EN­GINE 1650cc/6-cyl/IOE POWER 48bhp@4500rpm TORQUE n/a MAX­I­MUM SPEED 80mph 0-60MPH 28sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 21-28mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed pre-se­lec­tor MoT 12 months from sale ODOME­TER 87,879 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Nick Larkin


You might be ex­pect­ing rather slow and wob­bly. That’s just not the case here. The car will (once you’ve mas­tered its pre-se­lec­tor gear­box) bowl along nicely at 55-60mph. It feels ex­tremely well en­gi­neered too, and the brakes aren’t bad ei­ther.


The car was sub­ject to a re­build to­talling £47,000 be­tween 1986 and 1992, as de­tailed in an enor­mous his­tory file. The two-tone paint­work is im­mac­u­late, the pan­els are straight and we could not find even a pin-prick of rust any­where. The sub­stan­tial chas­sis is as solid as the rest of the body­work and ev­ery­thing opens and closes as it should. The bright­work is com­plete (good­ness knows where you’d fine re­place­ment items) and in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. It would cost a for­tune to rechrome the hub­caps, wind­screen sur­round and driver’s mir­ror alone.


The mag­nif­i­cent in­te­rior is in fine or­der and a de­light to savour. The seats are in pleated leather, which could well be orig­i­nal, and they’re very com­fort­able. There is a small rip in the passenger seat bol­ster and some tape on the driver’s sup­port. The in­te­rior wood­work is in a won­der­ful, gleam­ing state and the door trims and car­pet are sound. The steer­ing wheel with Bake­lite-style cen­tre boss in­cor­po­rat­ing in­di­ca­tor, dip, horn and lights is as it should be. The wind­screen open­ing mech­a­nism and sun­roof work as in­tended. The in­stru­ment panel is well-equipped for a 1934 car, with am­me­ter, fuel, oil pres­sure gauges and a clock, all of which are func­tion­ing cor­rectly.


The en­gine, with its Crossley Mal­tese cross in­signia (de­spite ap­par­ently be­ing a Coventry Cli­max unit) is a work of art in it­self. It starts in­stantly and ap­pears to be in ex­cel­lent or­der. How­ever, it’s not im­mac­u­lately show-pre­pared, the car hav­ing been reg­u­larly used, with some long jour­neys re­cently. That said, there are no wor­ry­ing emis­sions or leaks. The pre­s­e­lec­tor gear­box is of rel­a­tively nu­mer­ous Wil­son man­u­fac­ture and works well. We could find noth­ing of con­cern with the sus­pen­sion or steer­ing.


What a great ma­chine. It’s beau­ti­fully de­signed and built by a man­u­fac­turer that stopped mak­ing cars in 1937 but would con­tinue pro­duc­ing some of the most charis­matic Bri­tish com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. This is one of a few cars fit­ted with the 1650cc en­gine which were, by all ac­counts, dis­trib­uted to fam­ily, friends and the most­loved cus­tomers of the Crossley hi­er­ar­chy. The norm was a 1476cc unit. The car doesn’t so much have a his­tory file as a tea-chest. Spares may be a prob­lem but oth­er­wise here is a pre-war ve­hi­cle of true joy and which is so us­able.

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