a saw-bench. When rescued several years ago the remains consisted of radiator, engine and gearbox, with Smiths carburetter (water-jacketed, cast in bronze and very heavy), exhaust manifold and front pipe— also brass, of a very heavy gauge. Together with the radiator, which is the earlier flat type, the engine and gearbox were still mounted in the chassis. However, the chassis had been “shortened” as the front dumb irons were missing, along with about 3 ft. at the rear of the chassis.
The previous owner, Mr. R. B. Howard-Hill, of Wellington, had made the necessary parts for the chassis and had spent many hours on the radiator when he sold the car to me. I have since located a front axle complete, parts of the back axle assembly, several wheels (Rudge-Whitworth 815 x 105 BE), and several other small parts.
Five radiators have been found up to date, the same as mine. However, there is no record of just how many of this model came to NZ. Three engines also survive.
The chassis and engine numbers were normally quite close in sequence as is the case with my car— Engine No. 3073/Chassis No. 3071
The chassis number 3212 of the car in the photo indicates it to be probably mid to late 1913. I am open to correction on this point and look forward to information from other readers, concerning this particular car.
One query that I have concerning this car centres on the radiator. Was this particular car one of the Shelsley models, sporting the more modern pointed radiator? The low rake of the steering column would suggest that this is so. Did the Shelsley come out with the older style flat radiator as well? Or was the practice of using either type of radiator restricted to the less sporting versions? In the short time that I have owned my Crossley I have become fascinated by this model, but there are large gaps in my knowledge of this desirable car that I would be happy to have filled by readers of your excellent publication.
I thank you in anticipation.
Hamilton, New Zealand IAN HOWELL