1924 Crossley 19.6 Saloon by Vincents of Reading
Reg. no. MF 6257
Chassis no. 16847
Engine no. 16840
Crossley was founded in Manchester in 1867 by brothers Francis and William Crossley, devout Christians who adopted the Coptic cross as their company’s emblem. In 1869 the young company acquired the UK and world, (except-Germany) rights to the Otto atmospheric internal combustion engine; in 1876 this was extended to the Otto four-stroke internal combustion engine, the principles of which form the basis of most subsequent engines. The success of their engine-building business meant that it was a logical step for Crossley to enter the world of motor vehicle manufacturing, and they did just that in 1903. In 1906, the car division was named Crossley Motors and spun off from Crossley Brothers as a separate company. In 1909 the 20hp model was introduced, which would be the company’s backbone for the next decade – helped in no small part by the award in 1913 of a military contract to supply the Royal Flying Corps with staff cars, tenders and ambulances. By the end of the Great War, over 6000 of the model had been supplied to the military. In this period Crossleys developed a reputation for being extremely reliable, well-made vehicles, and this continued post war. The first model introduced after the end of hostilities was the 19.6 of 1920. A car of the highest quality, it had a 3.7 litre 4-cylinder engine, with a detachable head – a new development for Crossley – and most cars could exceed 60mph, depending on the body. As with any high-quality product, they were not cheap, but equally, quality sells and over 1000 were built over the next five years – an impressive amount for a hand-crafted car from a company without prodigious resources. As with many earlier high-quality car makers, Crossley found demand for its products dwindled by the late 20s, and car production struggled on through the 30s before finally coming to an end in 1937, although quality remained unreduced.
This unique 1924 19.6 is the only surviving example with saloon bodywork by coachbuilders Vincents of Reading. Complete with a striking V-windscreen and a beautifully appointed and finished interior, the car is both mechanically and bodily extremely original. In recent times it has had a new exhaust, tyres, battery and spring gaiters, plus some wiring work, while the magneto, dynamo and rear lamps have been rebuilt. It also benefits from a newly-made radiator bottom tank. A well-known car to the Crossley Register, it has attended their national rally for the last two years, winning the prize for best 19.6 in 2017. It is said to be powerful, reliable and just as much of a delight to drive as it is to merely behold.
Extra details and estimates:
£30,000 - 35,000
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